By Staff
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Courtesy of Jack Kennedy, 451 Prospect Avenue, Olean, New York, 14760.
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Hi Dear Friends! – With limited space and many, many letters
again, I’m not going to take your time with any of my idle
chatter this issue – so we’ll just go right to the letters

DR. FRANK J. HALL, JR. is hunting someone to help him get an old
Stover 6 HP engine working – if you feel you can help him -please
write him at Poplar Perkins Building, Suite 422, 4646 Poplar
Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38117.

ROY and MELVIN PATTERSON, Route 2, Waddy, Kentucky 40076 send
along this plea: ‘My brother and I are new at gas engine
collecting and we would like to get some information on two gas
engines that we are restoring. One is a 7 HP Witte, serial number
B5413. The other is an Ottawa 2-1/2 HP, serial number 14375. We
would like to know about when they were made and the original paint
color they came out with, or the paint number. We really enjoy the
Gas Engine Magazine. (Bless you Boys, and may you get your answers

FLOYD THOMPSON, 1816 Ernest, Missoula, Montana 59801 writes:
‘I would like to hear from some one who knows what kind of an
engine this is – it is a side shaft, hit and miss, locking the
intake valve closed instead of exhaust valve open. It has an 8′
bore and 10′ stroke. It also has an adjustable rod. It has no
name plate or identification anywhere. I would appreciate any
information I can get.’

A question comes from CARL BLACKWELL, Route 2, Box 206C, Wynne,
Arkansas 72396: ‘I receive your G.E.M. and enjoy it very much.
I started collecting old engines about three years ago. I now have
about eight engines and I know of no one else around here that
collects them.

I need some help. I have a Fairbanks Morse engine, Style C-RPM
350 to 700. The name plate gives 118 displacement. I would like to
know the horsepower. The engine is complete, except the magneto is
missing. What kind of magneto did this motor use? Would like to
hear from someone who has a motor like this.’

LYLE KISER, Route 5, Box 298, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801 would
like to know the year that his engine was made. ‘It is a 5 HP,
serial number 2770. Also, I have noticed that some New Holland
engines just have a plain New Holland decal on the side while
others are stripped or use a combination of stripes and a decal.
Does anyone know which way mine was?’ (Please let him hear from
you if you know the answer).

Take note, Men – here’s a letter from SCOTT STROVEN, 14038
68th Ave., Coopersville, Michigan 49404 – please read ‘Needs
Help! -I’m 12 years old and just bought this engine. It’s a
pumping engine, missing a carburetor. Original color looks like a
dark maroon-white striping. It also had spider like pin striping on
three sides of water hopper. Can someone tell me what kind of
engine this is, so I know what kind of carburetor to ask for? If
someone can send me a colored picture of their restored engine,
I’ll pay for picture.’ (Guys, this is a 12-year old,
don’t lose him. He’s our future gas engine leader -one of
them, but he has an early start).

J. M. POWERS, 309 Cabin Road, S.E. Vienna, Virginia 22180
comments on a former article as follows: ‘I read the (sweet
smelling advice from Ed Hufnal) with interest. The article is
correct, oil of wintergreen, known as MENTHOL SALICYLATE, is a
marvelous penetrating agent, probably the best, and it will make
your shop smell like a candy factory. However, a word of caution –
Menthol Salicylate is a dangerously poisonous substance.

Because of its pleasant smell, it is especially attractive to
children who find it hard to believe anything that smells so
delicious could harm them. Even a small amount could be

Another potentially hazardous practice in nearly every shop is
the habit of storing dangerous liquids in coke and soda bottles.
Children, especially toddlers, associate coke bottles with the good
things in life.

Even if the contents taste and smell bad, a child may drink
enough to cause serious damage or death. Acids, ammonia, solvents,
gasoline, brake fluid and epoxy resins and plastics must never be
stored in soda bottles.

