How Your Hobby Started Part XXVI

Author Photo
By Staff

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Courtesy of Carleton M. Mull, 3904-47th Avenue S. Seattle, Washington 98118
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Courtesy of Carleton M. Mull 3904-47th Avenue S Seattle, Washington 98118
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Courtesy of Carle ton M. Mull, 3904 - 47th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 98118
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Courtesy of Paul Brightwell, West Burlington, Iowa 52655
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3904-47th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 98118

Since writing the twenty-fifth chapter of this story reporting
engineering specifications and historical data of gasoline engines,
much time was spent this winter restoring my ‘one and only’
1-1/2 HP Economy engine. It was in junk condition when my grandsons
found it out in the woods, completely rusted inside and out. It was
difficult to distinguish what it was until all of the pine needles
and dirt was removed. It was complete, with exception of the
Webster magneto and a crank. My good friend, Claude Knudson of
Gully, Minnesota supplied me with a magneto and I am still looking
for a starting crank.

It required great pressure and a lot of solvents to remove the
stuck piston. Then it was found that the drain cock had been closed
when the engine was last used, and the rains filled with hopper
which froze and cracked the water jacket under the cylinder.
Another good friend and neighbor, Allen Von Rueden, repaired the

After several coats of Plastic-Kote ‘Grease-Go’
degreaser and Naval Jelly to remove the rust, it was ready for a
priming coat of Sherwin Williams rust control paint. With engine
completely disassembled, each part was painted.

Then the engine was assembled, checking each part to see that it
fit, and making several small parts that were rusted so badly that
they could not be used. New valve springs were made by Gordan
Nelson of Gor-Nel Co. (see picture).

Such projects make retirement days and weeks pass very
pleasantly during the winter. As soon as the days get warmer and
the spring work is completed on the rose gardens, we will have the
engine outside and get it running to make a little noise and
excitement here in this otherwise quiet city neighborhood.

The steam engine modeling hobby also received plenty of
attention this past winter. A Stuart vertical Model No. 10 engine
with an electric generator direct connected has been assembled.
This little outfit produces six volts and lights a couple of
flashlight lamps in small miniature toy railroad street light
standards which are located by the generating unit and controlled
by a model switchboard.

This model will be operated from a small copper boiler. All of
the brass fittings have been made. These include the safety valve,
whistle and whistle valve, boiler feed pump and feed water tank,
intake check valve, pressure gauge and water gauge fittings and
boiler drain cock. All of these are made ony quarter inch with
twenty eight threads per inch.

To heat the boiler, a butane burner has been made with
connections to fit the samll butane torch tanks. Just received the
March-April issue of G.E.M. and have written to those collectors
having questions about Fairbanks-Morse engines to help them with
their problems. We should be off to a good start for another
successful and profitable season with this invigorating hobby.

From the Root and Van Dervoort Engineering Company, Catalog No.
8 of East Moline, Illinois which was furnished by Phil King of
Granville, Massachusetts, the details of these fine old engines are
available. The nameplate used by this company was a very original
and artistic design. Their monogram was in a circle with the name
of the company in the border of the circle. Each engine had this
trademark on the water hopper and also on the water-cooling tank
furnished with the engine.

In a well equipped manufacturing plant, with special machinery
and jigs, a line of heavy duty engines were built. They were
vertical single cylinder, four cycle, water-cooled machines. They
were made in three ratings of 2-1/2, 4 and 6 HP.

My ‘One and Only’ 1-1/2 HP Economy engine.

The cast-iron base contained the fuel tank, and a simple
cast-iron mixing valve was supplied by a plunger type fuel pump,
which was operated from a cam on the timing gear. The pump
maintained a constant level in the fuel reservoir, with an overflow
back to the main tank. The enclosed crankcase provided splash
lubrication for the movable parts within. The camshaft extended out
of the case on which was the operating cam for the pushrod and fuel

The mechanical exhaust valve and automatic intake valve was
located in the water-cooled cylinder head. The ignitor was operated
from a pawl on the valve pushrod. The exhaust piping connected to a
muffler and water piping to the cooling tank was arranged from the
engine as regular equipment, when shipped on skids or portable

The governor was a single arm type attached to the flywheel and
spring loaded. It was the hit and miss method of speed control
which was adjustable within certain limits to regulate the r.p.m.
of the engine. A cranking handle was built into the rim of the

Engines were painted dark red with white striping. The vertical
round cooling tanks were supplied and a screen located over the
tank provided atmospheric action for faster cooling.

