Threshing bee

Courtesy of Willis F. Wilcox, R. D. 3, Newton, Iowa 50208 (same as above picture)

Willis F. Wilcox

Content Tools

R. R. 2, Windsor, Illinois 61957

During my research, I have found at least some partial answers to past questions in GEM so here goes, starting with more of Alamo, Hummer, Gile Tractor and so on.

I have been following the ALAMO, ROCK ISLAND, EMPIRE CREAM SEPARATOR and SATTLEY engines and HUMMER MFG. CO. with great interest. Now, I have some additions to make that will surely end in additional confusion or something resembling a state of wondering which way the ROCK ISLAND HUMMER went. The following is quoted from a pamphlet printed by Montgomery Ward & Co. sometime after World War II and sent to me by the Springfield Illinois C. of C.-'HUMMER MFG. CO. of Springfield, Illinois started in 1851 as the Post Implement Co. making plows. About 1875 the SATTLEY BROS. (Notice the name, I want to do some more research on these Bros.) of Taylorville, Illinois moved their farm implement shop to Springfield after buying the Post Implement Company buildings. The SATTLEY BROS, expanded the factory rapidly and became a national distributor of a high grade line of tillage tools.

Around 1910, the SATTLEY BROS, merged with THE RACING BUGGY COMPANY of Racine, Wisconsin and the factory was known as the RACINE-- SATTLEY MAN. CO. As such, it was purchased in 1916 by Montgomery Ward & Company and was renamed the HUMMER PLOW WORKS. The HUMMER was the trade name of the best known plow manufactured by the company at that time.

Between 1916 and 1937, the factory manufactured a wide range of products including a complete line of horse drawn tillage tools, washing machines, coaster wagons, kids bikes, folding camp beds, windmills, poultry equipment, air compressors, bottle cappers, GASOLINE ENGINES, cream separators, water supply systems and hammer mills. About 1931, the factory discontinued the manufacture of tillage tools and the factory was renamed HUMMER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A DIVISION OF MONTGOMERY WARD.'

The pamphlet goes on to show the products made for the war effort in which they made an excellent contribution. The last products made were water systems, power take off, trailer running gears, hammermills and pump jacks--no mention of when Wards either sold the facility or what happened to it, but they have long since been out of business-some more research is needed here.

Jim Everest of Weaverville, California with part of his collection of restored engines.

Disassembled Sears economy Upright Novo, owned by Jim Everest of Weaverville, California

Other products made alter W.W. II were rotary power mowers, attic fans, clothes dryers and cream separators.

The factory site covered seven acres with three acres of buildings and employed 400 persons. QUESTION??-Did Wards name their engines after the

SATTELY BRO? or did they sell engines made by the SATTELY BROS, prior to purchasing the factory themselves? Were their engines made by other firms? I still wonder about the same name of SATTELY BROS, and SATTELY ENGINES. No mention is made of the SATTLEY BROS, making engines, but then not much else is mentioned that they manufactured either, so its is a possibility. Has anyone any definite information on who supplied Wards gas engines for them and what years? I have written Wards, but got a 'nothing is known anymore' reply from them.

They made at least some of their own engines at HUMMER from 1916 to 1937. When did Montgomery Ward quit offering gas engines for sale?

Yuba tractor in parade at Humamn Ranch, Gerber, California, owned by Jim Everest of Weaverville, California. His collection of around thirty five engines have been built up over a period of approximately 6 years and ranges in size from a single cylinder Matyag to the 25 hp Y type Fairbanks Oil engine.

Ten horse Z type Fairbanks at Devil's Den, California owned by Jim Everest of Weaverville, California. Jim also has several model steam engines.

Now for ALAMO. I wrote to the C. of C. Hillsdale, Michigan and they suggested I write Mr. Ray Herrich of TECUMSEH PRODUCTS, Tecumseh, Michigan. In so doing, I received a reply from Mr. L. J. Kemp, his information as follows: 'The Aalmo Company was formed in the late 1880's or early 1890's. The rights and patents were sold to the FREEPORT SERVICE CO., Freeport, III. This was in 1928 or 1929. The Alamo Company went into receivership in 1932.'

