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Recently we came across this interesting advertisement from the
May 1923 issue of Tractor & Gas Engine Review. It shows the
Collis motor; its unique feature was the radiator built into the
flywheel. For those who have never seen one of these beauties, the
hollow flywheel carried water, and it circulated in and out through
a pair of hoses and a floating coupling arrangement.

Originally, this engine was built and sold as the Piersen, or as
this advertisement says, ‘The Superior Piersen.’ Harry E.
Schanck secured Patent 1,391,697 on September 7, 1921, and No.
1,410,725 on March 8, 1922. Apparently this firm, located at
Topeka, Kansas, intended these engines primarily for use on grain
binders. For reasons unknown, the company didn’t last at its
Topeka location for any length of time, and then reappeared as The
Collis Company at Clinton, Iowa.

As noted on page 394 of American Gas Engines, there are strong
indications that E. B. Cushman, formerly of the Cushman Motor Works
at Lincoln, Nebraska, had a hand in the design of the Piersen, and
ultimately, the Collis. It appears that Cushman was somehow
involved with Collis, but the nature of the relationship remains
unclear. Now, some seventy years later, it’s unlikely that the
whole story will ever be told.

As an interesting footnote, the Collis operation lasted for only
a few years. The engine shown here was soon replaced with a new
design. It used a honeycomb cellular radiator within the flywheel,
with the latter being so designed as to pull air through the
radiator. This ended the floating coupling, and that was an
improvement. In another interesting footnote, Collis apparently
built a few of these engines to operate the Roots blower used on
the Tangley Calliophone, built by Norman Baker at Muscatine, Iowa.
After a few years, virtually the same engine as the Collis appeared
with the Bean Spray Pump Company, and again, there are indications
that E. B. Cushman was involved.

As noted in earlier columns, ye olde Reflector and his wife are
hosting a tour of England, Scotland, and Wales this summer. (The
tour is now sold out). Recently we heard from some of the folks
from the Ayrshire Vintage Engine Club in Scotland. They’ll be
hosting us during the tour, and we certainly look forward to seeing
these folks, their engines, and their tractors. Also, we’ll be
spending a day at the Tatton Park 1000 Engine Rally and that’ll
be a true pleasure. Within the next month we should be finalizing
plans for a grand tour of Australia, coming up in February and
March of 1997. The truth is, that it’s coming up fast, so
we’ll be getting some information out to you very soon. At this
point, we’re trying to finalize all those last-minute details.
However, it appears now that we’ll be leaving Los Angeles about
February 20 and return about three weeks later. There’ll also
be a New Zealand option at the end of the Australia Tour. Brian
Blum, coordinator of their National Rally ’97, has extended a
special invitation, noting that we’ll be on hand for this
event, probably for a couple of days at least. The National Rally
is held every other year, and each state in Australia holds it in
turn. This time it will be in Busselton, West Australia, and Brian
tells us it will be right on the shore of the Indian Ocean, and as
this will be their late summer season, we should have ideal

Speaking of ideal weather, by the time this copy is in your
hands, we should be getting some of it here in the mid west. Ye
olde Reflector for one, has never been a big fan of cold weather,
snow, and related wintertime dreck. But, like most of us in the
heartland, we really have no desire to move elsewhere, lest it be
for a winter vacation to warmer climes. However, by April there
should be some warm days, and of course, warm weather is conducive
to cranking up some of the old engines and actively getting back
into our favorite summer sport.

Our first query this month begins with:

31/5/1 Clinton Engines Regarding a query on
Clinton engines of some time ago, John N. Snyder, 137 Prospect
Avenue, Franklin, PA 16323-2530 writes:

The engine on page 5 of the April 1995 GEM is a Clinton Panther,
a nice 2-cycle engine from 1950-60. But, a check in my old Clinton
Service Book, 400-1151 lists in the model variations a note which
says, Use 5753A flywheel. That doesn’t sound like much, but
this is a half-weight flywheel used on vertical shaft rotary
mowers; the blade is the other half of the flywheel. This tame
little engine is now a killer . . . hard to start, and will kick
back hard. If started, it will run rough. The cure is to use the
heavy flywheel or a heavy pulley. The order number for this engine
is 400-1151.

John also notes that on page 21 of the April 1995 GEM, the
picture 30/4/48 is a one-cylinder engine with two pistons. John
says to put a heat source under that ‘tincan’ in the center
and it will run … a hot air engine.

31/5/2 Witte Information Q. I would like to
know more about my Witte 2 HP engine, sin 55970; also information
on a Sattley 1 HP engine, sin 55772. Does anyone have information
on an Ottawa log saw that runs off a tractor pto? How was this saw
mounted? Charley Nelson, 1545 Hupp Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401.

A. Your Witte was shipped to J. R. McClaren,
Worthington, Indiana, on February 10,1922. There is no s/n
information for Sattley. Can anyone advise on the Ottawa saw?

31/5/3 John Lauson Engine Q. I have a 2 HP
Lauson engine, s/n W68944, Type PE525, and would like to know its
approximate age and the original paint color, his presently a light
green, but apparently painted that color by the previous owner.
Under the green I found a medium blue, then a bright red. The
engine is connected via a pump jack to a Goulds 3 inch diaphragm
pump. Any information would be appreciated. Duane Walker, 1441 NW
39th, Topeka, KS 66618-1125.

A. We were always of the opinion that the
Lauson was green, but for all we know, some of them may have been
red, particularly if it was originally sold with the Goulds pump.
In that case it may have been sold as a ‘factory’ unit, and
that would account for the bright red finish. Can anyone

31/5/4 Model Engine Q. See the photo of a Model
engine, s/n 564, 6 HP, made at Auburn, Indiana. The nameplate
carries a patent date of 2/22/98. So far, I’ve found nothing on
this engine. Any information would be appreciated. Also see photos
4B and 4C of a Havana ‘Red & Ready’ engine. It is
missing some parts, so I’d like to hear from anyone that might
be able to provide dimensions or ??? All letters or correspondence
greatly appreciated. Robert Hensarling, 4326 Hwy 90 E, Uvalde, TX

A. Page 311 of American Gas Engines gives most
of the information we have located for this interesting company.
However, the patent date provided us with at least a clue of where
to look in the Patent Office Gazette. It turns out that Patent
599,375 was issued to Warren E. White, Garrett, Indiana, on
February 22, 1898. It covered the general design of the engine of
your photo. White assigned a half-interest in the patent, jointly
to Edward P. Fitzgerald, John R. Mager, and Emanuel R. Thumma.
Another patent, No. 599376, was issued the same day to White. It
covered the valve gear, governor, mixer, and hot tube system for
this engine. White assigned a half-interest in this patent to
Garrett Engine, Boiler & Machine Works, Garrett, Indiana. With
the latter, we have an additional name to add to the list of gas
engine manufacturers.

31/5/5 Special Tools Q. See the photo of some
tools I haven’t identified. In the photo, #1 and #2 have no
markings. #3 has no markings, but is often referred to as a stone
axe or a stone hammer. #4 has no markings, and #5 has F. NETI
punched in; #6 has no tool company name, but has Meadville (e) Pa.
USA stamped in, while #7 has a monogram in the form of a
‘U’ with an inverted ‘A’ inside it. As tractors and
gas engines have become more expensive, people are switching to
machinery and tools. Any information would be appreciated. Edwin
Bredemeier, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441.

31/5/6 Pioneer Engine Q. See the photo of a
Model AS Pioneer engine, Type SS-4128, s/n 11 -1300. Can anyone
tell me when it was built? Wallace Oftedahl, 133 – 22nd Ave., S.,
South St. Paul, MN 55075.

31/5/7 Mackrell Engine Lester Bowman, 2440
Thomas St., Ceres, CA 95307-2356 sends us a photocopy of literature
showing the Mackrell engine. It was available as a stationary or as
a marine, depending on one’s wishes, and was also available in
a 3 HP marine style. The engine was vertical, four-cycle design,
with make-and-break ignition. It was built by Chas. Mackrell,
Mackrell Gas Engine Co., 206 East Market St., Stockton, California.
Unfortunately, the very poor copy just wasn’t reproducible.

Lester would also like to hear from anyone having information on
the Samson engines made at Stockton, California, and would be
interested in sharing information with other Samson owners.

31/5/8 A Novo Question, etc. Q. Sometime ago I
sent in a picture of a one-cylinder Novo, about 10 or 12
horsepower. It is for a Groundhog tractor. I’d still like to
hear from someone on this engine.

Two years ago you printed an article for me about an electric
fence charger made from a Model T coil. I just wanted to tell you
that I received 61 letters from all over the United States, Canada,
and England. Thanks for your help. George H. Houston, 7541
-32ndAve., NW, Seattle, WA 98117.

31/5/9 Holt Light Plant Q. Can anyone provide
the wiring diagram or any information on a Holt Automatic Electric
Power & Light Plant? It is s/n 1268, engine #1184, generator
1050644, 110 VDC, Control Board 1268. Manufactured by Automatic
Light Co., Ludington, Michigan. Other known information on this
unit is in the Alan King book, Farm Electric Plants, 1920-42, and
C. H. Wendel’s American Gas Engines. Any information would be
appreciated. D. LeRoy Sandbach, Box 42, Irvinton, KY

31/5/10 Witte Information Q. What is the year
built for the following Witte engines? 5 HP B, s/n 13974 2 HP
headless 51546 12 HP Dieselelectric D2289. Your help is
appreciated. Paul Hunter, 3270 Old Darlington Rd., Darlington, PA

A. The 5 HP was made in June 1914; the 2 HP in
December 1920, and the 12 HP diesel was shipped to Key West,
Florida in October 1940.

31/5/11 Fairbanks-Morse Q. See the photos of a
Fairbanks-Morse engine I’ve acquired, and which will need lots
of parts. However, can you first identify the engine model? Donald
Taylor, PO Box 231, Pima. AZ 85543.

A. Yours is a ‘ZC’ engine.

31/5/12 Old Grinder Q. See the photos of a
small burr mill I recently acquired. The previous owner thought it
might have been made by Sandwich (Mfg. Co.) Can anyone identify
this mill or provide further information? Kraig Van Kooten, 1277 –
195th PC, Harvey, 1A50119.

31/5/13 Coleman Tractor Q. See the photos of
two Coleman tractors that my wife, father, and I have just started
restoring. One, s/n 2046, basically just needs paint. The other,
sin 349, needs both blocks (casting ARJ), the radiator, and the air
cleaner. These tractors used a Climax Model K engine. Were there
any other tractors that used this engine? I have also been told
that these tractors were painted gray with red wheels. Is it
possible that the early ones were a different color? Ours appears
to have been painted red with green wheels and a gray engine. We
would like to correspond with anyone owning a Coleman, or knowing
of parts. Gary Biewer, Rt 1, Box 77, Barnesville, MN 56514.

A. We show your Coleman to use a Climax
four-cylinder, 5 x 6 inch engine. Several other tractors used that
engine: Farm Horse Traction Works, Hartford, S.D.; the Hackney Auto
Plow; the Illinois tractor; the Liberty Tractor Co.; Peoria Tractor
Co.; Square Turn Tractor Co.; and Wisconsin Farm Tractor Co.
Unfortunately, all of these are in the ‘rare’ class.
Possibly there were some trucks that used this engine, and of
course, some of the Climax engines ended up in various industrial

31/5/14 General Engine Q. See the photo of the
General Engine Model D. There are two addresses for it. The address
on the engine is: General Engine Co., Franklin Park, Illinois. One
of the two operations, maintenance and parts manuals I have reads:
General Engine Model D; Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company [Successor
to General Engine Co.] Auburn, Indiana. The other address is the
same as on the engine. The Syracuse Surplus Co., Syracuse, New
York, purchased a large quantity of engines in the mid- 1950s. The
original price was $72 and few were sold. After a year the price
was cut in half to stimulate sales.

The General engines tend to run hot and are hard on head
gaskets. To correct this, drill and tap for xA-20 bolts placed
between each head bolt. This provides a more even torque on the

General specifications are: 1 – 2 HP; 4-cycle, single-cylinder,
L-head, air cooled; 2  x 2 inch bore and stroke, 7.37 cid, and
compression ratio 5.25:1. It uses a Tillotson carburetor, 14mm
spark plug, rope start, 2-quartfuel tank, and weighs 30 pounds
complete. I would like to hear from other owners of General
engines. Michael E. Schultz, 1650 Schust Rd., Saginaw, MI

31/5/15 Combination Tester Q. See the photos of
a combination tester for alternating current only, 110 volts, 60
cycles, Model No. 28, made by Jefferson Electric Mfg. Co., Chicago,
Illinois. It plugs into 110 volts, and has two terminals marked 18
volts; it also has a plate with 3 volts, 6 volts, and has two light
bulbs. It also has a compartment that a buzz coil fits into. Can
anyone tell me more about this tester? Any information would be
appreciated. Thomas H. Kruse, 6232 Cedar Ln., Miamisburg, OH

31/5/16 Cleaning Spark Plugs I found an easy
way to clean the ‘take-apart’ spark plugs. Purchase a .45
caliber gun cleaning wire brush. It is about a half inch in
diameter and costs about $2. Take a piece of stock 3 inches long,
not over inch. I used an old choke handle. Drill and tap for 8-32
threads. Screw brush into handle. It is excellent for cleaning
carbon from the bottom part of the plug. Raymond L. Gray, 2135
Little Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN 37862.