Besides the regular skid-mounted units, a cast-iron radiator
could be furnished for oil cooling for cold weather. Light
refrigerating type of oil was used for the cooling medium in the
iron radiator.

Portable outfits were assembled with the larger engine on a
horsedrawn truck. The battery box was located under the
driver’s seat. This seat and the wagon tongue were painted dark
red. The wheels were yellow and the steel frame was black with the
company’s name in yellow letters along the side of the steel

The Root and Van Dervoort horizontal engines were four cycle,
single cylinder, closed water jacket and built in 3, 5, 8, 10, 14,
18 and 25 HP.

These heavy duty engines were designed with a cast-iron sub-base
on which was fastened the open crankcase. The main bearings were
cast with the lower half stationary and the upper half divided, so
there was a heavy support in front of the bearing shell. The mains
were oiled by a chain dipping into an oil reservoir and carrying
the lubrication up over the crankshaft.

Picture of the cutaway engine of the Temple Pump Company
engines, from the No. 1 Repair Parts book.

Specifications for the R and V vertical engines are as

2-1/2 360 24 24 x 27 675
4 320 28 28 x 34 1075
6 300 34 34 x 65 1600

The sideshaft was driven by a special gear off the crankshaft
with a sideshaft bearing at the end of the cylinder, another near
the crankshaft. An eccentric on the sideshaft drove the plunger
fuel pump and the ignitor located in the center of the head, was
tripped from a finger off the sideshaft. The valves were vertical,
poppet type, one on each side of the cylinder near the head, and
actuated from rocker arms below the cylinder.

The flyball governor was located above the cylinder near the
head and driven by a bevel gear. A throttling governor could be
adapted for close speed regulation. The term used in their catalog
for this governor was ‘Volume Control’.

A cold weather starting device was designed to volatilize the
fuel for easy starting. In their catalog, it was called a

The specifications covering the Root and Van Dervoort horizontal
engines are as follows:

3 335 30 1300
5 325 36 1750
8 300 46 3000
10 275 50 3600
14 250 52 4250
18 250 59 4900
25 225 60 6200

No type designations were given on another style or design of
the horizontal construction of R & V engines that were built.
In this series the flyball governor was located near the timing
gear and driven off the crankshaft by bevel gears. It was a hit and
miss speed control. Instead of a sideshaft engine, this model used
a slide or pushrod to the exhaust valve. The valves were in
removable cages and the intake was automatic.

A plunger fuel pump was operated by the pushrod and supplied the
mixing valve. An air intake pipe was arranged to take warm air from
under the engine sub-base. On these engines, the ignitor was
located on the side of the cylinder and tripped by the exhaust
valve pushrod.

Various combinations of equipment was offered including double
and single drum hoisting outfits in 4, 6 and 8 HP and single drum
in 6 and 8 HP. Specifications of this type Root and Van Dervoort
engines were as follows:

4 335 28 1115
6 320 36 1600
8 300 46 2800
12 275 50 4000
35 175 64 7100

On later models the ratings were changed and engines were built
in the following sizes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 25

The Wizard engine was a smaller modification built in two cycle,
single cylinder, vertical upside down style and could be had in
either water or air-cooled. The air-cooled units were two thirds
the rating of the water-cooled machines. These were made in 1-1/2
HP and weighed 225 lbs. and 2 HP at 240 lbs.

Another model listed in their catalog and known as their
‘celebrated 5-1/2 HP single cylinder’ — ‘The Pace
Maker’, was a water-cooled unit with a cast-iron bax along the
back side of the vertical cylinder which was the cooling water
hopper. Attached to the hopper was a rectangular fuel tank.

The timing gear was driven from a pinion on the crankshaft and
was located on the camshaft as on the larger model. The governor
was of the flyball type and located on the camshaft near the timing
gear. It operated a lever which held open the exhaust valve on the
idle stroke of these hit and miss engines.

