Letters & Miscellanies

“Wonder engine,” race tractor, sawing wood, In Memoriam


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"Wonder engine"

This photo is of me sitting on a 1-cylinder engine that was used to pump water.

After the washing machine in the background was replaced by a double tub washer, it was used as the power source to do the weekly wash.

I'm not sure of the brand name, but we do remember we called it the "Wonder engine" because when we needed it, we always wondered if it would start. I was born in 1925, so I'd guess the photo was taken a couple years later.

Ross Thiemann
Box 368
Pawnee City, NE 68420

Editor's note: This letter was sent by Lynn Curtis whom Ross told to note that he is the 10th of 13 children in his family, and also a lifelong resident of Pawnee. This photo was taken about 3 miles west of DuBois, Neb.

A race tractor

Thought your readers might like to see something a little different. My granddaughter gave me the idea while she was looking at some photos I took of 1930s and 1940s racing cars. She exclaimed that they looked like my tractor - at that time an 8N. After I acquired the B it seemed a natural. I invite comments.

Don Kuhl
7393 Mineral Springs Road
Peebles, OH 45660
(937) 587-2848

Sawing wood

Wendell and Sam Felch and Waldon and Carolyn Gray left Douglasville, Ga., for Berlin, Vt., to attend a 50th surprise birthday party for Bob Felch (president of the Green Mountain Flywheeler Engine Club). The next week we went to the Green Mountain Flywheeler Engine Show. There they sawed wood with a 6 HP Sandwich engine. They split wood with an old wood splitter and a 5 HP Economy engine. The crowd gathered around and watched the men saw shingles with an 1878 shingle saw made by Lane Machine Co. of Montpelier, Vt., and run by a John Deere tractor. The Green Mountain Flywheeler's Gas and Steam Engine Club is about 5 years old. Their show in September is a very good show to attend and also a good time of year to see the leaves changing in Vermont.

Wendell and Sam Felch
4896 Central Church Road
Douglasville, GA 30135

In memoriam

The Rutherwood community of Watauga County, Boone, N.C. was shocked by the news of the passing of Linda Hodges, wife of Mack Hodges, on March 11, 2006. Both were vital members of the Carolina Fly-Wheelers Engine & Tractor Club. Mack has served as treasurer since the club was stared in 1980, with Linda assisting him.

It's been said that one's epitaph is the dash between one's birth and death dates. Linda was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She was also devoted to her church where she was a member of the choir. She was devoted to her career; she worked with the public as a shoe salesperson for 39 years, and was married for 43 years. She was a nice lady, always had a smile for everyone she met, and had an infectious giggle. She attended as many local shows as her work would allow and was always seen with family members.

People said that Linda's receiving of friends was one of the largest crowds ever seen: The church and choir were full for the service. This, plus all the many calls, visits, food, cards, flowers and donations to the church building fund, spoke a huge tribute to both of these fine Christian people.

Linda is also survived by a son, Jeff, and a daughter, Lisa, as well as numerous grandchildren, and a great-grandson. Following in a family tradition begun by Mack's father, Frank Hodges, either past or present, all have been members of the Carolina Fly-Wheelers.

Linda created a lot of memories and packed a lot of energy into living the dash between her birth and death dates.

Submitted by Betty Hodges, Assistant Secretary, Carolina Fly-Wheelers Engine & Tractor Club, Boone, N.C.

Michael Smith of Shreve, Ohio, was known statewide by the name of "Big Mike." A lot of people never knew his real name. He was a very tender-hearted man who loved gas engines and dealt in them. He had a wealth of knowledge about engines. He died Sept. 21, 2006, after an extended illness. He was one of my very best friends.

Submitted by Denni Swingley, Thornville, Ohio.


The Hayes Farm Tool & Pumps engine was incorrectly described in the October/November 2006 A to Z feature. The engine does not have a small bolt on the muffler, but rather a small bolt-on muffler. Other information omitted includes: The engine is water-cooled and ported, and has a dry finned air-cooled head.

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