A Brief Word
Last winter when in Australia for the National Rally, we renewed
our friendship with Ian Johnston. Time is always very short when
visiting with old friends, but we worked in as much time as
possible. Ian completed a wonderful tractor book awhile back,
titled The World of Classic Tractors. Its 260-plus pages
cover a great many American-made tractors, such as the Sheppard,
the Co-op, Mogul, Graham-Bradley and various others. Also included
are some European tractors and some made-in-Australia models.
This is a delightful book, and much of it in color.
Johnston’s text is delightful to read and manifests great
accuracy. If you are looking for a fine book on classic tractors,
we highly recommend this title. In the U.S., it should be available
through Amazon .com. The specific data is: The World of Classic
Tractors, Ian M. Johnston, Kangaroo Press, 20 Barcoo St.,
Roseville 2069 Australia.
By the time this copy is in your hands during April, plans will
be pretty well set for our planned journey to Germany, Switzerland,
Holland and Belgium. As always, it is delightful to set up one of
these tours, but we’ll concede that the details are endless. Of
course the HMT Rally in Holland will be a major highlight. If
you’ve never been to this show, you’re in for a surprise.
Engines and tractors are mixed throughout the aisles, so you never
know what you might find. The last time we were there the flea
market was incredible, with probably hundreds of vendors on hand.
We were also impressed with the craft displays and other items.
Our queries this month begin with:
37/5/1: Bull Pup Q; ‘See the photo of a
Bull Pup engine. The tag reads: The Fairbanks Company, Type BP,
1-1/2 HP, s/n B26970, 400 rpm. On my engine the end of the rocker
assembly that works the exhaust valve is broken off, also, on the
right hand side of the engine, standing in front and looking toward
the flywheels there are two tapped holes about 1-inch apart. The
two holes are on the side of the water hopper and just to the right
below the data tag. I would like to know what these two tapped
holes are for, or rather, what was fitted to them. May I hear from
other Bull Pup owners?’ Don Newcomb, 532 Kirk Rd., Rochester,
NY 14612. E-mail: email@example.com.
A: The Bull Pup was actually manufactured by
Bates & Edmonds at Lansing, Mich. The Fairbanks Co. did not
actually manufacture engines, but served as a jobbing
37/5/2: Utilimotor Chester Frantz, RD 3, Box
183, Tamaqua, PA 18252, has just acquired a Utilimotor, made by
Johnson Motor Co., Waukegan, III. He is looking for information on
this engine so that it can be restored. If you can be of help,
please contact Mr. Frantz at the above address.
37/5/3: Unidentified Pump ‘See the photo of
a pump I acquired. Cast on the top cover is 0-608-60. This pump was
mounted with a 1-3/4 HP Associated Chore Boy when I got it. There
are no other markings. Can anyone be of help in identifying this
pump? Your help would be greatly appreciated.’ George Flaig,
2740 E Mill Rd., Mattituck, NY 11952.
37/5/4: 2HP Fairbanks-Morse Q: ‘I’m in the process of restoring
a Fairbanks-Morse 1926 engine of 2 HP. It is fairly complete except
that the carburetor (a fixed-jet style) is gone. There are traces
of red paint. What is the correct color? Also, I’ve seen no
mention of a 2 HP model, only the 1-1/2 and 3 HP models. The s/n is
658903. Any help would be appreciated.’ Brian D. Ellefson, 4833
Edgewood Aue. N, Crystal, MN 55428.
A: We assume you are talking about the model
with the metal battery box that held a Ford Model T coil. These
engines used solid flywheels of an unusual ‘dishpan’ shape,
thus the vernacular term, ‘a dishpan Fairbanks.’ Later in
production, we don’t remember the year, the HP was raised to 2
from the 1-1/2 HP as originally issued. These engines are red and
black, the red being comparable to DuPont RS910.
37/5/5: Palmer Engine? ‘See the photos of
what is said to be a Palmer engine. It has a 6-inch bore and
stroke. The unusual feature is that the cylinder head and the water
jacket are both detachable from the cylinder. I need help to
identify this engine, and also to see what the original ignition
parts looked like, since virtually all of them are missing. Any
help would be greatly appreciated.’ Michael Bond, 3594 Test
Rd., Richmond, IN 47374.
37/5/6: Vintage Garden Tractors ‘See the
photos of my vintage garden tractors. I have a Page garden tractor
with s/n ZL6461217. I would like to find out when it was built, or
other information on it. Also looking for information on a Homelite
mower Model M26, s/n 922420, and a Jacobsen Model 62A Estair 26
8B26 2398. Any help would be appreciated.’ Greg LeClair, 117
South St., #3, Waukesha, WI 53186.
37/5/7: Fairbanks ‘Z’ Q: ‘I recently acquired a
Fairbanks-Morse Z 3 HP with igniter ignition and throttle-governed.
It has s/n 298216. What year was this engine made? The engine is
complete except for the magneto. What type of magneto was used with
this engine?’ Arlan Benyshek, 1011 -280 Rd., Cuba, KS
A: Without a photo, we can’t tell for sure
about the magneto. However, if it is an igniter-style, then it most
likely used a Sumter low tension magneto. A photo would really be
helpful … the magneto styles changed from time to time. Your
engine was made in 1918.