31/5/17 Hercules Engines Q. Fred Wells, Box
262, Short St., Beallsville, PA 15313 is looking for information on
two Hercules engines; 5E HP, s/n 65572 and 3E HP, s/n 272905. Where
were these engines built, and when?

A. The Hercules engines came from Hercules Gas
Engine Co., Evansville, Indiana, and were also sold by Sears &
Roebuck as Economy engines. We have no serial number lists for

31/5/18 Witte Information Q. The short winter
days and long cold nights make for an ideal opportunity to look
through back issues of GEM. In so doing I ran across an article
published in January 1987 about a 4 HP Witte engine, sin 60851.
That rang a bell with me, and off I went to the bam to look at my
own 4 HP Witte; it has s/n 60867, only 16 units apart. Could you
please date these two engines? They probably came to New Eng-land
on the same freight car. Kevin C. Scott, 11 Haverhill Road, PO Box
1, Chester, NH 03036-0001.

A. These engines were both shipped September
21,1922, but we don’t have the name of the buyer in the

31/5/19 Little Monitor Q. I have a Little
Monitor 1 HP pump engine, s/n 21734- I can find red, green, and
gray on it. Can someone tell me the correct color? Also, what is
the cap for the cast iron gas tank supposed to look like? Bob
Beute, 4848 Dellview Ct., Hudsonville, MI 49426.

A. Most of the Monitor engines were a light
gray, except that the vertical engines, aside from the pumper, were
bright red. Ye olde Reflector grew up around those Monitor pumpers,
as we had several when I was a kid; I never saw them anything but

31/5/20 Bullseye and Unidentified Q. I have a 1
or 1 HP engine with the detent twisted at 45° like on some of the
IH Famous engines. It also has AK1A cast in the base, and AK plus
the part number in several other parts. The ignitor port is on the
block. A Webster A303K11 magneto fits. It resembles a Rawleigh as
shown in American Gas Engines, except for the ignitor part. Can
anyone identify this engine?

Then, I have a Bullseye, Type GE engine, s/n 6421, 2 HP, as
pictured on page 315 of American Gas Engines. I have seen two at
shows; one was dark red, and the other a dark green. Which is the
correct color? Any information will be appreciated. Wilbur Reil,
25246 County Rd 95, Davis, CA 95616-9405.

A. Our listing in Wendel’s Note-book shows
the 303K11 as being used on the Field-Brundage engines. Looking at
the alphabetical listing for Rawleigh, this number does not appear.
We’re unsure of the correct color for the Bullseye.

31/5/21 Koban and Mighty Mite Q. This past
summer I purchased a Koban engine, made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(See photos). The threaded holes next to the spark plugs seem to be
designed to pipe water to/from a water reservoir for cooling. The
water pump and eccentric to the crankshaft is visible in 21 B;
water pump piping to the bottom of each cylinder is visible in both
photos. Some people think this to be a marine engine, but your
American Gas Engines states that it was sold as a binder engine.
Does anyone have any information on this engine?

The following query is for Chuck Manhardt, 6009 King St.,
Newfane, NY 14108:

I have a small tractor called the Jacques Mighty-Mite Tractor.
It is powered by a small four-cylinder Hercules engine. The
radiator cowling is embossed with ‘Hercules Power.  Does
anyone have any information about this small tractor?

These queries sent in from Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Ave.,
Newfane, NY 14108.

A. The Koban was indeed advertised as a binder
engine. In all of our years at this hobby, this is the first time
we’ve heard of one still kicking about. Regarding marine, or
other uses, we suppose that’s possible, but ostensibly, Koban
was looking at applying this engine to operate the mechanism on
grain binders.

We have no information on the Mighty Mite, but perhaps someone
can be of help on this one.