If you must use methyl salicylate, buy only enough to do the job
and destroy the rest. Don’t store dangerous fluids in soda
bottles and if you must have a sweet smelling shop, invite a pretty
lady in to see your engines – you might even get curtains for the
windows and flowers in your water hoppers!’ (I think that is
very good advice and very well versed – I’m sure J. M. meant no
offense, just a precaution, and we should care enough about others
to heed good rules – oft times we just don’t think of the
dangers in some daily duties we may do – I think it’s good the
reminders speak out. (Thank you!)

PEREY MEPHAM, ‘Juniper’, 31 Lurkins Rise, Goudhurst,
Cran-brook, Kent. TN17 1EE, England says: ‘I would like to
thank you for printing my advertisement for information on my
Pilter stationary engine. This information was quickly supplied by
Lester L. Roos of Illinois who informed me that these engines were
in fact manufactured by Stover & Co. and sold to Pilter &
Co. of Paris, France, where they got their name. Please thank
Lester who has been most helpful in forwarding information of the
Stover engine.’

DONALD J. BENDER, 224 S. Lincoln Drive, Howards Grove, Wisconsin
53081 speaks to us: ‘I am a collector at a small scale and as a
special notice at this opportunity I own a quite rare engine to my
knowledge. It is called ‘Hamilton Gas Engine’ and was built
by Milwaukee Machinery Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Serial No. 820,
and is about 4 HP, two spoke type flywheels. It has about a thirty
gallon round tank for cooling and is mounted behind the flywheels
and the water is piped to the cylinder block for cooling. It is the
throttling governor type engine with one cylinder. I would like to
know more about it as I have never seen or heard of it published in
the magazines.’ (Any comments, Fellows, Have we ever had
anything on a Hamilton?)

BERT LEHMAN, 2050 So. Humboldt, Denver, Colorado 80210 writes:
‘My current restoration is a 3 HP Alamo 400 RPM, Serial #57824.
One small piece in the linkage between the governor and the push
rod is missing. I would like to correspond with an Alamo owner to
find out what it looks like. I have 35 engines, some running – some

S. BRUCE GOSS, R.R. #3, Coldwalter, Ontario, Canada LOK 1EO
wants you to know: ‘The helpful response to a previous letter
to G.E.M. has prompted me to write again. I am presently restoring
a 1-1/2 HP Number 1, Type A Olds engine. It was in rough shape when
I bought it. The water hopper was cracked across the top and down
one corner to the bottom. The timing gear was split in half and 12
teeth stripped out of the gear. The pin holding the gear was also
broken in half.

I now have a new gear made and the water hopper is being welded
and I am about to make the new pin. I would like to know the proper
colors and any details about striping, if any. I also wonder if the
battery box is supposed to set on the flat crankshaft guard. If so,
what are the dimensions of the battery box?

I also have recently acquired a 5 HP Keystone engine made by the
Rockwell Manufacturing Co. of West Chester, Pa. I would like any
history that is available on this engine, such as years of
manufacture, since manufactured, etc.

I hope to have both engines at our annual show in Cookstown on
the first weekend in August this year.

MELVIN L. WARNER, RFD #1, Box 288, McConnellsburg, Pa. 17233
would like to know more about his gas engine. He cannot find the
name or make, but the serial # is 15109 RPM 600, 3/4 X K. So if
anyone can help Melvin – I’m sure he will be happy to hear from

PAUL J. CONTINE, JR., 3063 Ridgeview Drive, St. Charles,
Missouri 63301 writes: ‘I want to thank you and the Publication
staff for the fine Gas Engine Magazine; this is the second year
that I have had the magazine. I belong to the 111.-MO. Tractor and
Engine Club. Now, in the past years, someone might have come up
with this same thing I have no way of knowing, but if not, here is
what I have done, (see drawing on how to make your own exhaust

ROBERT MOWEN, Route 4, Jerseyville, Illinois 62052 asks:
‘Can you furnish any information on a Buda one cylinder engine,
Model 1BD38, Serial No. 51095? Would appreciate it!’

JOSEPH A. MERCER, R. D. 1, Box 110, Hookstown, Pa. 15050 sends
this letter to. all: ‘I have been receiving the G.E.M. for two
years now. Whenever it arrives I drop everything for about three
hours and go through the magazine from cover to cover.

