Just before assembling this column in early November, we had a
visit from Walter Reiff of Stuttgart, Germany. Walter is well known
in England and in Europe; he travels to a great many shows selling
books, models, and numerous other items. He has also traveled
extensively in the U.S., and makes it a point to attend the
National Farm Toy Show held at Dyersville, Iowa, every year. In
visiting with Walter we asked about the H. M. T. Show in Holland.
Walter tells us it’s as big as the Ageless Iron Expo at Ankeny
or perhaps bigger, and with more variety.
We’ve also talked with a couple of others who have been
there, and understand the H. M. T. to be a fantastic show. As noted
previously, we’ll be hosting a tour group to Germany and
Austria next summer, eventually closing out our journeys with a
full day and more at the H. M. T. Show. This writer hasn’t been
there, so we can’t tell you firsthand, but if our information
is correct, this ought to be a show to see, at least once!
By the time this issue is in your hands we should have the final
itinerary for next year’s tour; up till now we’ve been
working with a rather condensed version. The problem is that it is
quite difficult to line up visits so far ahead of time, yet it is
essential that we get moving on the tour several months in advance.
For instance, it now appears that a major change will be to use
American Airlines rather than the one selected previously. With
this change, we’ll leave Holland by our coaches, travel through
Belgium, on up to Calais, France, through the Channel Tunnel and on
to Heathrow Airport in England. This is a beautiful and scenic
drive! See our ad in the last issue of GEM, or for further
information write to C. H. Wendel’s European Tour, Box 257,
Amana, IA 52203. You can also e-mail us at email@example.com.
Ye olde Reflector has been immensely pleased with the sales of
our new Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements. Thus far the
sales figures have exceeded any book we’ve ever written! We
think this points out the immense interest that has evolved in the
farm implement and machinery scene in recent years. As we’ve
said before, the tractors and engines are mostly in the hands of
collectors by now, and the price continues to escalate. We have
contended for some time that farm machinery will be the next
collecting wave, and this seems to be coming true. Just recently a
fellow offered us a four-hole Sandwich all-wood corn sheller at a
very reasonable price, and although we really don’t have the
space for it, somehow we’ll have to find a way to get it
Occasionally we’ll get a complaint that a book we sent out
was not received. We’ve heard the same thing from other people
who use the postal service…either the package was not received or
looked as if it had gone through a burr mill enroute. Please bear
in mind that when someone sends something, they assume it was
received if they don’t hear otherwise…the vast majority of
advertisers try to do right by their customers, but sometimes
Murphy’s Law intervenes … if anything can go wrong, it
Recently a GEM reader sent us some interesting information on
the Superior Feed Grinders. See the letterhead and letter dated
January 11, 1912. Also see the order blank and ordering
instructions. While specific details are lacking, it is apparent
that Superior was still building a gas engine or two at this time.
Our thanks go out to Alan Diamond, 9345 Lemon Ave., LaMesa, CA
91941, who was kind enough to share this material with us.
33/1/1 Horse Power Robert A. LeBaron, 5801 E.
5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711 had written numerous letters and articles
in GEM, and notes that there have been several queries regarding
horsepower. He sends along some information about how the term
originated, and we paraphrase it herewith for your information:
Originally the term horse-power referred to the rate at which a
horse works. A horse walking at 2 mph for 8 to 10 hours a day
should not be required to pull more than 1/10 to ? its body weight.
For a horse weighing 1200 pounds, the ? formula would give a pull
of 150 pounds. In one hour the horse would then do 150x5280x2, or
1,980,000 foot pounds. Divide this by 60 and you have 33,000
foot-pounds per minute. Scientists have agreed to take this rate of
work as the unit of power and call it one horsepower.
If an engine has 25 horsepower, this means it can deliver 25 x
33,000, or 825,000 foot-pounds per minute. Similarly, a 500,000
horsepower hydroelectric dam would theoretically develop 500,000 x
33,000 foot-pounds per minute. This 500,000 horsepower would
convert to lifting 100 tons to a height of 15 miles in a
33/1/2 Racine Sattley Engine Q. I have a 1 HP
Racine Sattley engine, s/n 14081. What is the year, and what is the
proper color? Ron Hodge, 5931 Sommers Rd., Windsor, OH 44099.
A. We have the early Sattley engines listed as
being black, the late ones are a dark green, similar to DuPont
7498. There are no s/n listings for Sattley.
33/1/3 Red Wing Thorobred Q. See the photos of
a Red Wing Thorobred Motor, single cylinder, 4-cycle marine engine.
It is 4 HP, with s/n 6154K.Can anyone supply further information on
this engine? Henry G. Liot, RR 1 Grafton, Ontario K0K 2G0
A. It seems to us that someone has either the
serial number records or some other information on Red Wing, but
offhand, we don’t know who that some-one is. Can anyone be of
The Superior Mfg. & Mill Co.
Mr. John Anderson, January 11/12. PRAIRIE du ROCHER, ILL.
We have had some correspondence with you in regard to our line
of SUPERIOR DUPLEX GRINDING MILLS and we do not wish to be breaking
in on your time but would like to ask whether or not you are
interested in the same. If so and you have not as yet supplied your
wants along that line why not consider purchasing one at this
We have mailed you our catalogue, which reveals the merits of
the SUPERIOR DUPLEX over that of other makes of mills. We know that
you are interested in up-to-date farm methods. That is the reason
we take an interest in you and give you all the information we can
pertaining to the SUPERIOR DUPLEX. There is very little to add to
what we have already said about this mill. We very much wish to
have an opportunity of showing you this mill. We want you to see
for yourself whether it will pay you to have one of these mills on
your farm. This is a question that nobody can answer for you. We
honestly believe that it would not only pay you, but that it would
pay you handsomely. The only way to prove it is to insist on you
purchasing one of these SUPERIOR DUPLEX mills and if, after you get
the mill in successful operation, it does not do all we claim for
it in our catalogue, we will not expect you to keep it.
The Mill is exactly the same mill manufactured for a number of
years by the O.S. Kelly Western Mfg. Company of Iowa City, Iowa,
and are quite famous throughout the United States and foreign
Our mills grind all kinds of grain, shelled corn, ear corn and
cob, with or without the shucks, clover hay or alfalfa, alone or
mixed with grain, cotton seed and in fact anything that can be used
for feeding purposes.
It is true that there are cheaper mills manufactured and sold on
the market but we are not trying to see how CHEAP we can build our
mills, but how GOOD and anyone purchasing a SUPERIOR DUPLEX makes a
wise investment, for they are principally adapted for the
farmer’s use and will last him practically a life time giving
him little if any trouble.
We enclose order blank and trust you will favor us with an order
by return mail.
Yours truly, THE SUPERIOR MFG. & MILL. CO., SPRINGFIELD OHIO
33/1/4 Hercules/Economy Question Q. I recently
bought a Hercules/Economy engine. They look alike; could you please
tell me the proper color for either engine? Did Sears & Roebuck
sell just Economy, or both? Edward C. Keller, 49 W. 105 Ellithorpe
Rd., Hampshire, IL 60140-8630.
A. The Economy engines were sold by Sears, but
came from Hercules at Evansville, Indiana. Economy engines were
red, while most Hercules engines were green. There were a few
differences also in the design. Hercules also built engines for
several other companies.
33/1/5 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of
a two-cylinder air cooled engine. It is missing the carburetor and
the air shroud. All castings have a B6XXX number cast into the
part. The cylinder is a 2 inch bore and the engine uses a Splitdorf
Model S magneto. The flywheel has an internal gear cut into it. Any
information would be appreciated.
I also need information on a Root & Vandervoort 2 HP Triumph
model, s/n BL14423. What is the proper color and when was it built?
Are decals available? I would like to correspond with anyone having
one of these engines. The tag says is was ‘Mfd. For Wm.
Gregory, Los Angeles, California.’ Was he a John Deere
A. First of all, we have DuPont 5316 Green
listed as a comparable color match. There are no s/n records.
Decals are available from some GEM advertisers.
Although John Deere sold R & V engines for several years,
they did not have exclusive rights to the R & V line. This is
evidenced by various advertisements of the company over the years,
and of course, they could not have advertised these engines if all
the production was being sold exclusively by Deere.
33/1/6 Novo Engine Q. I have a Novo vertical
engine, 3 HP, s/n 62613, and was wondering about the correct color
for it. Any information would be appreciated. William B.
Brettkrentz, 600 Church St., Hartford, WI 53027.
A. The Novo is a dark green, similar to DuPont
4190. Your engine was shipped to Viking Pump Co., Cedar Falls,
Iowa, on March 7, 1921, and was equipped originally for battery and
33/1/7 F-M VA Diesel Engine Q. I would like
information on an 80 HP Style VA Fairbanks-Morse, two-cylinder, two
stroke diesel cotton gin engine. How much does it weigh? Has anyone
trailered one of these to shows? How is it started? Is there a
modern way to start it? How and why does fuel ignition occur? Mike
Gusmus, Rt 1, Box 279, Saltillo, MS 38866.
A. Your engine will weigh about 21,000 pounds
more or less, depending on the type of flywheel, etc. All of these
engines use air starting. Since your engine is designated as a YVA
(Type Y, Vertical, Style A), it was likely built in 1924 or 1925,
since the engine was renamed as the Model 32, sometime in 1925. We
have no photos of your engine, but the YVA and the Model 32 both
have the new style head and utilized a compression of 480-520 psi.
These engines start readily under normal ambient temperatures.
Despite their size, they utilize compression ignition, just as with
any other diesel engine. The earlier YV engines used a lower
compression, thus there was a need for the ‘hot head’
system. A gasoline torch or electric glow plugs were needed as a
33/1/8 Detroit Tractor Q. I found a tractor in
a farmer’s back yard. It is d Model 44-16, s/n P1303B from
Detroit Tractor Corporation, Detroit, Michigan. It has a V-4 engine
and looks like it has a forward and reverse transmission with chain
drive to the drive wheels. It is both front and rear wheel drive
with 15 inch tires. The tractor is blue in color. Can anyone
provide any information on this tractor? Leo Knapp, RR1, Box 636,
Corinth, VT 05039.
A. We have no information on this one. Can
Q. 33/1/9 I have a Hercules 1 HP engine, s/n
374596. I would appreciate information on when it was built, and
possibly a photocopy of an instruction book. Any help would be
appreciated. Larry Metzgar, 10900 10 Mile Rd., Ceresco, MI
33/1/10 Old Water Pumps Q. See the photos of
two old pumps. In 10-A and 10-B is one from A. Y. McDonald Mfg.
Co., Dubuque, Iowa. It has a 1 inch suction and a 1 inch discharge
with a 4-inch stroke. The expansion chamber is not original.
In photos 10-C and 10-D is a pump from Kewanee Private Utilities
Co., Type 22, Kewanee, Illinois. Any information on these pumps
would be appreciated, including the proper color for them. I would
also welcome information on older F & W (Flint & Walling)
and open-geared Myers pumps as well. Robert G. Hester Jr., 11711
Raulerson Rd., Riverview, FL 33569.
33/1/11 Mighty Mite Tractor Q. See the photo of
a Mighty Mite Model 14 tractor as built by Jacques Power Saw Co.,
Denison, Texas. I would like information on this tractor, including
the original engine that was used. Is there anyone in the
Sherman-Denison area that worked at Jacques in the 1940s? I would
like to hear from you. Raymond Fenley, 640 E. Jemigan Rd., Copper
Canyon, TX 75067.
33/1/12 The Gopher Engine Q. I am restoring The
Gopher engine, and would like to contact somebody that has one. I
need to know how the side shaft works. Paul O. Boe, RR 2, Box 170,
Hatton, ND 58240.
33/1/13 Ottawa Log Saw & Engine Q. Recently
I acquired an Ottawa engine and log saw, 4 HP, s/n TE7396. It is
like the one on page 366 of American Gas Engines, except that it is
missing all the wood parts, the gas tank, and the ignition system.
Can anyone supply dimensions of the wood, provide help with the
ignition system, etc.? Also the correct color-scheme and when
built? Any help will be appreciated . I will answer all letters and
gladly pay for any photos. Larry G. Shulda, 330 Oak Drive, Route 5,
Box 534G, Waco, TX 76705-5944.
33/1/14 LeRoi Engines Thanks to U. George
Briggs, 150 Wine Rd, PO Box 27, New Braintree, MA 01531 for sending
along some information on the LeRoi engine line. For some reasons,
LeRoi information has been difficult to locate, so this is greatly
appreciated. Included are three pages of general model information
that provides at least a few clues to this extensive line.
33/1/15 Information Needed Q. David A. Kolzow
Sr., 145 Mallard Ave., Iowa Falls, IA 50126-9042 sends along a
couple of engine photos. In 15 A is shown a little model that might
be from Cole’s Power Models, but the origin of the
‘Champion’ base is unknown. Photo 15B shows what is
probably a Carlisle & Finch engine; it is nearly identical to
the illustration on page 82 of American Gas Engines. Any
information on these engines would be greatly appreciated.
33/1/16 Charles Hargreaves, 2910 Maple Rd,
Manistee, MI 49660 is searching for the exact year of manufacture
of s.n. 6792 model H sloop-hood International pickup made between
1915-20. Please assist if you can.
From Heinz Kornmuller, Hauptstrasse 92, 2492 Zillingdorf,
Austria, comes the accompanying photo of an IHC Famous model,
complete with low tension ignition. Herr Kornmuller is a model
maker, sometimes building models on request.
A Closing Word
A query in this month’s column once again reminded us that
many collectors are somewhat baffled by early oil and diesel
engines, and this despite the fact that the diesel has virtually
come to dominate the tractor business, and is widely used wherever
engines are needed. The early diesels operate in much the same way
except that they are bigger and heavier.
The first thing is to separate the oil engine from the diesel.
Oil engines use a somewhat lower compression, usually not much over
190 to 225 psi, and sometimes substantially less than this. They
need external assistance for starting, usually a glow plug of some
sort, heated by a gasoline or propane torch. Once the engine is
warmed up, there is usually enough residual heat for ignition. Oil
engines almost always use some type of pre combustion chamber as an
essential part of their design. This provides a highly heated area
and upon compression raising the temperature still higher, ignition
occurs automatically. This pre combustion chamber is not to be
confused with the energy cell such as used in the Lanova and other
designs. The latter was largely intended to provide the swirl
needed for efficient burning of the fuel, not as a primary means of
Fairbanks-Morse & Co. was a leader in diesel engine
development, and in studying that company’s history, it is easy
to see the evolution of the so-called ‘full diesel’ engine
vis-a-vis the semi-diesel or oil engine. Our book, Fairbanks-Morse:
1893-1993 explains many of the ins and outs of diesel engine
When F-M came out with their redesigned Type YVA diesel in 1925,
compression was up to about 500 psi, and this was sufficient for
self-ignition without the need for external starting means.
Subsequently F-M and others modified their designs for better
efficiency and easier starting, along with less weight.
Since this issue will be the last to come prior to the New Year,
we take this opportunity to wish each and all of you our very best
for the coming Holiday Season and the coming New Year!
Vintage 1920’s South Bend Catalog
Pages from a 1920’s vintage South Bend catalog give instructions for mounting con-rods in a lathe and boring the bearing.
Low-Tension Ignition System
Bringing some understanding in a nontechnical way as to how the simple battery and coil and the low-tension rotary magneto ignition systems work.
Weidenhoff Model 818 Magnet Charger
David Cave creates his own documentation through this internal and external examination of his Weidenhoff model 818 magnet charger.