Letters & Miscellanies

Fairbanks, Morse & Co., Novo, United Registry and Red & Ready

A letter found by Don Sidwell

Content Tools

Fairbanks, Morse & Co.

I found this letterhead and order form in an old hardware order book. I thought maybe you would have an interest putting it in the magazine.

Don Sidwell, Rural Route 1, Box 202, Queen City, MO 63561

Looking for a Novo?

Hello to the great people who put the Gas Engine Magazine together.

I called Jim Limacher who wrote the story 'Scaling the Heights' in the July 2004 GEM on page 29-31, and he suggested I drop you folks a note. I'll ask you the same question I asked him: Do you know if anyone makes a model of the old upright Novo with the water hopper on top and double flywheels? I owned one when I was in high school. I got it off a cement mixer, and I ran it in my garage hooked up to a saw to cut scrap wood up. It was real fun.

It would be fun to have a working model to start and play with.

The Novo I had stood about 3 feet tall and was very heavy. My aunt in Pennsylvania had a great big Novo that she had on a buzz saw to cut firewood. It stood at least 5 or 6 feet tall. I don't know how many horsepower it was.

John Albright, 509 N. Sabina St., Anaheim, CA 92805

Red & Ready Engine

Enclosed are some pictures of my Red & Ready engine.

The Red & Ready was made in Havana, Ill., by the Ashurst Press Drill Co. They made press drills and gas I engines.

The engines were for a pump to take the place of the windmill. They had a walking beam that ran the pump. They were 3 HP, and the company made one 12 HP that went to Denver. A man had to go out and change the carburetor because it would not run in light air.

My engine was made in the 1890s, but it is real small, 12-1/2-inch flywheels and 26-1/2- inch walking beam. I believe it may be a sample for a salesman. I have been to many shows, and no one has seen any of these in this size. I think it may be the only one. Does anyone know?

Ernest W. Hoff, 12864 State Route 78, Havana, IL 62644

Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265; e-mail: rbackus@ogdenpubs.com

United Registry

First let me congratulate and thank you for the new Gas Engine Magazine. I subscribed for years and got tired of stories of homemade garden tractors and the like, and not enough stories about original, un restored engines and their histories, as well as histories of the various manufacturers. I drifted away. But I'm back and appreciate your new look.

At Portland, Spring 2004, I acquired my first air-cooled, a 1-3/4 HP United. I have been unable to find out much about the engine or the company other than their associated manufacture. To that end, I am undertaking a registry of United owners. I have launched this via 'SmokStak' and have a few responses so far. My hope is to acquire enough numbers and physical characteristics to develop some conclusions about United. To my knowledge, no one has previously undertaken this job.

At some future date, if enough data can be collected, I would like to publish the list as appropriate, keeping confidential names and addresses of owners.

If anyone knows of someone else already doing this, have any suggestions or think it is a bad idea, please advise me. I'm a small collector with nine engines (about half original) and a retired auto paint store owner with about 15 years in the hobby.

Dick Webber, 1737 Mimosa Court, Bowling Green, KY 42103, (270) 842-2686, rwebber49@aol.com

United Registry Request:

If anyone knows of any United engines, please send the information below to reader Dick Webber.

Owner's name, address, phone number and e-mail address

Gas tank location

Type of trip (straight or gooseneck)

Serial number

Other distinguishing features, original bills of sale, dates, stories, etc.

Engine type

Air- or hopper-cooled

Type of mixer

General condition (running, original, restored, project)