I am going to take this opportunity to answer some of the
requests in the November & December ’75 G.E.M. To William
R. Cole East Otis Mass. Remove the inspection plate on the side of
your Novo Engine and pour in enough oil so that the connecting rod
will dip into the oil at the bottom of the stroke, then replace the
cover plate. Too much oil will splash out the crankcase ventilator.
The Ignition should be at top dead center or a little before, as
long as the engine does not kick backwards.

Also on page 6 of the magazine the man who has trouble with the
2 HP Lauson Engine. You do not mention a condenser on your engine.
All these small engines require a condenser, perhaps some one
removed it before you got the engine, most any automotive condenser
will work. Be sure you have a good one. Connect the short wire to
the insulated side of the points and bolt down the case to the
frame. In my experience, nine times out of ten a new condenser will
be all that is needed.

To Philip De Jarlais, Champlin, Minn. Many thanks for the
Information on the Bosch Magneto. I will have to get the armature
rewound, it is shorted out.

Tell the fellows that I have many years experience operating old
oil field gas engines. I will try to answer any questions if they
want to write direct. How many know what a Hot Tube is?’

DOUGLAS DAUTERMAN, Rt. 1, Box 743 B, Durham, California 95938
needs a buddy to write him: ‘I eagerly await each issue and
enjoy them very much. As old engines are virtually impossible to
find in my area, I have taken another related pursuit. I collect
drip oilers. I wonder if there has been a short article or any sort
of publication devoted entirely to drip oilers. Perhaps some reader
can help and would like to correspond. I have an old garden tractor
identical to the one on the back page of March-April 1973 issue of
G.E.M. Could anyone send information on it and what would be its

J. F. POLLARD, R.R.2, Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada shares some
thoughts with us: ‘Since seeing my letter in G.E.M. Sept.-Oct.
1975, page 20, about my mishap with a 7 HP Canadian Milwaukee
engine, I have come across two other similar incidents, although I
have had no letters from the G.E.M. readers.

On page 35 of same magazine, at bottom of page, gentleman oiling
engine, I cannot tell the make, but something is broken there,
needing those big stay bolts and cross bar on hopper???

Then this fall Labor Day weekend at Milton, Ontario Steam-Era, I
met a man, Bill Shark, who had a National 6 HP engine which must of
been made with the same molds as my Milwaukee and he told me that
when he bought this National, the hopper was broken off; also the
base broke in two pieces and was patched up with cross bars and
stay bolts and had been running like that. Bill had it all welded
and painted and running – a very neat job! How it was broken, he
did not know.

I must add, Milton, Ontario, just west of Toronto, must be our
biggest Antique and Engine Show in Canada. A lot of good machinery
there, and we get a lot of you from across the border. I was parked
between a car from Missouri and one from New York.’

JOHN H. ALEXANDER, Route 1, Box 199, London, Kentucky 40741, a
new member to our GEM Family writes: ‘About one year ago I was
lucky and obtained a hopper-cooled, igniter fired Nelson Bros.
Little Jumbo 1-1/2 HP. Upon disassembly the engine shows little use
and fine condition. Would any of your people know of manufacturing
dates? Is this engine unusual? I cannot get the Webster Tri-polar
igniter to spark? Who or where could I get information on
this?’ (Make him welcome to our tribe – write him if you can
assist him).

Another new one to our group is DOUGLAS D. FISK, 1426 N. Sec.
Ave., Wausau, Wisconsin 54401.

I recently ordered the Gas Engine Magazine, and it is very
interesting and enjoyable. I am a new comer to the hobby of
restoring old engines. These engines were way before my time so I
find it very interesting as a hobby.

I was wondering if any of your readers may be able to help me
out. I recently acquired a 1-1/2 HP Alpha upright engine. I am told
this was sold by DeLaval Company. Many parts are missing and I
don’t know where to look for parts other than your

Here are some questions for your readers. What type of a magneto
was on this engine? What size is the gas tank supposed to be? What
type of cover does it have over the rocker arms? What color was the
engine when it was new?