The exhaust and intake valves were built into the valve cage or
air-cooled exhaust chest on the front of the engine. The electric
ignitor was also built into this exhaust chest and operated from a
tripper hole from the camshaft.

Portable outfits were assembled on horsedrawn trucks using the
Master Workman engine in ratings of 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 HP.

The picture of the cutaway engine of the No. 1 Repair Parts will
give a clear idea of the design of these Temple Pump Co. engines.
Pictures appearing in G.E.M. can be seen in Vol. 2, No. 6, Page 15;
Vol. 4, No. 2, Page 24 and Vol. 6, No. 5, Page 26. The catalog
showed a cover over the rotating parts for safety.

Not to confuse the present Wisconsin air-cooled engines with a
line of heavy duty engines that were built by the Lausen-Lawton
Company of DePere, Wisconsin and sold under the name of Wisconsin
Gasoline Engines, we are able to give the following description
from their catalog No. 9, which again has been furnished by Roger

In a large manufacturing plant, on the Fox River, at the above
location which is near Green Bay, this company built single
cylinder, four cycle, horizontal, hopper-water-cooled gasoline
engines in ratings from 1-1/2 to 24 HP. Special emphasis was
devoted to portable power units mounted on trucks and in all sizes
for different applications.

Type ‘A’ 6 HP gasoline engine sold by the Fairbanks
Company and restored by George S. Clark, 254 Pond Point Avenue,
Milford, Connecticut 06460. (This picture refers to last
month’s article on ‘How Your Hobby Started’.)

Standard construction consisted of a cast-iron sub-base on which
the open crankcase was fitted and the cylinder bolted to the
crankcase by a flange around the open end. On the larger rated
portable units, the cast-iron sub-base was omitted and the
crankcase was fitted to the steel frame of the wagon truck. The
smaller size portable outfits were mounted on skids and four wheel
hand trucks. The battery box and fuel tank was mounted forward of
the engine.

Main bearings shells were cast in place on the crank,
crankshafts were forged from solid billets of mild open hearth
steel, turned and ground to size. A safety cover over the
crankshaft partly enclosed the crankcase. A layshaft on the left
hand side of the engine, when facing the front, operated by helical
gears off the crankshaft. A flyball governor, gear driven from the
layshaft, controlled the hit and miss speed control system by
holding open the exhaust valve on the idle stroke. The intake valve
was automatic and was held closed and the energy of the battery was
cut off by the governor.

The valves were mounted on the opposite side of the cylinder
from the layshaft. The exhaust valve was in a vertical position and
was operated by a rocker arm under the cylinder. The intake valve
was located above the exhaust.

A battery and coil supplied; the electric current for ignition
and a spark plug was used. The mixing valve was a simple needly
valve type with an air check valve.

Various engine combinations with other equipment was assembled
at the factory such as electric lighting plants, drum hoisting
units, fruit sprayers and pump outfits.

This company made many sizes of engines, many more ratings than
usually built by other manufacturers.

The specifications of the engines built by the Lausen-Lawton
Company under the trade name of Wisconsin Engines were as

1-1/2 500-550 16 400
2 475-52 19 425
2-1/2 450-475 22 800
3 450-475 25 900
4 45-475 28 1100
6 340-350 36 2100
7 340-350 38 2400
8 340-350 40 2600
9 325-335 42 2700
10 310-325 44 2900
12 285-300 44 3400
14 285-300 46 4000
16 285-300 48 4400
20 285-300 50 4800
24 260-300 50 5100

Pictured above are two pictures of ‘David and Goliath’
engines. They are of different makes, but very similar in operation
as they both burn gasoline, have two flywheels, are of the hit and
miss, battery and spark coil ignition. These engines, while not
exactly enemies, will vie with each other at the 7th Annual Antique
Gas Engine and Hobby Show at Denmark, Iowa in June.

The smaller engine (David) is an Ideal engine, used back in, or
about, 1919 for a power lawn mower operator. It is 1/2 to 3/4 HP.
The larger engine (Goliath) is a Galloway, made in Waterloo, Iowa
around 1910 and is a 1-3/4 HP. Both engines belong to Paul.

Published on May 1, 1973

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines