Letters & Miscellanies

By Staff
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Rare 1903 Orient car once used by a rural mail carrier in Baroda, Mich
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Close up view of the Orient's friction drive.
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Alfred Nichols' 1905 Aeromotor eight-cycle pump engine.
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Alfred Nichols' 1905 Aeromotor eight-cycle pump engine.
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Patent drawing for Kent cement mixer.
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Harry Lescher's Waterloo Boy 5 HP Model H was a solid unit when he bought it before restoration. The Model H was introduced in 1921. Showing serial no. 233875, Harry's engine was built in 1923, the last year of production.
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Superior oil field engine owned by Wayne and Mary Rose
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Four-cylinder Parrett tractor

Aeromotor Eight-cycle Pump Engine.

I am retired and an avid antique engine collector, and I enjoy
the challenge of working on and getting my engines running. This is
an Aeromotor eight-cycle pump engine made in 1905. This picture was
taken at Point Pleasant, W.Va., in October 2003, at the West
Virginia Farm Museum. I bought this engine from a friend who moved
to Spencer, W.Va., from California several years ago. At one time,
he had a big collection of engines. This engine was in good
condition when I got it. I made the cart to mount it on and started
pumping water at engine shows. It is definitely a big attraction.
Alfred L. Nichols, 1738 Otto Road, Spencer, WV 25276

John Deere Memories

To the editor:

When I saw you last, you said something like, ‘If I would
have been born 30 years sooner, I would have seen some of the
changes in farm machinery.’ There is something to that

I was born in 1923, about 10 miles southeast of Topeka, Kan. We
lived on high ground and to get to our place required driving up a
long hill, which was sometimes difficult with mud roads and
low-powered Model Ts. I still remember the threshing crew -with
steam engine and smoke -coming up the hill to our place. The fellow
who ran the engine would let me and one of my brothers ride with
him on the engine.

When I was about 10, my dad bought our own threshing machine,
which was powered by a John Deere Model D. I was just old enough to
use the hand clutch. My dad was very careful to level the threshing
machine. He would unhook the machine and I would drive the tractor
out, turn it around and, with help, back into the belt. No kid was
happier than I was when it lined up the first time. I sat on the
tractor, stopping and starting as needed.

In those days, everyone used water in the radiator. The Model D
has a short water tube running from the block to the carburetor.
Using a valve, a small amount of water was added to the intake to,
I believe, keep the valves from clicking and to add more power.
Because of this, I had to add water to the radiator every few
hours. Would you believe that even today, whenever I pour water
into the morning pot of coffee it reminds me of that old John

We also had a 1-1/2 HP McCormick-Deering engine that was used to
run the washing machine, pump water and run the corn sheller. I
don’t ever remember when it wouldn’t start. We also had a
Model T truck with a Watford two-speed transmission and a two-speed
Ruckstel differential. We had a 300-gallon water tank on the

On a Model T, if one of the transmissions got out of gear there
was no brake. With a long hill, we did it this way. We stopped at
the bottom of the hill, put everything in low (three transmissions)
and started up the hill. With the gas tank under the seat and no
fuel pump, there was a chance of running out of gas. This was
overcome by having a tire pump hose fastened to the gas tank. One
of us drove, as the other pumped as hard as he could. In those days
we had no insurance or drivers license. We just did it.

We were the first in the neighborhood to get a combine. With all
that machinery, none of us got hurt, although there were some
narrow scrapes. One day, Dad had the horses hitched to a hay wagon,
which was hooked to a hay loader. One brother was following too
close, and one of the tines on the loader caught him in the pocket
of his overalls, starting him up the loader with the hay, but the
horses stopped when my dad hollered ‘whoa.’

There were a lot of hard times, but a lot of good times, too. I
am the youngest of six boys, no girls. We used to make a lot of our
toys. Rainy days were always good. Neighbors would come over to
talk. As we became adults, we left the farm. All six of us were in
WW II and came home unscathed. Merton H. Wilch, 5140 S.E. 3rd
St. Terrace, Tecumseh, KS 66542

Bragging Rights

I want to show off this Waterloo Boy 5 HP Model H, serial no.
233875, I purchased. The Waterloo Boy is the smoothest running
engine I ever had. Harry Lescher, 1879 Church Road,
Harleysville, PA 19438, (610) 287-7654

Corrections and Updates

The Web address published in the July 2004 issue for model
designer Dick Upshure was incorrect.

The correct address is: http://hamiltonupshur.tripod.com

In the July ‘Flywheel Forum,’ 39/7/3, we printed the
wrong phone number for Alan Diamond. The correct number is: (619)

Reader Steve Barr (stevebarr@ameritech.net) has managed to track
down the patent on Rick Monk’s Kent mixer featured in the May
2004 issue of GEM.

A cast plate on the mixer notes a patent date of April 8, 1908,
but it turns out the patent, no. 885951, was actually awarded April
28, 1908.

To view the full patent, go to http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/

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

Seafaring Engine

Just thought you would appreciate seeing an old engine on the
bottom of the sea near Kwajale in Island in the Philippines. A
small octopus lives in the water jacket. I think the magneto may
need drying out before starting! My daughter, Linda, took the photo
while scuba diving recently. Like myself, Linda loves old engines!
Don Fluke 6059 W. ARCO Highway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Hartford Old Engine and Tractor Show

The Hartford, Mich., show is always on Labor Day weekend,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Attendance was up and the weather was
nice for the 2003 show in Hartford, Mich. International tractors
and engines, plus Wheel Horse garden tractors were featured.

We had five Parrett tractors at our show; three were
four-cylinder and Dave Peterson brought his two six-cylinder

Wayne and Mary Rose brought two oil field engines (a Superior
and a Reid engine), plus Wayne’s four-cylinder Parrett. Wayne
also brought his rare Orient 1903 car. It has tiller steering, a 4
HP engine and a body made of oak. The car has a unique
friction-drive system.

It was once owned by a rural mail carrier in Baroda, Mich., but
was retired because it was hard to steer on the sandy back

Wayne, who has owned the car for over 35 years, says Orient
started in 1900 and folded in 1907. He doesn’t know how many
cars they made. Wayne will have a 1916 Parrett tractor he found as
a basket case out West at our 2004 show.

We had four Friday tractors and two Love tractors. One was a
1936 Tractor, made by Love and owned by Frank Prillwitz. Carl Davis
brought his rare, mint-condition 1959 Model 581 offset tractor to
the show. Our next show is Labor Day weekend 2004. Robert Hall
Jr. 444 Olds Ave, Hartford, MI 49057-1355

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