Any information from your readers would be appreciated.

RALPH HENDERSON, R.R. #4, Blenheim, Ontario, Canada NOP 1AO
needs some aid: ‘I need some help to restore a gas engine
manufactured in England. It was made for the Aveling Barford
Company of Grantham by the W. H. Dorman Company of Stafford. It is
a single cylinder 3 7/8′ bore by 4′ stroke Type 1 A. B. No.
43317. The cylinder block is bolted to the crankcase and has a
stainless steel cylinder liner cast into the block. A tag on it
says Listerd process, Van Der Horst, serial no. 11159. It was a
basket case when I got it and some parts are missing so any
information I could get on it would be greatly appreciated.’
(Maybe you ought to write Mickian Mills, 38 Hall Lane, Werington,
Peterborough, England – he mentions something about the address of
Lister in this column this month – or write the Lister

Another England subscriber -ROBERT DONNELLY, Blue Hazel, 14 Hele
Road, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Devon, England writes:

I am a new subscriber to your excellent magazine and after
receiving only two issues it may seem a bit cheeky to ask for help
with an engine, but as you and your readers give a very friendly
impression I am sure you will understand my impatience in

The engine I have has been identified by Mr. R. Hamp, of San
Jose, California, through an English magazine, the Stationary
Engine Advertiser and he sent me a copy of an early advert for

The engine is an Elgin made by the Elgin Gas Motor Co., and
trade name the Hafa-Hors. When I bought this engine at an
Auto-jumble at Beaulieu for £5 in 1974 it had never been run. I
have got it running and have been to several rallys with it but
with regards to the starting and running it does not bear out the
words in the ad i.e. an ideal ladies engine almost as convenient as
an electric motor.

The three main problems I have are firstly what type of 22mm
plug to use, I have tried Champion C5 and 44 getting the best
results from a 30 year old C5 that had been discarded from a
Fordson tractor. Secondly the two stroke fuel to oil mixture
won’t burn clean and leaves drips of black oil on the muffler
even with a 50 to 1 mixture of Shell two stroke oil. The last thing
is more to do with missing parts. When I bought this engine the
points and cut out switch were the only parts left of the ignition
system, and I have used Lucas 12 volt car coil that fitted exactly
into the casting and clamp screw provided. To energize the coil
with electric power I have used two 6 volt dry lantern

Mr. Hamp has found 4 other engines the same as this in America
but they are all incomplete non runners and he has been telling me
to write to you even before I was a subscriber. I have sent a photo
copy of a Bates Steel Mule to Mr. Alvin D. Meyer who made an
inquiry in your column November/December issue.

Enclosed for your use a photo copy of the Elgin ad and the Bates
Model D.

Another member of our G.E.M. Family from England sends this:
‘Many thanks for publishing my letter requesting an F-M 2 HP
nameplate. I had a letter from a man and was able to buy one from

One or two more addresses that might be of use to some readers:
STUART, Stuart Turner Ltd. Market Place, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon,
R69 2AA, England – LISTER, R. A. Lister & Co. Ltd., Dorslet,
Gloucestershire, GL11 4 HS, England – The Stationary Engine
Advertiser published monthly by D. W. Edgington, Lodge Wood Farm,
Hawkelidge, West-bury, Wilts, England.

I would greatly appreciate any information on Associated
engines, method of dating, when the company started, what happened
to it, etc. Rest assured, all letters answered.

I am at present restoring a 3 HP Amanco (Associated).
Unfortunately, it was converted to H. T. magneto, with a sparking
plug, at some stage. I am seeking to find a tall low tension
magneto to enable to convert back to the original and complete my

Funny story now, I used to keep my 2 HP restored F-M. in my
lounge alongside the T.V. When we were selling the house a
prospective purchaser’s wife enquired as follows – ‘Does
that run the central heating?’ They didn’t buy the

By the way this letter is from MICKIAN MILLS, 38 Hall Lane,
Werington, Peterborough, England.