Now for some confirmation of similar engines noted in past columns and some new ones to think about--some of the trade names for their ALAMO engines were: ALAMO BLUE LINE, ROCK ISLAND, B. F. AVERY, LINDSAY CO., EMPIRE CREAM SEPARATOR COMPANY, H. BREWER AND COMPANY, AND DELAVAL SEPARATOR COMPANY. The original engines were built using igniters and batteries. Later, magnetos were used and in the late teens these were 'Wizard' and 'Websters' magnetos.

I have a couple of magazines for June and August of 1915, that I borrowed to read. The name of them is 'Gas Power'. Alamo Blue Line engines are still offered and the ad says they are from 2 to 15 hp. stationary and portable.

I have written to DeLaval and received a reply from Mr. K. J. Lindsey, Sales Manager of the Dairy Division and he states that the DeLaval engines were made by LAUSON MANU. CO!, New Holstien, Wisconsin. DeLaval engines were made in 1?, 2?, 3? Hp. with disc flywheels and a 6 Hp and 8 Hp both with open spoke flywheels.

Mr. Lindsey suggested I write to them. I have, but as yet have not received an answer. However, since Lauson is a wholly owned subsidiary of TECUMSEH PRODUCTS COMPANY', I received history on the Lauson Company from Mr. L. J. Kemp of said company but no mention is made about Lauson making engines for other companies (this is more involved than Hummer & Alamo). I hope to weed out some more facts with more answers yet to come. Did ALAMO make small or large engines for DELAVAL or did LAUSON make large or small engines for DELAVAL?

In reply to Mr. Amos Stauffer-- Gas Power for August, 1915 carries a GILE Tractor ad which states: 'The Gile tractor will draw 3, 14 inch plows. Power plant consists of a solid built 2 cyl. opposed type engine giving 20 Up. on the belt and 10 Hp. on the drawbar. Price, $600. Gile Engine and Tractor Company, Luddinglon, Michigan.'

Gas Power also carries a description of the Gile. It says, 'It is a 2 cylinder horizontal opposed type, with L head cylinders, cast solid and having a bore of 6' and stroke of 6?'. Cooling is by a radiator with forced circulation by gear pump. Crankshaft, drop forged steel, heat treated. All bearings ground to size. Connecting rods, drop forged carbon steel, double heat treated and of I beam sections. They are fitted with bronze backed babbitt lined rod shells of high grade bearing bronze. The connecting rod bolts, 4 in number are of chrome vanadium steel and heat treated. The cam shafts are drop forged, the cam being integral with the shaft and hardened throughout. There are two cam shafts placed at the end of the crank case thus permitting perfect timing and allowing a large space in the center of the motor for a hand hole plate. This gives easy access to the connecting rod bearings for inspection and adjustment.'

Hart-Parr and Stickney in field near Bakersfield, California, owned by Jim Everest of Weaverville, California. I've helped him haul home some of his 'finds' and have spent many enjoyable hours helping him work on them.

This is Kenneth C. Christopher on a tractor on the Brownell Farm, Pompey, New York. It is a 20-40 H.P. Chase tractor, 3 wheel, 30 inches wide each covering 90 inches. The tractor was made in 1912 or 1914 in Syracuse, New York. Mr. Christopher now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pictured is a 'barb wire roller' that I made in 1935 when we lived a few miles east of Baxter, Iowa. It worked fine and was driven from a friction pulley held against the belt pulley by spring tension. The wire unrolled the same way out behind the tractor.

It was geared back with gears of a pump jack. As you see on top, two of the forks slide down making slack to remove the wire from the real. We were quite proud of the rig at that time. In the picture is our oldest son Philip, at that time 14 years old, now past 40 and living in California.

This article states that the G1LE Tractor was made by the GILE ENGINE & BOAT CO. of Luddington, Michigan. For whatever its worth, apparently the GILE had no other names or connections with other companies except that as mentioned it was sold by a LA CROSSE dealer and perhaps other dealers.

One last note--Vinegar will remove rust down to bare metal, clean enough to prepare for paint. It will NOT, of course, cut grease, oil or kerosene. Simply immerse parts to be cleaned and leave for a week or ten days. Some brushing may be necessary, but the parts will wash off good brushing them with the vinegar they were soaked in until they are rinsed clean. I haven't tried this on flaky rusted parts but it should work-okay if the worst is scraped and wire brushed first.

The finish of 1966 threshing bee at the county fair grounds at Minneapolis, Kansas, Case thresher. That's me at the extreme right.