How Your Hobby Started

Chapter XXIX

Motor scooter or wheel

Courtesy of Frank McCormick, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania 18411

Frank McCormick

Content Tools

3904-47th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 09119

Two events that are of particular interest to antique engine miscellany were held in the Pacific Northwest in August. The 'Puget Sound Live Steamers' held their annual steam-up at the Puget Sound port of La Conner, Washington.

This community is reminiscent of the coastal towns along the New England coast, with its attraction for tourists to visit the antique shops and learn of the activities of the artists and writers in the vicinity.

Pugest Sound Live Steamers has an assortment of steam and gasoline engine enthusiasts who enjoy building their own steam boats, live steam locomotives, model steam and gasoline engines, traction engines and with a good show of restored putt-putt gas engines on display to break the monotony of the swish-swish operation of the little steam rigs.

This was a two day event with the Swinomish Tribal Council salmon barbecue as a highlight of the reunion, gastronomically speaking, which was climaxed by a barn dance.

The other big event was held at Brooks, Oregon which is about eight miles North of Salem. This is the 'Great Oregon Steam-Up' and the safety valve to relieve the buildup of the spirited 'Steam Fiends' and gasoline engine buffs from Washington to California. From reports, this was a bigger and better show than ever seen in these states.

HELP! Briggs & Stratton Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has suggested that I contact you about a motor scooter or wheel which I own. It has a Briggs & Stratton motor, Serial No. SD368 - the company has informed me that production of this unit was discontinued in 1920.

Can you give me any information about the value, age, etc.?

A copy of Gas Engine Mike's book entitled 'A History of Gas Engines and Manufacturers Names' has been received through the courtesy of Ruben Michelson of Anamoose, North Dakota 58710. It is astonishing to see the hundreds of names of the gasoline engine builders that Ruben has assembled in his book. It would take a lifetime to write the history of all these gasoline engines.

An unusual innovation of the ordinary cooling water hopper system used on gasoline engines was developed by the Aermotor Company of Chicago. This company was established in 1888 for the sale of their patented hay tools and other equipment of their design. From the profits of their first adventure, their resourceful engineers solved other problems of the farmers by designing and building one of the most popular windmills, the 'Aermotor.'

From catalogs of Roger Kriebel of Mainland, Pennsylvania - of this company, this history of the company was one of continued success. Not only was the windmill used for pumping well water, but it was also developed to apply windmill power to other mechanical applications, such as grinding grain, sawing wood and other power requirements in isolated places.

Their president, Mr. L.N. Noyes, had a policy of only building the very best product their company could devise and follow them to the customer with best of service.

As with all windmills, there was a time when some type of auxiliary power was needed for the calm weather, when there was no wind.

Their requirement for big auxiliary power units was not necessary for their applications so the company built a selection of gasoline engines having ratings of 2-1/2 and 5 HP.

Some of the Aermotor engines appeared as other closed water-jacketed machines. Their exclusive feature was the fluted hopper cooler. This hopper stood on top of the cylinder with a flange fastened to an opening in the water jacket. The fluted hopper was made of thin metal to dissipate heat rapidly and cool the engine water. They were horizontal, single cylinder, four cycle, open crankcase machines. They were built on a low cast iron base with the cylinder attached by parallel flanges along each side and it was set half way into the base. The crankcase was cut away in front to allow the crank to turn in the low mounting.

The governor was built on the timing gear and operated a pushrod along the side of the engine to open the mechanical exhaust valve. The intake valve was automatic. The valves were located in the water-cooled cylinder head.

The igniter was located in the side of the cylinder and was tripped by a lever on the exhaust valve pushrod. The mixing valve was located on the side of the cylinder head, while the exhaust opening was on the opposite side with a muffler in a vertical position. Battery ignition system was standard with batteries and coil, however a Webster magneto could be supplied.

The specifications of the Aermotors are as follows:

HP

BORE & STROKE IN.

R.P.M.

FLYWHEEL DIA. IN.

WEIGHT

PRICE

2-1/2

4-1/8 X 6

400

24

600

$105.00

5

5X7-1/2

360

30

1000

$163.00

Mageneto was $12.00 additional. Standard back-geared pumping units were built having a capacity of 16,000 gallons per hour at 10 foot head or 630 gallons per hour at 250 foot head.