LAURENCE GRAVES, Route 1, Box 147 A, Suisun City, California
94585 says: ‘Each January I attend Farm Machinery Conference at
Davis, California. The late F. Hal Higgins also used to attend.
This campus is now a full university and many agricultural courses
are gone. High school agricultural courses teach according to local
conditions. No one place in this state can represent the whole, due
to temperature variations. San Diego and Imperial counties are free
of frost and can grow avoca-does for salads. Oranges and lemons
grow in Southern California, lettuce in Salinis. Sacramento and San
Jauquine Valleys raise fruit, nuts, and field crops for 200

We have seen movies of the gas turbine tractor, the fuel cell
tractor. Also shaking peaches, prunes and nuts. We saw a $20,000
4-wheel drive tractor, with air conditioned cab by Wagner Co. John
Deere is making them also. The cab protects the driver, even if it
rolls upside down! Air driven pruning tools never became accepted
by the public.

First saw a cultivator shoe which vibrated up and down. A
contractor installing an automatic sprinkler system at local golf
course used one to dig trenches 3′ wide, to install electric
control wires. In several places, this machine cut across a black
top caddy cart path like it was soft butter!’ (Thanks Lawrence,
for bringing us up to date on some of the more modern equipment of
working – I know I hadn’t heard of these items before now).

SCOTT LARSEN, R.R. #2, Marseilles, Illinois 61341 recently
purchased an Empire 1-1/2 HP engine, made by the Empire Cream
Separator Company, Bloomfield, New Jersey. He is interested in
finding any information regarding original color and any printing
or design so he can restore it to the original condition. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.

HAROLD ROBERTSON, 365 Park Club Lane, Williamsville, New York
14221 asks: ‘Would some of the Gas Engine Boys tell me about or
tell me where I can get reliable information on a United gas
engine? I have a 1 3/4 HP air-cooled engine, serial number 82647. I
know there is some connection between United and the Associated
engines, but would like something in print.’

And here’s a young fellow looking for help that I thought
maybe some of you men could supply – JOHN RICHARDSON, R.R. #4,
Portersville Rd., Washington, Indiana 47501 writes: ‘I am a
student at Washington Junior High School. As a Bicentennial
project, my English class is researching Old American Business and
other related topics. Could you please send me diagrams, pictures
and brochures on old American Tractors? Thank you very

Another interested newcomer has some questions: ‘I recently
became a subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine and I enjoy it very
much, and I have a problem and I’m hoping someone can give me
some help. I purchased two Case tractors last year that were in
excellent mechanical shape, but just needed paint jobs. After
painting, I ran into a problem of where to get the proper decals.
Mine are a model ‘C’ and ‘CC’. Also I would like to
know if the first two digits of the serial number indicate the year
of manufacture? And could someone tell me what was the last year
the Model ‘C’ and ‘CC’ Cases were built?’ If
you have the answers, write to GARY TUNKIEICZ, 7514-60th Street,
Keno-sha, Wisconsin 53140.

WAYNE S. SPHAR, R. D. 2, Box 280-J, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
15370 wants you to see this picture of an ad and he states: ‘I
own this unusual Delco. It is 16 volts. Most popular ones were 32 V
and later 110 volts.’

GARY KUPFERSCHMID, R.R. 1, Box 71, Oakville, Iowa 52646 would
like to know just when and how many McCormick-Deering 10-20’s
or John Deere D’s were made. (Do you know?)

Hey Fellas! There is a new club forming out in Michigan – anyone
interested in old engines and machinery, in the Kalamazoo area?
Write DONALD NELSON, 3409 Michael Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49004.
T’will be known as Kalamazoo Valley Old Engine and Machinery
Club. Good luck – may your club put down roots and grow.

RUSSELL R. JOHNSON, Route 1, Box 145, Jordan, Minnesota 55352
would like to hear from someone who knows information on a Phelps
gas engine. He has an upright Phelps with a three inch bore and a
four inch stroke. It has a holly carburetor, a Model T plug and
runs with a Model T coil. He would like to know where it was made
and what horsepower it would have.

