Letters & Miscellanies

By Staff
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Reader Gary Tennant had to buy a tractor to secure this Staude Mak-a Tractor sign.
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Identity discovered: Daniel Muller's Continental-Emsco pumping engine as found.
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B.L. Abrams Jr. with his 'knapsack' seeder he recently restored.

Snake in the Gas (engine)

Last October, the Tennessee Valley Fly wheelers were invited to
bring some of our engines and tractors and show them at a local
shopping mall as part of their Fall Harvest Festival.

After checking them out to make sure they ran okay I loaded a
couple of my engines on my trailer, one of which was my 6 HP
headless Witte. I then covered the trailer with a tarp because it
was supposed to rain that night. The next day I hooked up and drove
to the show site, unhooked and leveled my trailer, unstrapped my
engines and got ready to show.

I thought I would start the 6 HP Witte first, since it is my
easiest engine to start and makes the best showpiece. As expected
the Witte started right up and merrily popped along as I waited for
an audience. After a few minutes, I glanced over and noticed
something protruding up out of the water hopper – it was a
snakehead. This snake evidently crawled into the water hopper the
night before, probably seeking the warmth of the water still in it
from my running it previously. Well, the engine was running, so I
decided to let it run and see what would happen. I figured he would
come out when the water got hot enough.

Hmmm, maybe we should be inspecting our engines a little more
thoroughly before cranking them up. Lamar Hinds found this Rat
snake hiding in the hopper of his 6 HP Witte.

One of our members, Bill Morgan, got a good picture of the snake
just as he came out, slithered down the side of the hopper onto the
trucks and onto the trailer. It was a rat snake about five feet
long. Another member, Robby Crawford, asked, ‘Would you like me
to catch him for you?’ I said yes, please do, so Robby caught
him and took him off to some large shrubbery nearby and released

So, some advice: Before you take your engines to a show, be sure
to get all the bugs (and snakes) out!

Lamar Hinds 12616 North shore Drive Knoxville, TIN

IHC Plugs Found

I have discovered something that may be of interest to readers,
namely some AC spark plugs -#73/73COM, #74/74COM, and #75/75COM –
that have straight-sided insulators (no ribs on the insulator) and
are in IHC-marked boxes. When packaged in ‘regular’ AC
boxes these plugs have insulators with various types of ribs.

All indications are that the straight-sided insulators are
specific to IHC, even though the plugs do not have the IHC logo on
the insulator but the IHC logo is on the box. Most plugs for IHC
prior to 1937-1938 that have the IHC logo on the insulator are
packed in regular type boxes. It appears that IHC gave up the logo
on the insulator in favor of the straight-sided plugs with the logo
on the box only.

I am not sure if the same is true of the AC #77/77COM and
#77/77L COM. I have not found any of these plugs with ribs on the
insulator or in IHC-marked boxes. All I have ever found is the
straight-sided plugs in regular type boxes without the IHC logo on
the box.

Donald McKinsey P.O. Box 94 Wilkinson, IN 46186

Grain Seeder

I am a little late writing, but I was very surprised to see a
picture of a grain seeder in your August 2001 Gas Engine Magazine.
Enclosed is a picture of one that has been in my family most of my
life. I am 75 years young.

I painted it and tried to get a canvas company to sew a bag for
it but had no luck. My wife, Dot, and I found some material, and
she sewed the bag on a home sewing machine. We laced the material
to the seeder using nylon string.

B.L. Abrams Jr. 607 Mesopotamia St. Eutaw, AL 35462

Reflections Upon Reflections

I would like to give you a very special thought of appreciation.
I have a personal philosophy that when anyone has a positive
influence on me, I want the person to know the impact of that

A number of months ago some members of Mo-Kan Antique Power
Association of Kansas City were helping me identify an engine. They
referred the information to Gas Engine Magazine, and article was
published showing my engine and requesting help (see GEM, October
2001, page 5). Responses came in from several different oil fields
throughout the western U.S. The enthusiasm was universally
supportive and informative, and contacts were made to identify the
engine, determine its history, obtain parts and locate expert
mechanical guidance. The engine turns out to be a 1948
Continental-Emsco CE-66 14 HP pumping engine, serial number

I realize the engine is not exotic, rare or ancient – but it is
somewhat unique to this region and I like it. I have learned over
the last several months that engines are often localized for
several reasons, including function of the engine and where it may
have been produced. This particular engine has an oil field purpose
and is known to oil field people. The conversations at shows near
Kansas City, north Missouri and central Missouri suggest few are
aware of this type of engine in those areas. The questions have
been precise and interesting. Shows at Ottawa, Kan., and Fort
Scott, Kan., are closer to the oil fields, and people who are
familiar with the engine have provided interesting experiences and
specifics about its use.

Thank you for publishing the help request, and thanks to the
readers of Gas Engine Magazine, members of Mo-Kan Antique Power
Association and members of the Oil Field Engine Society for an
exciting and successful restoration.

Daniel J. Muller 7316 Northwest Nevada Parkville, MO 64152
(816) 891-9174 daniel.j.muller@worldnet.att.net

Want a Sign? Buy a Tractor

Here’s a picture of a sign that appears to be hand painted
on sailcloth. It measures two feet by five feet. It has a few holes
and water stains, but is in generally good condition. The original
owner wasn’t interested in selling it, but he had a Ford 8N and
a line of Dearborn equipment he wanted to sell. Eventually, I
bought the tractor and equipment with the proviso he would also
sell me the sign – it was the only way he would part with the

Gary Tennant 311 Sashabaw Ortonville, MI 48462

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