31/5/22 Domestic Engine Q. I’m working on a
Domestic 6 HP, Type F engine. I’m sure it was maroon in color,
but would like to hear from anyone who has a DuPont color match for
it. Also, what was the color for the engine cart and wheels? The
s/n is 16204. Can anyone tell me when it was made? Any help will be
appreciated. Gary Craig, Box 126, Newton Hamilton, PA 17075.

31/5/23 Ottawa Tractor Q. See the photo of an
Ottawa Tractor, made by Ottawa Mfg. Co., Ottawa, Kansas. It has a
two-cylinder Wisconsin engine and is called a Twin-Mule or Team
Mule. I’d like to know the color scheme, plus any other
information I can find on this tractor. Ed Linenbroker, 9800
Linenbroker Rd., Rosebud, MO 63091.

31/5/24 Gardner Sifter-Mixer Q. See the two
photos of a Gardner Sifter-Mixer made by Robinson Mfg. Co., Muncy,
Pa. Does anyone have any information on this machine, its
applications, etc.? Information would be appreciated. Paul J.
Poledink, 21665 Mayfield, Farmington Hills, MI 48336.

31/5/25 Cauffiel Motor Industries Don Zeck,
8675 Douglas, Temperance, MI 48182 sends along some information on
Cauffiel. Briefly:

The company was organized in 1951 by Lowell Cauffiel. At one
time the company employed about 20 workers to manufacture the
‘Wasp’ motor. Emerging in 1954, the Wasp was a bicycle
motor that was also known as the Cauffiel Model 4000 engine. It was
very popular, and was designed for installation on a bicycle
‘in less than 30 minutes.’ At this writing Mr. Cauffiel is
still living at Temperance, and much of the old shop is still

31/5/26 Aristo Lamp Q. I purchased a carbon arc
light that was used as a street light. It is an Aristo lamp,
patents of 3/28/99 and 11/14/99. It was ‘Manufactured Expressly
for American Aristotype Co., Jamestown, New York by Western
Electric Co., Chicago, Illinois.’ Any information will be
appreciated. Douglas Poor, 12058 Adams, Yucaipa, CA 92344. (Mr.
Poor sent along a Polaroid, but it wouldn’t reproduce very

31/5/27 Stover Engine Q. See the photo of a
Stover air-cooled engine It is HP, 1750 rpm, and has s/n VB3912.
Can you provide further information on this engine? Joe Holmes,
2791 Trillium Place, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1J3 Canada.

A. On page 45 of Power in the Past, Vol. 3;
Stover Engine Co., there is an illustration of this engine. These
engines were not built by Stover, but rather by Nelson Bros. Thus,
their serial numbers are not in our Stover engine production
records. This engine was sold by Stover approximately in the
1933-35 period.

31/5/28 Caille Liberty Twin Q. I would like to
correspond with anyone having information on the Caille outboard
engines, including a Caille Liberty Twin that I plan to restore.
Also would like to know if there is a collectors club for old
outboard and marine engines. Mark Yaste, 112 Rowntree Ct., Lebanon,
KY 40033.

31/5/29 International W-9 Q. Can anyone tell me
the price range of a W-9 International Industrial tractor with a
six-cylinder Schramm engine that has three cylinders for power and
three cylinders for the air compressor? Milan Hochstetler, Rt 3,
Box 233, Cumberland, VA 23040.

31/5/30 Jacobsen Putting Green Q. I recently
found a Jacobsen Putting Green Mower, #P13-1222-12, pat. 4/24/1923.
It has external valves, brass carburetor, and a 4-cycle design. I
desperately need to talk to someone having information on this
engine, including a source for some missing parts. Any information
will be greatly appreciated. Gene Burmeister, 602 Miller St.,
Kewaunee, WI 54216.

31/5/31 Whizzer Motor Bike Q. I have a Whizzer
Motor Bike, s/n 15722, and am in need of information, a parts
source, when built, etc. Any help appreciated. Jim Wyland, E 15015
Judkins Rd., Spokane, WA 99207.

31/5/32 Briggs & Stratton Q. I have a
Briggs & Stratton WMB engine. It uses a decal different than
anything I’ve seen. It is nearly circular, with a bar across
the bottom saying ‘Briggs & Stratum.’ The background of
the deed is red. Can anyone advise? Aubrey Jordan, 1840 McKelvey
Rd., Fountain Inn, SC 29644.

31/5/33 United Engines Q. I have two United
engines, s/n 102934 and 79113.1s there any serial no. information
available on them? Chet Whiting, 1471 Shadyside Rd., Downington, PA

A. We wish there were, but there isn’t.

31/5/34 Lansing Engine Q. See the photo of a 2
HP engine with a tag reading, ‘Lansing & Co., Lansing,
Michigan.’ Any information please. Robert Wither, PO Box 374,
Oxford, ME 04270-0374.

A. Lansing Co. built cement mixers, and
apparently attached their own plate to the engine since Lansing, to
our knowledge, did not make engines.

31/5/35 Garden Mast’r Q. See the photo of a
Garden Mast’r Garden Tractor, Model G-P-4, s/n 21976, made by
Garden-All Lawn & Garden Tractor, Liberty, Indiana. It runs
very well. The engine is a 3.6 HP Clinton. Is there any guess as to
when it was built? Further information would be appreciated. Samuel
Keenan, 135 Tockwogh Dr., Earleville, MD 21919.

31/5/36 Monitor Clothes Washer Q. See the photo
of a Monitor Clothes Washer made by Monitor Equipment Corp., New
York, N.Y. The name of it is Aerator, Model Aero-4, sin 98022-6,
115 volts. I am told it was used to wash diapers, but I use it to
wash my shop towels and it works great. Anyone with further
information, please contact Bob Broome, 25 Washington St., Mendon,

31/5/37 Farmall H Tractor Arthur C. Shepard,
No. 37219, Unit 2-E54, PO Drawer 1328, Los Lunas, NM 87031 is
looking for service information or a service manual for a Farmall H
tractor to aid in putting it back together again. If you can help,
please contact Mr. Shepard.

31/5/38 American Classic Q. I need information
on an ‘American Classic’ Hot Air Working Engine. It has a
4-step pulley and 14-inch flywheel. It was made in Jamestown, New
York. Stephen Marks, 7797 Millersburg Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.

31/5/39 Witte 6 H. P. Q. I recently acquired a
Witte 6 HP, Type J, s/n 93703J engine. When was it made, what is
the color, and how is the name ‘Witte’ pronounced? Modie
Driskill, HC89, Box 50B, Eden, TX 76837.

A. Your engine was shipped to Novice, Texas, on
August 1,1933. The color is green, comparable to Ditzler 40952
Forest Green. To be very precise, the W takes a V sound, and
originally, it sounded like ‘Vitt.’ The anglicized version
is Witte. It’s something like the Gade engines. Especially here
in Iowa, near where the engine was built (at Iowa Falls) say
‘God-ay’ while most others pronounce it as ‘Gayd’
with a silent ‘e’. Either way is acceptable, be it Witt or
Witte, Gade or Goday.

31/5/40 Maynard Engine Q. Ronald Jones, RFD1,
Box 135, Liver-more Falls, MA 04254 has a Maynard engine sold by
The Charles Williams Stores, and needs further information. We also
suggest looking at page 554 of American Gas Engines.

31/5/41 Pan Motor Company Q. Recently I picked
up a small checker board illustrating the Pan tractor from St.
Cloud, Minnesota, and was wondering if anyone had further
information. Also of interest, the outer border of the checkerboard
is made up of swastikas. Alleng Bulger, 1600 Dawson St., Oakley, CA

A. In researching our book, Encyclopedia of
American Farm Tractors, we came up with some information on the
company, although we were unaware of their wheel tractors. Pan
Motor Co. was ostensibly organized to make automobiles, but like
the tractor business, soon got into trouble. Legal difficulties
were never-ending, and within a few years after its 1916 birth, Pan
Motors passed into oblivion.

31/5/42 De La Vergne Engine Francis A. Orr,
1617 – 32nd St., Anacortes, WA 98221 writes concerning the ignition
system used on the Nash gas engines, involving a make-and-break
with electromagnets. Can anyone advise on this system, as ye olde
Reflector has never seen one of them? Mr. Orr also comments on the
great De La Vergne engines, including an extant Model SI Diesel.
Sadly, the great majority of these engines are gone, and many of
those still lurking in the dark corners of power houses have been
hopelessly vandalized. We also extend profuse thanks to Francis for
a color folder of the Cooper Diesel Engines from

31/5/43 Flint & Walling Gale Nelson, 2881 W
Howard Rd., Beaverton, MI 48612-9777 writes that he has a Flint
& Walling engine, as pictured on page 176 of American Gas
Engines. These engines are very scarce, so we compliment Gale for
having one of them in captivity.

