Letters & Miscellanies

By Staff
1 / 5
2 / 5
Ignition layout for early self-starting Aultman Taylor.
3 / 5
William Rogers' home built speed reducer.
4 / 5
Circa 1920 advertisement for Sprywheel garden tractor.
5 / 5
Stan Matlowski's 3 HP Myrick.

Aultman Taylor Starting

In response to Gary Yaeger’s piece on Aultman &
Taylor’s 30-60 tractor (see GEM, April 2003, page

The original Aultman & Taylor tractors did not have an
impulse on the magneto. The air start was actually a dual ignition
setup that was popular on early brass-era cars and many fire
trucks. The coil switch had three stations; magneto, off and
battery. The batteries were in a wood box on the floor of the

To start, the coil switch was set to off, the air pump was given
three or four quick strokes and the coil switch was then set to
battery. At that point it should have been running, and after a
short period the coil switch was turned to magneto. Aultman &
Taylors were known to start easy and the coil switch would give
trouble. Magnetos with impulse were installed and the air pump with
coil switch was often removed.

Dan Ehlerding Jamestown, Ohio

Sprywheel Engine

Just got the latest GEM in today’s mail and wanted
to respond to query 38/4/2A concerning the Sprywheel engine. The
engine is from a Sprywheel garden tractor from about 1920. I’ve
included a copy of an ad that ran in Farm Mechanic’s magazine
in 1920 or 1921.

Dick Hamp 1772 Conrad Ave. San Jose, CA 95124

Holland Transplanter

Thank you for publishing my letter in Gas Engine
(see GEM, January 2003, page 8, query
38/1/3). I received many responses to my query, and the planter was
identified before I even received my copy of the January

The planter is a Holland Transplanter, invented by two brothers
to speed up hand planting of celery. They stopped farming in 1927
and started the Holland Transplanter Co. in Holland, Mich., and are
still in business today. It’s still winter here, and pictures
of the Transplanter will have to wait awhile, but I have gotten a
lot of information on its use. I would like to thank all who
e-mailed, called and wrote letters.

Bill Varmum of Onalaska, Wis., was the first person to e-mail me
with identification. He has a two-seater he has not yet restored.
Working from his e-mail, my wife got the phone number of the
Holland Transplanter Co. I talked to a Howard Poll, who sent me an
old brochure about the Transplanter and some current Transplanter
information. He did not know of a three-seater and was surprised
that a Holland Transplanter found its way out to the West

I will send pictures of my restored Holland Transplanter to
everyone who contacted me. This restoration project will be a
summer time adventure, and you will be hearing from me again when
it is done. Thanks again for all the help.

Frank J. Harkcom 11801 Alpine Dr. S.W. Port Orchard, WA
98367 eharkcom@charter.net

Speed Reducer

I have been involved with old gas engines for the last 30 years,
and while I know this is not a gas engine, it is related.

We see many engines and engine equipment restored and preserved,
but what about some of the other old equipment these old engines
moved, such as jackshafts, speed reducing sets and line shaft
assemblies? I personally find them as interesting as gas

The picture above shows a speed reducer with multiple take offs
for flat belting. It was originally used in a woodworking shop for
routing power to different machines. It was built by someone who
had a good mechanical mind and was clearly built with a

We should be looking at all the equipment that deals with our
hobby. Preservation, after all, is our goal.

William L. Rogers 17 Independence Lane Hannacroix, NY

Eclipse Engine

The engine on page 18 of the December 2002 issue is indeed a 3
HP Eclipse made by Myrick Machine Co., Olean, N.Y. I have never
seen an AT. Jones or another Myrick like mine. Most Myrick engines
are the 4 HP upright, and these are very different from the 3 HP.
The 4 HP are very common and the valve mechanism is very different.
There was also a small 1 HP Myrick.

My engine is a 3 HP, serial number 640, with a speed of 400 rpm.
My engine has hot tube ignition, as when I bought it there was no
ignition or ignition trip mechanism. The late Henry Horner (of
Burns and Horner Co.) made my hot tube. I would very much like to
hear from fellow owners.

Stan Matlowski 118 Hunlock – Harveyville Rd. Hunluck Creek,
PA 18621 (570) 256-7422 s.matlowski@yahoo.com

Ford Turbine Tractor

As I remember, back around 1953 Successful Farming
magazine ran a story with drawings and explanations of the
engine’s workings. There were two pistons in a horizontal
cylinder, bouncing back and forth and generating gas pressure to
drive the turbine. George R. Wool 3015 Lower Brush Valley
Centre Hall, PA 16828

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

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines