Letters & Miscellanies

By Staff
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Unknown make of tractor being stripped down during the scrap drives of World War II.
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Unknown make of tractor being stripped down during the scrap drives of World War II.
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This engine in the scrap pile looks to be an Economy.

Rumely GasPull

I just returned from the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher
Reunion in Rollag, Minn., and I was surprised to see the article in
the October 2003 issue of GEM about a Rumely GasPull as
there was a nicely restored one at the show. Rumely was their
feature this year and there were quite a few there. Sorry to hear
Mr. Wendell is leaving, but I understand. I will really miss his
expertise. Keep up the good work on the magazine – I look forward
to GEM each month! Paul Lee
pglee22828@aol.com

Olds Engines and Old Times

First off, in the September 2003 issue, page 17, the old flame
licker pictured is an 1896. The Charlton Park Historic Village and
Museum in Hastings, Mich., has one, and they also have information
on it. I live west of Lansing, Mich., about 10 miles, and I worked
for a nephew of R.E. Olds at one time. We once toured the R.E. Olds
mansion, and it had a turntable inside the garage. Mrs. Olds never
learned to back up an auto, so she would drive in, then turn the
car on the turntable to drive it out.

The pictures I’ve sent were taken about 1941; I was 9 years
old at the time. This large scrap iron pile was for the war effort,
and the two tractors were running as they were brought into the
yard. I think the engine visible in one picture is an Economy. I
wonder what the Rumely would be worth now?

I would like to thank the Gas Engine Magazine people. I
think it is the best place to get information and help with
questions.

Bruce A. Dixon 8880 Hartel Road Grand Ledge, MI
48837-9418

Bovaird & Seyfang

In reading back over the May 2003 issue, in the Letters and
Miscellanies
column I came across the ‘Bovaird &
Seyfang’ letter from Michael Fuocco of Bradford, Pa. In the
letter he speaks of an ‘original Bovaird & Seyfang test
card.’

I have a 4 HP upright, air-cooled Bovaird & Seyfang with
dual hot tube/spark plug ignition that I bought in Kane, McKean
Co., Pa. It came directly off an abandoned oil well, and I happened
to be at the right place at the right time.

I’d like to know if there might be a test card for mine out
there somewhere. The engine is a Class K rated at 400 rpm, serial
no. 1332, bore and stroke 5-1/2-inch by 8-inch. It has an American
Bosch magneto. There really isn’t any identification except
several patent numbers and a ‘patent pending’ on the
magneto.

Rumely OilPull was driven into the scrap yard before being
stripped down during the scrap drives of World War II. It appears
to be either a 14-28 or 16-30.

It’s a nicely preserved engine, having been in an engine
shed at the wellhead all its life, a nice coating of old oil and
grease protecting all the metal. I have read all the pros and cons
of steaming engines off and sanding and repainting to look factory
new, and I’ve been torn both ways. Some of the basket cases are
better done this way; the public doesn’t want to come to see
rusty hulks.

I had in mind 20 years ago to tear it down to the last nut and
bolt and restore it to factory new, but I’ve pretty well
decided against it now. I don’t think I’m going to touch
it, it’s such a well-preserved specimen. The nicely restored
ones have their place, too; so we can see what they looked like
when our grandfathers took delivery of their brand new engine. But
no over done ones – they don’t even look real. Anyway,
that’s my two cents worth.

Mark Beery 1861 New Franklin Road Chambersburg, PA
17201

Mower Motors

Re: Gas Engine Magazine, September 2003, page 20,
‘Engines for Sale.’

The Harley-Davidson Model C engine pictured was actually removed
from a Worthington (of pump fame) ‘Overgreen’ golf course
mower and is not a stationary engine as such. It is in fact a lawn
mower engine!

From about 1929 until 1935 Worthington bought over 500 of these
Harley-Davidson engines for use on their golf course mowers. They
originally bought Indian motorcycle engines, but were not able to
obtain enough from the company. By 1935 they switched to Briggs
& Stratton.

Also, on page 24 of the October 2003 issue, the middle picture
shows what’s identified as a ‘2-3 HP engine with condensor
radiator built by Modine Engine Co., Racine, Wis., in the
1940s.’ That engine was actually made by Coldwell Lawn Mower
Co., Newburgh N.Y. To the best of my knowledge it was made only by
Coldwell for use on their mowers. They produced a single- and
twin-cylinder model during the time period of about 1929-1935.

These engines are particularly popular on the engine show
circuit. There is even a subset of collectors who remove the cast
brass figure of the ‘bear cub’ that topped the
crankcase.

I might sound like a broken record on this subject, but it
bothers me to see engines stripped off of their original equipment.
Old lawn mowers seem to be particularly affected. The shows are
littered with Coldwell and Ideal motor models, which were ONLY
installed on lawn mowers. Now, sadly, they are mounted on boards,
slowly spinning, doing nothing.

Finally, I am working on a book about reel-type lawn mowers
manufactured in the U.S. I am always looking for catalogs,
literature, etc.

James B. Ricci 30 N. Farms Road Haydenville, MA 01039-9724
jricci@reellawnmower.com Reel Lawn Mower History and Preservation
Project www. crocker. com/~jricci/

First Time Readers

We just received our first issue of GEM and we both are
thoroughly enjoying it. Our thanks to subscriber ‘Bud’
Frisbee of Marshfield, Mass., for loaning us one of his back issues
to go along with our purchase of his Ideal engine. Bud suggested we
subscribe since we have a few old tractors, too, and your magazine
includes much information on all kinds of antique engines. Great
stuff!

Jerry and Bev Baker 184 Tremont St. Rehoboth, MA
02769

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

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