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Letters & Miscellanies

Author Photo
By Staff | May 1, 2003

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Stan Matlowski's original cooling tank for an early 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse T.
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Kurz & Root

Regarding query 38/3/2 on page 4 of the March issue of GEM:

Kurz & Root evidently built generators for quite some time.
I wrote an article for GEM (see October 1993, page 26, ‘One
Man’s Junk …’) that covered a Kurz & Root generator I
recovered. The unit was manufactured by U.S. Motors, but had a
Hercules BXB engine mated to a Kurz & Root generator. The
generator had its own ID plate with detailed information, which is
included in my 1993 article.

I believe Kurz & Root is no longer in business. U.S. Motors
may have been a descendant of Universal, or perhaps a competitor,
but it seems to be quite a circumstance that they share the same
town of origin, Oshkosh, Wis. It would appear Kurz & Root built
units to be mated to whatever engine the manufacturer of the outfit
chose.

Andrew K. Mackey 26 Mott Place Rockaway Boro, NJ 07855-
3022

More on Kurz & Root

Kurz & Root Co. of Appleton, Wis., certainly did manufacture
generators. I was in their facilities in the early 1980s, and at
that time they were building AC generators, mainly for military
contracts.

I believe they got their start building DC light plant units and
then turned to building AC generators during World War II. I have
contacted some fellow co-workers for information, and if I find out
more I will pass it along.

Dave Strasser Wausau,WI strasser@g2a.net

Fairbanks-Morse Type T

In regard to question 37/12/1 on page 4 of the December 2002
issue:

I have a 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type T that still has original
paint. My engine is dark red, almost maroon in color. There is no
trace of black on the block or the fly wheels. I also have the
original cooling tank, which is about 4 or 5 feet tall. It is
galvanized with black lettering. On the tank it says ‘Jack of
all Trades’ Fairbanks-Morse and Co.

The serial number plate on mine is square, not round. The plate
says ‘Touch Igniter 2 HP,’ with no serial number or rpm
filled in, and it has patent dates from 1892 to 1907. It should be
noted that all Fairbanks-Morse engines prior to 1906 came with both
hot tube and electric igniter.

I call this my ‘coffee pot Fairbanks,’ because when I
bought it the cooling tower was a commercial coffee pot. I would
welcome hearing from fellow Fairbanks owners.

Stan Matlowski 118 Hunlock-Harveyville Road Hunlock Creek, PA
18621 smatlowski@yahoo.com

Bovaird & Seyfang

After reading Chan Mason’s article, ‘A Working Oil Lease
in 2002,’ in the March 2003 issue, I felt I could add some
interesting facts about the Bovaird & Seyfang engine featured
in the article.

According to the original Bovaird & Seyfang test card in the
archives of the Coolspring Power Museum, this engine was tested
using a brake for a period of six hours on March 11, 1925. It was
noted the test was okay. This engine was sold to the Linwood Oil
Company and shipped Sept. 1, 1925. As I understand it, the engine
was brought in from another location.

The engine was tested as a 25 HP model fitted with an 11- by
14-inch cylinder. Mr. Zetler must have kept the original name tag
when he changed the cylinder, as a 30 HP cylinder would have had a
12-inch bore. Referring to the test card, the engine was fitted
with a 1-quart Powell Boson cylinder lubricator and both Wico and
hot tube ignition. Additionally, the flywheels must have been
changed at some time, because the engine is now fitted with the
lighter, 900-pound fly wheels and it was tested with 1,200-pound
flywheels. Also, the original iron disk intake valve has been
replaced with the newer strip valve design.

The power is a single disk design manufactured by Oil Well
Supply. I encourage readers to keep sending in articles of
historical nature.

Michael Fuoco 656 W. Washington St. Bradford, PA 16701

Stewart Little Wonder

This is in reference to the unidentified engine, query 38/3/4 in
the March 2003 issue of GEM. The engine in 38/3/4 is missing the
base, carburetor and fuel tank, which are one unit. For ignition,
these engines used battery and buzz coil, or, at extra cost, an
Elkhart magneto. The standard battery/buzz coil ignition was housed
in the cast iron base.

I have one of these engines with the Elkhart magneto, and it is
painted a deep blue, similar to the one in 38/3/4. The base,
crankcase and flywheel are blue, and the cylinder, head and related
parts are aluminum in color

Dick Hamp 1772 Conrad Ave. San Jose, CA 95124

More on Stewart

A big thank you to Gas Engine Magazine for your help
identifying my engine that appeared in the March issue, query
38/3/4. The engine is, I now know, a Stewart Little Wonder made by
the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., Chicago, Ill.

As of this writing I have been contacted by 24 people from 16
different states. Everyone was very friendly and eager to give
helpful advice and information, even people who wanted to buy it
from me. When information is needed, the combination of GEM and its
faithful readers creates an immeasurable resource for people like
myself. I am confident that I will get the information necessary to
make or acquire the parts I need. Again, thank you.

Marty Lukonen 5724 4th Ave. SW Watertown, SD 52701

8PLVG and Propane Regulators

I wanted to share a couple of photos of 8PLVG taken after its
arrival in Berryville, Va., on Jan. 18, 2003. It arrived a little
worse for the wear, as it got covered with road salt during the
trip. It was supposed to have been covered with a tarp for
transport, but wasn’t.

8PLVG at the Shenandoah Valley Steam and Gas Engine Assoc.
grounds in Berryville, Va. Club officers John DeBoskey (left),
Steve Giles (center) and Wayne Godlove (right) show the donation
check from the ASME Southern Tier Section and Region III office
that made the purchase possible.

Some research by a colleague has disclosed that this engine,
serial number 8AZ100, was the only PLVG to have been built using
the same frame and frame top as the integral 8LVG
engine/compressor. The other five 8PLVG engines were built with a
shortened frame, frame top and crankshaft, so this engine is a
‘one of a kind’ in that respect.

Regarding Warren Fricken’s question in the March issue of
GEM, query 38/3/10:

Warren is correct that a negative feed or ‘zero
governor’ type of gas regulator should be used to control the
flow of propane gas to the engine’s carburetor. This type of
regulator stops the flow of gas until a vacuum signal is applied at
the outlet port. Venturi vacuum, developed in the carburetor
venturi in proportion to airflow through the venturi, is used as
the fuel flow signal. Generally, the negative-feed regulators for
venturi carburetor service are set for an outlet pressure of
negative -inch water column. Accordingly, the carburetor venturi
must be sized to develop a negative -inch water column signal. If
an existing venturi is too large to develop the signal, partially
closing the carburetor choke will usually result in sufficient air
pressure drop through the carburetor to establish the required
vacuum signal.

On smaller engines I like to use an Impco (formerly Garretson)
S-2 two-stage regulator. A two-stage unit incorporates a primary
regulator, which reduces the tank gas pressure to a low positive
pressure upstream of the zero governor. Unfortunately, production
of the S-2 was recently discontinued. The S-2 features an external
adjustment of the lock-off setting and can be made very sensitive,
such that it will allow gas to flow at negative -inch water column.
However, it is important to remember there should be no gas flow
from a negative-feed regulator in the absence of the vacuum signal.
Impco (Garretson) also produced a model SD zero governor that has
the external adjustment feature. The SD requires a separate primary
regulator. Presently, Impco offers a model 50E (formerly the Beam
50E) two-stage unit that is intended for small engine use. The 50E
does not have an adjustable lock-off feature. With any of these
regulators a needle valve, ball valve or gas cock is installed in
the fuel line between the regulator and the carburetor for
adjustment of the air/fuel ratio.

Mac Sine 13 Main St. Lawrenceville, PA 16929 tmseas@epix.net

Updates

Sue Weaver wrote in to let us know the date she gave in her show
report covering the Western New York Maple Festival in
Franklinville, N.Y., was incorrect. The correct date for the show
is April 26, 2003.

Also, Gary Treible wrote in to let us know the David Bradley
Internet site has changed its web address. The new address is:
www.davidbradley.net

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

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