Readers Write

Various Comments C. E. Harrison Sr., 3508
Wright Rd., Portsmouth, VA 23703 comments on various articles in
recent issues:

For cream separator oil, Mobil DTE Oil Heavy is too heavy for
farm cream separators, but what used to be Gargoyle Arctic 155
Refrigeration Oil is a close match. Thus, refrigeration supply
stores might be a good source. Also, if cold weather operation is
not a problem, then Mobil DTE Oil Light would be a good choice.
Another excellent, and easy-to-find choice is ATF automatic
transmission fluid.

Regarding 30/7/19, Ed Bruce has a Sharpies Tubular cream’
separator, steam turbine driven.

Regarding red paint in engine crank-cases, the interior of the
engine block was painted with GE Glyptal Red Insulating Enamel to
seal in any casting sand remaining in the block. We often spoke of
this as ‘red seal.’.

We thank Mr. Harrison for his letter, and for the extensive
research obvious to us. Sometimes it takes a lot of leg work to
come up with the answers we’re all seeking.

31/1/3 Lauson Engines Regarding the purpose of
the hand valve on the intake assembly, Jim Keats, W2593 Co Rd D,
Elkhorn, WI 53121, writes that the early version is different than
the later in the placement of the valve, but is of the same
principle. Jim also sends along photocopies (which we hope will
reproduce okay) of the parts involved, together with the
company’s own explanation of same.

A Closing Word

Computers are a wonderful addition to our world, but sometimes
they are responsible for some strange (and unpleasant) things. For
instance, in our February column, the query of Felix Milligan, HC
63, Box 27, Witter, AR 72776 got completely garbled, in that the
second paragraph didn’t show up at all, while the answer was
for a question that appeared about four notches later. Don’t
ask us how this can happen, except that it appears that the
WordPerfect 6.0 program we’re using might not always be
friendly with the publishing program over at Stemgas. The worst of
it is that even with no action on our part, the problem may never
occur again. So, the only solution we can think of is to be careful
in comparing the original material with the printout that’s
used for the final copy.

It’s ironic that computers can be so helpful, yet at times,
can be so frustrating. At least with our old engines, the problems
are fixable with a wrench, screwdriver, or some emery cloth, maybe
even a little shot of oil. But none of these things work on
computers; no, the only thing there is some expensive electronic
gadgets which only a minor few of us know how to operate. Maybe
that’s why there’s a certain serenity to our old engines.
We’ll be the first to confess that we love to sit in a lawn
chair with one foot up on the left front wheel of the 4 HP Mogul at
a show. That nice rocking motion and the rhythmic sound of the
engine is the best sedative we’ve ever found. Within fifteen
minutes we can fall sound asleep, unless of course, there’s
someone to talk with. However, let it miss a single beat, and
we’re wide awake, wondering what happened!

We know you folks get tired of hearing us harp on forever about
safety, but as the engine and tractor season approaches, please
keep us in mind. When you’re tempted to do something you know
you shouldn’t be doing, let your mind harken back to ye olde
Reflector and his constant warnings about safety. Why not spend an
extra five or ten minutes handling this old iron safely rather than
attempt a shortcut and spend six weeks recuperating! And if you
don’t carry a fire extinguisher with your engines, start! We
once saw an engine catch fire at a show. .. not a pretty sight. The
engine was leaking fuel out of the carburetor, as some of these
oldtimers are wont to do, and a spark from the exhaust set it afire
in a flash. It was put out with an extinguisher before any real
damage, but let that be a warning to all!

Another word of caution … in our new edition of Wendel’s
Notebook, we make special mention of using safe practices when
painting. It matters not whether you’re using Imron, Centari,
Dulux, or what have you, but cover your skin to prevent absorption,
and buy yourself a decent paint respirator. Forget about those
totally worthless gauze face masks. We think they’re worse than
worthless, because they fool some folks into thinking they’re
working safely, when in fact, they’re sucking all those noxious
fumes into their lungs. Only a good respirator with the proper
cartridges will do the job. Many years ago, we did some of the same
foolishness, but now we’ve decided that it’s more important
to help keep this old engine of ours running with a minimum of
repair and maintenance. So now, we look after our old engine a bit
better than formerly by using a good air cleaner, and replacing the
air filters whenever necessary. Please take care of your own engine
(yourself). Who knows? Maybe your kids will thank you for it!

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