An Engine Adventure

By Staff
1 / 2
2 / 2

23941 Strange Crk. Dr. Diamond Bar, California 91765

I would like to share my good fortune with you and your

In August I started out for our regular August Date Nail Show in
Perry, Iowa this year.

I started out with plenty of time as I was stopping at my
nephew’s in Wyoming, as he had some good date nailing lined up
for us.

For you gentlemen and ladies that are wondering what a Date Nail
is, it is a nail 1?’ long ? diameter with the date on the head,
with the year it was driven into a railroad tie or utility pole,
when it was layed in the road bed or put into the ground.

We were looking at all the old ties used as fence parts and in
piles at an old abandoned homestead. I noticed this old corn
grinder laying upside down by a board and tie pile. I had to get my
nephew to turn it over, it was so heavy!

It sat on an angle iron stand and looked in good shape. The
auger is 16′ long with burr wheels on the end which apparently
ground the corn along with the cob, as the auger had rounded
fingers on it to apparently chew up corn on the cob. I am

The pulley is 12’diameter, 4′ wide with a flywheel
16′ diameter. A job for a tractor. It had green paint on it but
no manufacturers name.

Being I was going last to Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, I
didn’t want to haul it all that way, so I didn’t make a
deal with the rancher at this time.

I told my nephew I would come back in the fall and see if he
would sell the grinder. The first part of October I got a call from
my good nailing friend in Cut Bank, Montana. He wanted to do some
date nailing before the weather got bad.

After the nail hunt, (my second hobby), I stopped by my
nephew’s in Wyoming. We went to the rancher who owned the
grinder. I asked him if he would sell the grinder and he said he
would. I asked him if he had any old gas engines he would sell. He
said yes, there was one under the open shed by the barn and I could
go look at it. When I found it I couldn’t believe what I was
looking at!

There mounted on its original skids was this air cooled, upright
and open crankshaft engine. Only part missing was the top of the
oiler and fan guard. On the name plate read:

‘Schmidt’s Chilled Cylinder, Type H, No.6750 (8 stamped
over the 7), 3 HP, Pat. Aug. 13, 1907, Mfd. By Schmidt Bros. Co.
Engine Works, Davenport, Iowa’

I mean I hurried back to the rancher and made a deal on the
engine and grinder before he changed his mind.

There was only one fan blade left on the strap on the flywheel
and the gas tank was bent up real bad. It has a Lunkenheimer brass
carburetor. I believe that is the right name as there is a letter
L, within a diamond design, on the carburetor.

The piston is stuck as the muffler was off and let the
environment into the cylinder. The exhaust valve is open and a big
one, 2′ diameter. The skirt of the piston has a piece missing.
Hopefully it won’t bother the running. It has two insulated
contacts. One makes contact each revolution with advance and retard
lever with a cute little wood handle. The other makes contact when
the exhaust valve closes and the rod comes down. Battery saver, I
presume. I don’t understand why they have two contacts to
ground. Do they ‘make’ at the same time?

The picture of this engine in Mr. Wendell’s book, American
Gas Engines Since 1872, page 449, looks different. The oiler on
mine is on the flywheel side and the muffler is different. Mine
comes apart in the middle with three bolts in three sets of dog
ears. The muffler was in bad shape with four cracks but my good
friend, Ken Byers, brazed it up like new.

I am anxious to get started on this engine but I must finish my
l?HP John Deere and small corn grinder first. I was still looking
for a magnet for my low tension magneto before I can get my John
Deere running. I hope I have it timed right.

Any information on the Schmidts and corn grinder will be

We received a late addition from Melvin about this engine:
‘When I tore it down I found 2 3/8
in. square rod bent around studs where cylinder is bolted to base,
thus raising the cylinder 3/8 and enlarging
the combustion chamber. Would this reduce the HP? The piston, rings
& wrist pin is worn but I will try to run it that way for
now.’ In the after photo, the gas tank was made; everything
else is original except fan blades & guard. Flywheels are
hollowed out in 2 places on each wheel for balance, on inside-it
has a very small handle for cranking.

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