HUBERT GEPHART, Reynolds, Indiana 47980 is pictured here with
two of his prize engines. In front of him is an air-cooled Square
Deal engine made by Kenney Mach. Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana. It
has a bronze rod, controls of brass and brass oiler pipe. It laid
out in the woods for 50 years and most of the bolts heads were
eaten away. He has it running now.

In back of Hubert is a 2 cyl. Cushman with a screen tank on it;
all original 4 screens are 20′ x 22′, tank 14′ deep,
23′ long, 20′ wide. Engine has Dixie M2 mag with imp
flipper, brass Schebler carb., made at Streator, Illinois. This
chain sprocket. It was used on a grain binder in 1915.

Says Hubert: ‘Wonder if any one had a Farmer’s Friend
engine? Most Midwest Farmers will recall the Farmers Friend corn
elevator made at Streator, Illinois. This engine is 5 HP, No. 4907,
RPM 430, Model DB, G & D Mfg. Co., Streator, Illinois. This
engine was in corn crib for 40 years being covered all the time.
Has 26′ x 2 3/4′ flywheel, 14′ Frir clutch pulley, Tri
Polar Webster mag. Anyone know of one? Let me hear from

R. E. HOOLEY, 16 Alexandre Avenue, North Hykeham, Lincoln,
England writes us: ‘Readers may be interested to know that I
hold all the old records of 1. Ruston-Proctor & Co. Ltd.
(1857-1918); 2. Richard Hornsby & Sons Ltd. (1843-1918); 3.
Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. (1918 to date). The records include sales
registers for steam engines (traction, portable and stationary);
rollers (steam and oil-powered); threshers, and internal combustion
engines (oil, petrol, and gas). Given the machine number, I can
supply sales dates and often details of first customers. I can also
supply original transfers (shields, clasps and roundels) in various
sizes, and photo copies of instruction books, parts, lists, sales
brochures, specs etc.

Conversely, since I am compiling a list of all Ruston-Hornsby
products in preservation, I should be very interested to receive
news of items from readers.’

From MRS. DENNIS L. SMITH, Box 73, Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania
16673, comes the following –

Must add that our 1975 show was very enjoyable and successful
for all involved. This year’s show found us with more
exhibitors than ever before. They came not only from all over
Pennsylvania but Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. Our display of
gas engines has really grown from previous years. Also thanks to
the technical help of Blair Sell of Duncansville we had our
Farquhar Saw Mill in operation. Our large hillside was well
populated with an array of various gas tractors from the Universal
tractor to a fine display of John Deere tractors, with many other
makes in between. With the sun shining brightly the entire weekend,
our traction engines made a fine display, especially to the school
children who came to the show Friday to learn about life in Grandpa
and Grandma’s day. And not to be slighted was the way Grandma
ran her kitchen. Our bake oven was well fired and I must add the
hot bread with fresh churned butter and fresh boiled applebutter
was a taste not soon to be forgotten.

Each year we of the Morrison Cove Pioneer Power Reunion can see
our efforts rewarded in the eyes of a little child as he hears the
whistle of a traction engine for the first time or to the sight of
one of the older folks saying – ‘Gee, I remember when …’
This is the main purpose of all the work that goes into a show – to
teach the young ones what yesteryear was like and to kindle a fond
memory in the minds of those who knew what yesteryear was like!

TODD RYKER, 45 Hunting Hill Road, Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525
would like to know of any members that could help him as to
information on his Foos engine, 8 HP, Type J. He would greatly
appreciate hearing from you.

The next five letters will deal with the subject as to why some
pulleys had a high center and the belt would seem to ride the
center – this was a question asked in the Jan.-Feb. issue by Samuel
Nixon, of St. Petersburg, Florida. He seemed to be having quite a
time finding anyone to give him an answer. I felt the men that
wrote in should all be recognized and perhaps each one adds to the
enlightenment of the subject:

From ALLAN CURTIS, Box 191, Arthur, Ontario, Canada NOG 1AO –
‘This high center is called a crown of a pulley and that is why
a flat belt will ride the center, otherwise it would run from side
to side on a flat pulley.’

From FRANK STEPHENS, 75 Burton Ave., Barrie, Ontario, Canada:
‘On any flat belt pulley, whether on engine, drive line, or saw
manderel, etc. – its purpose is to keep your belt running in the
center of the pulley. EX: If your belt starts to veer off under a
heavy load, the crown will help hold the belt on and will also pull
the belt back in line, especially if it is on a buzz saw. In terms
of a buzz saw, if you push your work too hard you can also throw
your belt off. If you ease up on your work when belt starts to veer
off, it will automatically climb back on. In other terms, without a
crown on your pulley your drive belt would run to one side or the
other, and you could not possibly keep your belts on without a
crown in a pulley.’

From MAHLON SORENSEN, Route 1, Box 88, Makinen, Minnesota 55763:
‘The high center on these pulleys is called the crown. As a
belt will always work off the sides of the pulley that is closest
together when they are not lined up parallel or square. The crown
will help keep the belt on, but its main purpose is for to hold the
belt on when even a jerk or sudden change in power requirement
helps keep belt running true on pulleys that are aligned right for
it is impossible to maintain an equal tension in squared pulleys
and even a belt has different tensions at times in its width across
the fabric, so the crown or high center has a tendency to want to
work the belt off to both the outsides, which are smaller diameter,
so actually instead of drawing the belt to the high center, it
fights to send the belt to both sides of the pulley and in that way
it keeps the belt on -1/2 of the belt wants to work off one side,
1/2 to the other.’

From R. O. CASHION, JR., 519 Brewer Drive, Nashville, Tennes-see

The Crowning or Crowned Pulley is the largest diameter in the
middle or face of pulley, the object being to cause the belt to run
on the middle of the pulley width, it would appear that the
crowning would give to the belt a greater degree of tension at its
center than at its edges, it is shown by experiment that if a piece
of belt be clamped square across its width at each end and
stretched, the center section will stretch the most, and that if
the piece be divided along its center lengthwise and both halves
again stretched, they will again do so the most in the middle of
their width. From this it appears that the crowning serves to
produce a tension equal across the pulley width, because it will
stretch the belt the most in the midle of its width, where it has
the greatest capacity to stretch.

The amount of crowning employed in practice varies from about
3/16 to 3/8 in per foot of width of pulley face, the minimum being
employed where the belt requires to be moved or slipped laterally
from one pulley to another of equal diameter, or from a fast pulley
to a loose pulley or vice versa.

From LEROY R. HAGEY, R. D. 1, Box 429, Haycock Run Road,
Kintnersville, Pennsylvania 18930:

A pulley which is slightly higher in the middle of its width
exerts the greatest power in retaining the belt from slipping off
as well as making it last longer by imparting the greatest tension
to the middle or strongest part of the belt, to the relief of the
edges or weakest part. So the reason is actually in relation to the
strength of the material of which the belt is made, the number of
plys and how they are joined. Normally leather belts are built up
of leather strips and the best grades are taken from the central
part of the hide along the back of the animal. These strips are
cemented together with lap joints. It is advisable to use double
belts (2 ply) on pulleys 12 inches or larger and triple ply on
pulleys 30 inches and larger.

The proper name of the high center pulley is called a crowned
pulley. The amount of crowning will differ under the condition it
works. The crown should be greater for leather belting than for
cotton and also greater for low speeds than for high speeds. Some
recommendations are: 1/20 of the width of the pulley in the case of
leather belting and 1/150 of the width for cotton belting. Another
recommendation would be 1/16 to 1/8 inch per foot width of crown
for high speeds and 1/4 inch for low speeds. An important note: The
crowning of a pulley tends to keep the belt on only when the belt
as a whole does not slip. A slipping belt will run off a crown-face
pulley quicker than from a straight faced one.

Another important factor on the ability of a belt to run on
center is in lacing or cementing the ends together. The ends must
be exactly square across, otherwise the belt will be strained and
torn on the tightest side, and thus be liable to run off the pulley
at any time.

Just a few more tid-bits on belts. Whenever practicable, belts
should be installed so that the slack side is above, and the
driving side below the pulleys. If this condition is reversed and
the slack side is below, the arc of contact is materially lessened.
Belts should also be placed on the pulley with the hair or grain
side next to the pulley rims. Also the direction that the lap-joint
of a belt should incline relative to the direction of the
belt’s motion. For a single ply belt, the leading end or point
of the lap is on the pulley side. The lap is inclined in this way
to prevent the end from opening. Finally, belts connecting parallel
shafts tend to run toward that part of the pulley which is largest
in diameter, hence pulleys are crowned to keep the belt in the
center of the rim. If the shafts are not parallel and the pulleys
are cylindrical (not crowned), the belt will run toward the low
side of the pulley or the side where the centers of the shafts are

To summarize, the reason a belt will ride in the center of a
crowned pulley is that when the belt is properly manufactured, ends
joined correctly, number of thicknesses for pulley size and speed,
the high point of the crown will have the greatest tension (at the
strongest part of the belt) and the weaker sides will be under less
tension and equalize themselves on either side of the crown.

As I mentioned in the beginning there are many other factors to
be considered, from the selecting of materials, to manufacture of
the belt, type of bonding cement, length of belt joints, thickness
and width of belts, belt speed and the horsepower to be
transmitted. I hope I haven’t confused the issue for you. I
enjoy the ‘Gas Engine Magazine’ and look for every tid-bit
that others have written about. I am a newcomer to engine
collecting and have a modest collection to tinker with along with
some farm machinery to load them up. I am retired now, but spent my
working years with machinery so that the engines are now a hobby
which formerly was work. If you have a few minutes drop me a line,
maybe you will receive an entirely different theory of the crowned
pulley. I’d appreciate hearing about it. (Well Leroy, here are
the other letters also – Mr. Nixon certainly had a lot of help on
this inquiry. I felt the answers all needed to be printed).

Well, our son Tommy just got his 50 packs of seeds to sell and
dream of what he will select with the accomplishment – but Spring
can’t be far away when seeds are on the counters – and we have
a wedding coming up in July as our daughter, Keli will be married
to Michael Gaffney – and right now we are redoing our kitchen – out
of necessity – we also celebrated yesterday as our son, Don, paid
his final payment on his car – now it really belongs to him – so
you can see – many interesting, exciting events going on – oh yes,
grandson Ryan, just lost his tooth, the first one – that’s a
big deal too you know. Father and I are here amidst it all – just
like a three ring circus – Praise the Lord! We are very

And now it’s time to close and wish you all a splendid
Spring -Remember – Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if
you were to die tomorrow. – He does much who does a little well. –
Without prayer no work is well begun. – and to finish – This world
that we’re a livin’ in – is mighty hard to beat; you get a
thorn with every rose, – But ain’t the roses sweet??

Pictured is a Briggs & Stratton F.T. engine 7786, which has
two overhead rocker arms and valves. The engine has been

i’ve enclosed a picture of an engine I purchased this past
summer that had been used on a saw rig years ago up near Hurley,
Wisconsin. It is a 5 HP Simple mfg.’d by the Simple Gas Engine
Co. of Menaska, Wisconsin. Serial #1153.

Overall engine dimensions are: 18′ High – 18′ Wide –
26′ Long. Weight approx. 300 lbs.

It is a 2 cycle engine having a 4-1/2′ bore by 6′ stroke
that really has a bark when it runs.

Contrary to its name, it took two months and a lot of work on
the part of my brother, Bob, to get this engine running. Even now,
we’re not sure which way it’s going to run when it

Would sure be interested in hearing from anyone else who has any
information on the ‘Simple’ engine.

Courtesy of Paul Borchardt, 137 North Center Street, Naperville,
Illinois 60540.

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