From the Broken Kettle Book Service is a single sheet of an illustration and specifications of the Nash Gas Engine, which was manufactured by the National Meter Company of New York. This is an example of one of the early gasoline engine designs. As can be seen from an accompanying picture, it is a vertical single cylinder machine with closed crankcase and cylinder. It is difficult to determine whether it is two or four cycle, but judging from the enclosed column in front of the cylinder which could contain the valve pushrods, it would appear to be a four cycle.

Possible, C.W. Nash, at one time President of General Motors Corporation, may have been an offspring of L.H. Nash, who patented gas engines as early as 1883, and has many other patents credited to his name up until 1897.

The specifications of the Nash gas engine are as follows:

NO.

CYLINDER

FLYWHEEL

BR.HP.

WEIGHT

31

3X4

18

350

1/2

375

32

4X4-1/2

20

325

1

475

33

5X5

22

300

2

600

34

6-1/2X6-1/2

28

300

4

1325

The Middleton Machine Company of Middleton, Ohio is responsible for a line of gasoline engines with a catchy name of the 'Woodpecker'. This company also built engines under the name of 'Howe', also 'Miami' and 'Middleton.'

From Catalog No. 101 as supplied from the library of Roger Kriebel, these engines were built about 1908 to 1910. This company started building engines about 1895. Their trademark was arranged with the word 'Woodpecker' in a segment of a circle with the large letter 'P' in the middle of the segment, as if holding up the other letters. On the vertical portion of the letter 'P' was a picture of a woodpecker and in underneath across the bottom of the trademark were the words 'Middleton, Ohio, U.S.A. The color scheme was not shown.

This company built the following models of engines: 'L' - 'KS' -'KB' - 'KBB' - 'A' - and 'KP' and in ratings of from 2 to 50 HP.

In general, these engines were built in a one piece casting. The small 2 HP unit was all in one casting, with the open crankcase and the main bearing shells cast-on. It was a horizontal, single cylinder, four cycle, water hopper cooled machine.

The valves were in the cylinder head with a mechanical exhaust and an automatic intake. The cam on the timing gear actuated the exhaust valve pushrod. The governor was a hit and miss system and the mixing valve was simple needle control with air adjustment. This small 2 HP Type 'KBB' ran at 500 RPM and weighed 300 pounds.

Type K. S. Hopper Cooled, Steel Girder Sub-base

The type 'KS' was built in ratings of 3 to 25 HP and was a one piece construction. The cylinder and base was in one casting with water-cooled head containing the valves. The head had a recessed flange fitted into the cylinder bore about one quarter of an inch. The cooling water hopper was cast with the cylinder.

Standard engines were shipped on wooden skids. Portable units were on steel trucks for horse drawn transportation, in ratings of 15, 20 and 25 HP. Hand truck units were built in sizes of 2 and 3 H P in Types of 'KBB' and 4 HP in Type 'PKS'.

The hit and miss governor is mounted on the side of the timing gear and is a two ball centrifugal action with an electrical contact on one of the weights to advance and retard the spark automatically. A cam lever operated by the governor cuts out the ignition on the idle stroke and holds open the exhaust valve.

The crankshaft was made from one piece of steel and finished and ground to size. On the larger ratings, a tapered flywheel bore was used to fit the wheels to the shaft.

The plunger fuel pump mounted on the side of the base is operated by an eccentric from the crankshaft drive gear. The mixing valve was made by Lukenheimer with a needle full adjustment and an air intake. Fuel is pumped to a reservoir on top of the cylinder and fed by gravity to the mixing valve. There is an overflow back to the main fuel tank. There were modifications of the fuel system on smaller engines in which the gas tank was in the engines base, and the mixing valve located low to use and suction to the intake.

A Woodpecker's exclusive feature is a speed regulator on the exhaust valve pushrod shaped like an inverted 'L' (7) which comes in contact with a V shaped rocker that is spring loaded and has an electrical contact that cuts out ignition on the idle strokes of the hit and miss governor. This fitting also holds open the exhaust valve.

Two ignition methods were available for these engines. Either a low tension magneto with a make and break igniter, or a high tension system with a magneto and a spark plug was used.

Woodpecker engines were advertised as being equipped with electric starting. The system consisted of a fuel priming cup in the cylinder head. An electric contact button was on the side of the cylinder, which when pressed created a spark on the ignition point in the combustion space. The method of starting was to prime the engine with a priming cup full of fuel, then pull the flywheel back against compression. This caused the first explosion and started engine.

Their method was similar to the old detonator system used on other makes by using a match to cause the first explosion. Combination pumpers, wood saw outfits and orchard sprayers were assembled with these engines at the factory.

Several models of engines built by Middleton Machine Company were sold under the trade name of 'Miami'. They were horizontal, single cylinder, closed water jacket with a full cast iron sub-base. They could be had with a closed water jacket or hopper cooling.

A gravity fuel system with a mixing valve on top of the cylinder and the fuel tank was supported from brackets fastened to the top of the water hopper.

There was a modification on the governor with a lever in contact with the cam gear that held open the exhaust valve on the side of the cylinder head on the 4 HP engine. On the larger ratings, the valves were in the cylinder head.

The specifications of the Woodpecker, Type 'L' engines with water hopper or tank cooled were:

HP

RPM

EXHAUST

PIPE-IN.

WEIGHT

2

400

1-1/4

575

4

400

1-1/2

775

6

373

2

1250

8

335

2

1590

12

275

2-1/2

2400

15

225

2-1/2

2950

TYPE 'KBB'

2

600

 

250

3

500

 

350

4

400

 

500

6

373

 

1000

TYPE 'KB'

3

500

 

650

4

400

 

900

6

375

 

1300

8

335

 

1700

10

300

 

2100

12

300

 

2800

15

265

 

3100

20

250

 

5600

25

250

 

6000

The Woodpecker Type 'A' engine was built about 1910-1912. It was a heavy duty, single cylinder, horizontal, four cycle engine with closed water jacket. It was built on a low cast iron base with an open crankcase.

This model was a side shaft engine. A worm gear drive on the crankshaft drove the shaft, which in turn operated the valve rocker arms from cams and also drove the governor. The rocker arms were fitted with hardened steel rollers where they came in contact with the cams. Valves were in cages and removable for servicing

Combination mixing valve that permitted the use of liquid fuel or gas was a standard fitting. Fuel types could be changed from one to the other while the engine was in operation.

A balanced centrifugal governor was a feature of this Model 'A'. It was a hit and miss system that acted on the fuel valve instead of holding open the exhaust valve and cutting out ignition.

Middleton Machine Company offered a fuel consumption guarantee with these engines that called for a fuel consumption of not more than one pint per horsepower hour per brake horsepower.

Specifications of the Type 'A' engine are as follows:

HP

RPM

WEIGHT

6

325

2000

8

310

2500

11

285

3000

13

285

3400

15

275

3800

18

265

4500

25

225

6000

30

225

6500

40

210

9300

50

210

11000

Pictured is a fairly small Jelbart engine, approximately 4 HP. The Jelbart engine was manufactured by the Jelbart Bros. in Ballarat between the 1900s and 1930s. They ranged in horsepower from 4 to 45. They were two cycle and ran on either gasoline, kerosene or diesel.

The larger size Jelbart engines had cylinder heads which consisted of two chambers. One chamber was used for vaporizing the fuel and the inside chamber was the combustion chamber. the Jelbart engines were fitted with high tension magnetos, of which many makes were used, but the Bosch magneto seemed to be the most widely used. The engines were fitted with a type of hit and miss governor which acted on the air valve to allow a charge of air and fuel into the crankcase to be compressed and then into the cylinder head by means of a transfer port. The speed of the engine could be regulated by means of a spring on the governor which could be adjusted by either a lever or a setscrew. These engines are all water-cooled.

I have recently acquired a Jelbart, similar to the one shown, but is approximately a 6 HP. I hope to have it going for our spring Rallies. Another engine I have is a Ronaldson & Tippett engine which is locally manufactured. It is a hot tube ignition engine and runs on lighting kerosene. I also have a Felix engine, of which little is known, and a 1-1/2 HP McCormick Deering engine which runs quite well..

A Petters, two cycle, hot bulb start and ignition compression. It does not run on diesel, but on kerosene.

The Wonder Ten Waterloo Cement Machinery Corporation, Waterloo, Iowa, Shop No. 3245, cement mixer. What is the capacity in cubic feet? What size gas engine ran this mixer?

FARM FILLERS

The average size of the American farm today is 389 acres. In 1960 it was 297 acres.

Realized net income per farm in the U. S. was $5,392 for 1970. In 1969 it was $5,437.

During 1970 fires destroyed 555,831 acres of Forest Service-protected lands, the highest in 36 years.

The value of livestock and poultry on American farms was $23.8 billion at the beginning of 1971.

Nearly three-fifths of the rice produced in this country is sold in the foreign market and about a third of the wheat.

Japan is the leading importer of United States agricultural products, followed by West Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.