37/5/8: R.E.O. Engine ‘I have a R.E.O.
Motors Inc. engine that I know nothing about. It was made in
Lansing, Mich. It is Model 552, Type A, s/n 102642. It has a gear
reduction of 2:1 for the v-pulley. Any information on this engine
would be appreciated, including the correct color, or information
on the engine or the company. Thanks!’ Ray H. Schulz, 1207
Crestview Dr., Vermillion, SD 57069.
37/5/9: Eclipse Engine Harry Jarrett, 214 N.
Judson, Fort Scott, KS 66701 sends along photos of a 2 HP Eclipse
engine, made by Eclipse Motor Co., Mancelona, Mich., in 1907.
‘The engine was sold by Geo. C. Christopher & Son at
Wichita, Kan. Their name is on the engine and on the cart. This
firm also sold other farm related items, including large steel
arched buildings. I would like to find more information on this
engine and the company that built it. Can anyone help?’ Contact
Harry at the address above if you can help.
37/5/10: Old Grinder ‘See the photo of an
old grinder. It was made by O.C. Harris, Waterville, N.Y.
Re-patented August 1848. There is a bracket missing that I believe
would hold a hand crank for turning the mill. It is only 13 inches
high, so I doubt it was ever run by a windmill. I would guess it
was used for cracking wheat for chickens. It must have been well
cared for as there is little rust. If anyone has any information on
this mill, including the color, please let me know.’ Melvin
Watson, 289 Birmingham St., Stratford, Ontario N5A 2T7 Canada.
37/5/11: Bourke Engine ‘Does anyone know
where I might find a Bourke engine? It was made from 1935 into the
1960s. Any information would be appreciated.’ Aaron Beauchamp,
12508 SE 37th St., Choctaw, OK 73020.
37/5/12: Wolsely Vertical Engine ‘I
recently purchased a 1-1/2 HP Wolsely vertical engine, s/n 26206,
Type WD8, made by Wolsely Sheep Shearing Co. Ltd., Birmingham,
England. 1 am looking for any information including the original
paint color and striping scheme, when built, etc. Mine has one
flywheel and a homemade crank. Any information would be greatly
appreciated.’ Luke Kissell, 1323 Tannery Rd., Westminster, MD
A Closing Word
By the time you have this copy sometime in April, we hope to
have shrugged off the winter doldrums. In fact, ye olde Reflector
hopes to have started up an engine or two by that time. Isn’t
it peculiar how one can pull up a stool and just listen to that
stack music? Last fall we acquired a nice Lister vertical diesel of
about 6 HP. Even in rather cool weather, say 50 degrees F, it
starts right off. Of course, part of this is the fact that the
engine is in excellent condition, having had a new sleeve and
piston prior to my ownership. That gets the compression back up to
optimum, and that is a requirement for a diesel to run as it
As a youngster I remember having to help saw wood with a buzz
saw for some of our friends. They ran the saw with an old 8 HP
engine, the name of which I do not know. Anyway, the old engine
probably needed some desperate work. It didn’t sound too bad
when we weren’t actually sawing. Like all hit-and-miss engines,
it took an occasional shot and then coasted. However, when working
it fairly hard, it would develop an asthmatic wheeze from
compression going past the piston. It is a sound I have never
In the old days, there were different schools of thought
regarding the fitting of pistons to cylinders at the factory. The
majority of cylinders were bored on a lathe or, in larger
factories, on a horizontal boring mill. Some of these old
machinists could achieve incredibly good results. Those who
insisted on better quality opted for an internal grinder, such as
the Heald. Now here was a machine that could do a first-class job
of grinding a cylinder! When operated from line shafting, as was
customary, there was a literal plethora of belts and pulleys. The
only Heald we ever saw working was in an old machine shop operated
by two brothers, Paul and Marvin Gard. In their earlier years, they
built up engines for racing cars, notably for the famous Gus
Schrader, who originated in my locale.
Back in the late 1960s, Paul and Marvin, then about age 80,
decided one morning they were going to sell out. Within an hour
they had sold the building where they had spent their entire
lifetime. Then they sold off the equipment. From Reliance Machine
Co., ye olde Reflector bought the Gould & Eberhardt shaper, a
planer, a Landis cylindrical grinder and numerous other items. We
could have purchased the Heald grinder, but we dallied at the $300
price, and someone else bought it. Life has various regrets, and
that is one we have always had.
Probably the most used of any equipment we bought there is the
shaper. It was completely tooled, including a setup for cutting
internal keyways. Like all the machines owned by the Gard brothers,
it had the best of care and still performs very well. Originally we
had it set up on line shafting, but another relocation forced us to
set it up for electric motor drive. However, we retained the clutch
and brake mechanism that came as original equipment. More of our
machinists should use a shaper. We’ll allow that a single-point
tool might not work as fast as a milling cutter, but we can
re-sharpen or replace the bit with ease. Milling cutters are
expensive, and we have no equipment to regrind them.
Enough of our ranting for this month. We hope to see you here
again for the June issue of GEM.
C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and
tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for
collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send
it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS