A Brief Word
Although somewhat belated, we surely do want to thank all of the hundreds of folks who visited us at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. Many of you just stopped by to shake hands, others had comments or suggestions. All were appreciated, and again, thank you!
This year, well over thirty folks from Australia were in attendance at Midwest Old Threshers and some other shows. Quite a few of these folks shared pictures and comments with us regarding the engines and tractors in Australia. We were once again amazed at the many American-made engines that went to Australia. Curiously, many of these are engines that are considered to be quite rare here in the U.S., much less making it all the way to Australia. Another thing we learned was that compared to the United States, Australia won't have the quantity of engines found here, but the variety of engines and the quality of the collections will be hard to rival anywhere in the world.
We've got quite a few folks booked to go with us to Australia next February. If you're still hesitating, we wish you could have seen some of the photos our Australian friends shared with us. On top of that, this column won't be in your hands until early October, so the opportunity to share in this once-in-a-life-time tour is running out. We'll do our best to show you an enjoyable time . . . maybe we'll even share a silly joke or two while we're en route.
A number of folks stopped by our stand asking if we had a copy of the August 1996 GEM, noting that they never got one. Others stopped by to tell us they got more than one copy. As has been mentioned in previous issues, a dreadful computer snafu between the postal service and the mailing company (not the folks at GEM) caused this isolated incident. Most folks who didn't get the issue have by now been sent one. If you're one of the few we've not yet heard from, please write to the GEM office and let them know.
Ye olde Reflector recently acquired a Hallett diesel engine built at Ingle-wood, California, in the early 1940s. The only information we've found about this company so far has been a trademark application (as noted on page 48 of Gas Engine Trademarks). This listing notes first use of the mark in April 1941. A few advertisements have been found in Diesel Progress Magazine, but otherwise, we've found nothing at all. Anyone having information on this company and its products, please drop a line to ye olde Reflector.
In the same connection, we understand that the Hallett was built in air-cooled and water-cooled versions, the latter seeing far less production than the air-cooled style. We also have been told that a great many were built for military purposes during World War Two. Ours is a single-cylinder, vertical style of 6 HP. It starts easily (once the proper procedure is learned) and runs very quietly for a diesel.
Several people asked us about completion of our article on pouring Babbitt bearings. The past couple of months, our place has been somewhat of a zoo, with more activities than we can keep up with. In some ways we look forward to the winter months when we have a better opportunity to accomplish daily objectives. We'll be putting this one together before long. Meanwhile, we're working on a magneto and ignition book, a history of Witte engines, and it finally looks like we'll be able to write our book, Encyclopedia of American' Farm Machinery. We've wanted to do this one for a long time, and now it looks as if our wishes will materialize.
We have a number of queries this month, and we begin with:
31/11/1 Monarch Engine Q. I have a 1 HP Monarch engine from Royal Engine Co., Saginaw, Michigan. I would like to know if the crank and governor were enclosed in oil or were open. It looks to me like someone added this. Any information would be appreciated. John Schuller, # 4805 Hwy 42, Kewaunee, WI 54216.
A. We're not familiar with this engine, but perhaps one of you folks could be of help. In regard to another question from Mr. Schuller, we know of no way to precisely date these engines.
31/11/2 Wells Engine Q. See the photos of a Model 2M Wells engine, made by Wells Mfg. Co., Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Any information on this engine or on the company would be greatly appreciated. Gil Smith, 265 Goss Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95065.
A. We have this company listed in Gas Engine Trademarks but have no further information.
31/11/3 Happy Fanner Tractors Owen Fairchild, 212 Lamplight Lane, Lewisburg, PA 17837 sends along an interesting photo of about 1920; it was taken at Lewisburg, PA. Mr. Fairchild writes:
'The man in the center of photo with full dress suit is Francis T. Baker. He was the dealer for the Happy Farmer in this area. Other men in the photo; first tractor on left, and seated is A. A. Eisenhauer, a farmer near Lewisburg. The second man, seen looking along the first tractor fender, is J. R. Fairchild, a farmer from Lewisburg. These men were all born in the 1884-1888 years; the other men I don't know. At the right corner of the photo is the passenger station for the L & T Railway. Photo taken by Ellen Shields Studio, North Third Street, Lewisburg, Pa.'
31/11/4 McCormick-Deering Mower Q. We have a McCormick-Deering No. 9 mower and want to repaint it to its original colors. Does it use the same scheme as the earlier mowers? Stanley Walz, W8402 Foote Dr., Portage ,W153901.
A. Right after WW2, my father bought a new No. 9 mower. For reasons now forgotten, it came to our local railway depot in a couple of big wooden crates, rather than from the dealer where he bought it. Anyway, as a youngster, I helped assemble the mower, and no doubt in my mind, it was completely red, IH Red if you will. However, we're not sure of when IH dropped the cream and blue design of earlier models. However, it seems safe to say that this happened during the Depression of the 1930s when a fancy paint job gave way to expediency. If not then, the transformation came about during World War Two when many products were virtually impossible to obtain.
31/11/5 Samsco Engines Robert A. Johnson, Rt 2, Box 358, Canyon, TX 79015 writes that the Samsco name was used by San Antonio Machine & Supply Co. They used it on Nelson Bros engines they sold to supplement their line of Krueger-Atlas [engines]. I have a 1 Samsco which is the same as a Little Jumbo. Krueger-Atlas didn't build engines under 4 horsepower. Don Sheets, 2 210-W Glen, Peoria, IL 61614-4565 commented similarly.
31/11/6 Cunningham Engines Q. See the photo of a small air cooled Cunningham engine. On the shroud are also the words, ''Established 1838.' It has a Wico magneto and a Tillotson carburetor. Is this the same company as listed on page 114 of American Gas Engines? If so, 1 would think this example would have come late in their history, based on the design. Anyone having information on this engine, or similar Cunningham models, is encouraged to write; I'm curious about this one. J. Griffin, RD 1, Box 616, Sangerville, ME 04479.
A. Cunningham survived into the late 1930s, and your engine could well fall within that vintage. Also, checking the listings in Gas Engine Trademarks, we find that there is no other company of that name listed, so the odds would fall heavily in favor of the idea that this was indeed the firm of James Cunningham & Sons Co., Rochester, New York.
31/11/7 Reo Power Mower Q. I am attempting to restore a REO power lawn mower and need information and a source for parts. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Philip S. Brooke Jr., 830 E. 35th Ave., Spokane, WA99203.
31/11/8 Information Needed Q. What is the year built of a Stover engine, s/n 189755? In the enclosed photo, the fuel filler pipe is in front of the left hand flywheel. Is this the correct location!
What were the approximate production years of the F-M Eclipse 1 -A engines with the double flywheels? Did the 1 -A model have any significance? Larry Kastens, 9956 Deer Trail, Hereford, AZ 85615.
A. Your Stover was built in 1927. Sometimes Stover, like other companies, put the filler pipe in unusual locations. The Eclipse first appeared about 1910, and even this point is confusing, since various company records don't agree on this point, some indicating that it was introduced in 1912. However, they remained in production until 1922. Some years later an entirely different Eclipse engine appeared and remained for a short time.
31/11/9 Witte Engine Q. What is the year built for a Witte engine, 34583; also, why is the 3 HP so much larger than the comparable 2 HP model? Ed Burgess, RD 2, Box 149B, Laceyville, PA 18623.
A. Your engine was made in 1917. Sometimes manufacturers combined things in such a way that some of the same parts would interchange on a couple of different engines. That could account for the difference. Also, it may simply have been a matter of design, with the 2 HP built as small, as light, and as cheaply as possible, while the 3 HP was perhaps over designed for an engine of its rating.
31/11/10 Unidentified Engines Q. See the two photos of engines I cannot identify. The first shows a small steam engine, 40 inches long, with a 3 x 9 inch bore and stroke, and an 18 inch flywheel. The second engine is an upright hit-and-miss engine, battery & coil ignition. It has a 12-inch flywheel, is 22 inches high and uses a inch Lunkenheimer mixer. Any information on either of these engines would be appreciated. Jim Stegerwalt, RD 2, Box 87, Mifflinburg, PA 17844.
31/11/11 Jackson Engine Q. I recently acquired a Jackson Type A, 1 HP engine from Jackson Gas Engine Co., Jackson, Michigan. Was it built by Waterloo Bcry, when, and what is the correct color? Bill Beenenga, 2506 River Rd., Rain bridge, PA 17502.
A. On page 252 of American Gas Engines is illustrated the engine to which you refer. It seems entirely possible that Jackson Gas Engine Co. began selling engines built by others about the same time they discontinued building their own engines under the title of Jackson Engine & Motor Company. What re-mains a certainty is that your engine is of a design similar to that of the Cray, the Sheldon, the Sandow, and others, all of which emerged from the foundries of Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., Waterloo, Iowa. They were built in the 1913-1918 period. We have no clue as to the proper color for your engine.
31/11/12 Spark Plug Wires Q. What is the correct procedure for replacing a spark plug wire on a small air cooled engine such as Briggs & Stratton? Kevin W. K. Minns, 5610 Florek Rd., Edinboro, PA 16412.
A. Unlike modern automotive engines with their carbon wires etc., these engines use plain old copper spark plug wire. Cut off a piece, put on the proper ends, and you're done.
31/11/13 Earth master Tractor Q. 1 have an Earth master tractor with the following information:
Earth master Mfd. Expressly for Earth master, Bur-bank, California Div. of Adelprecision Products Corporation Earth master Motor #N62-A 1405 Pre show Product
Continental Motors - Farm Equipment I would like to find more information on this tractor and would appreciate hearing from anyone who can help. Frederic J. Lazenby, 35366 Redwood Dr., Shingle-town, CA 96088.
31/11/14 Unidentified Engine Q. The adjacent photos show an unidentified outboard engine, with 14-B being a top view. Can anyone tell me the make of this engine, or provide any information? All replies appreciated. Nick Beslawski, 1534 N. Hamlin Rd., Hamlin, NY 14464-9733.
31/11/15 IHC Type M Q. I have a Type M, 1 HP IHC engine, s/n 60855. It has two needle valves with the lever on the upper right. It also has the under-strike ignitor and the wing nut on the back cover plate. All this leads me to believe that this was an earlier model. Further inspection reveals an eccentric trip rod as used for the over-strike ignitor model. Can you date this engine? Is there any way to find out what was the original ignitor on this engine? James Dubiel, 670 Afton Ave., Youngstown, OH 44512.
A. Your letter does not indicate the prefix letter on the nameplate. However, assuming it to be an 'A' prefix, your engine was made in 1927. With the two needle valves, yours likely would not be the 1 HP gasoline model; these carry an 'AW' prefix. The IHC parts book also notes that the thumbscrew-type of crankcase cover was supplied in the 1917-21 period.
31/11/16 Moline Plow Company Q. I have a basket case engine from Moline Plow Company, 2 HP, s/n 50793. However, on page 312 of American Gas Engines, there is very little information about them. Any information would be appreciated. Art England, 204 -216th SW, Bothell, WA 98021.
A. The Flying Dutchman was a trademark of Moline Plow Co., and was used until sometime during World War One. At this time the name was discontinued because of a possible inference to the Germans. The Flying Dutchman was virtually identical to the Rock Island engines of the same period, and both were built by Alamo Mfg. Co. (see pages 16-19 of American Gas Engines). Fortunately, Rock Island and Alamo parts are relatively easy to find, as compared to a Woodpecker or a Stickney. We once owned a Flying Dutchman, and it was a deep maroon with gold striping and a very fancy decal; unfortunately, no one has ever reproduced the decal, and since it was so complicated, probably never will.
31/11/17 F-M Type Z Engine Q. I am restoring a Fairbanks-Morse Type Z, 1 HP engine with spoke flywheels. What was the production period for this engine, and what was the original color? Donald Kuhl, 761A Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143.
A. Production of this model began in mid-1918 and continued until 1928. It was finished comparable to DuPont 72001 Green.
31/11/18 Gleaner Baldwin Q. In Kansas the big combine seller was the Gleaner-Baldwin 12-foot model. When did they start using the drilled crankshaft Model AA Ford engine? What year were changes in the engines from T to A to the 6-cylinder? When did they change to v-belts and from two-wheel front trucks to one wheel? Did they always start the serial number with the year built? Bill Reiser, 206 Franklin, Marshalltown, Iowa 50158.
A. We've got nothing in the way of literature on the Gleaner combines, so we can't tell you much about them. Can any of our readers offer their advice?
31/11/19 Information Needed Q. See Photo 19-A of a small 'popcorn' type steam engine I picked up a while back. I would like to know the manufacturer, when it was made, and the type of governor that was used. It has a round-spoke flywheel about 7 inches in diameter. Any information would be appreciated.
Photo 19-B shows a pair of flywheels, and I'd like to know what they fit. There is a mortise-like hole in both wheels, about 1 x 2 inches, and about 1 -inch deep. A groove is cut about the face of one wheel, perhaps for a cooling fan? The wheels are about 14 inches in diameter with a 2 inch face. Any information would be appreciated. T. J. Shipman, RR 2, Box 371-23, Buckhannon, WV 26201.
31/11/20 Witte & Other Questions Q. I have a Witte 2 HP engine, s/n 33233. Any information would be appreciated on this engine. Also, the area beneath the rod and crank is painted red. It appears to be original.
I also have an old cider press that my father and I recently rebuilt. It is complete except for the crank handle gear. The gear is about 6 inches in diameter and should have about 38 teeth. The shaft is 1? inches. Can anyone tell me where I could acquire the correct gear? Mark Booth, 3083 Malcolm Rd., Barboursville, WV 25504.
A. Your engine is of 1917 vintage. We have DuPont 5204 Adirondack Green listed as a comparable color for the Witte. Perhaps you may end up getting someone to cut the gear. What's needed is the center-to-center distance of the shafts, and the pitch of the existing gear. For the sake of the machinists in the group, there's an easy way to calculate the diameter of the gear blank. Take the number of teeth required and add two. Divide this by the pitch, and you'll have the diameter of the blank. For instance a 10-pttch gear is needed with 48 teeth. So, 48 + 2 = 50. Divide this by 10 (the pitch), and you will need a blank that's 5 inches in diameter. Or say, you need a 6-pitch gear with 34 teeth. To get the blank diameter, add 2 to 34 = 36. Divide this by the pitch of 6, and you get a blank diameter of 6 inches.
31/11/21 Etna Engine Q. I recently acquired an engine with the following information in the casting:
'The Etna' Butler, Pa. This engine has 58-inch flywheels and a 13-inch pulley. I could find nothing in American Gas Engines. The engine is of the hot tube type, and about 12 to 15 HP. Any information would be appreciated. Frank Carr, Rt 2, Box 35, Frame town, WV 26623.
A. We also looked in our more recent title, Gas Engine Trademarks, with its extensive indexes on engine companies and trade names. The trade name index does not have an Etna engine, and the composite index for Butler, Pa. doesn't give us any clues either. Has anyone heard of this one?
31/11/22 Bullseye Engines Q. What is the correct color scheme for the Bullseye engines (sold by Montgomery & Ward)? Any information would be appreciated. Don Klein, 3002 - 6th St., Peru, IL 61354.
A. We don't have that one listed in our Third Edition of Wendel's Notebook, so if anyone comes up with a comparable color match, we'll put the information down for a future edition. We could be wrong of course, but we recall seeing a Bullseye a few years ago at a show (we don't remember where) and it was a bright red. Are we on target?
31/11/23 Reeves Engine Q. See the photos of a Reeves engine. I believe it to be 5 HP, but am unsure, since the nameplate is missing. In American Gas Engines, regarding the Reeves engines you mention only battery and coil ignition. However, as noted in the photos, my engine is also equipped with an ignition dynamo. Could this have been an extra-cost option for this engine? The generator is a Wizard made by Hercules Electric Co. of Indianapolis. I would love to hear from other owners of Reeves engines. David Green, 2200 S. 7 Hwy, Independence, MO 64057.
A. Ignition dynamos were often used with engines, especially the larger sizes. There were numerous makes, but all followed the same general principles, and certainly were beneficial in that the batteries were used only for starting the engine. The dynamo was probably shipped with the engine, but could also have been added as an aftermarket item.
31/11/24 Bent hall Hay Press Q. I have a Bent hall Hay Press made in Suffolk, Virginia. It is equipped with an IHC LA 3-5 HP engine. Any information on this unit would be greatly appreciated. Also, regarding 3118/17; the item in question is called a Fowler Plow. It was used in 'the south, mostly to plow out weeds between peanuts and cotton. George E. Husen, Rt 2, Box 309P, Bonifay, FL 32425.
31/11/25 Identification Needed Q. See Photo 25-A of a potato planter. It has no identification at all. Likewise, Photo 25-B shows a cultivator for which we have no identification, or the least idea of the color scheme etc. Any help would be appreciated. Cedric Kleinhans, 9333 Ave. 198, Tulare, CA 93274.
A. Can anyone be of help on these two items?
Eclipse Lawnmowers Regarding a recent query in this column, Frank Wilsey, 2702 Whitney Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215-4149 writes in part:
The Eclipse Lawn Mower Co., originally located in Prophetstown, Illinois, made some of the nicest reel mowers that I have ever had the pleasure to use. Besides my dad's Parkhound, I have at one time or another owned a copy of their Rocket, Lark, and Rolloway models. The Rolloway had a 26-inch cut and a huge caster-type wheel in back instead of the usual set of rollers which made it extremely maneuverable. All the Eclipse reels, with the possible exception of the last ones they made, used an expansion clutch which did away with the loose-belt/moveable idler clutch arrangement used with other makes. You had to be careful not to adjust the clutch too tight though, or the internal band would break.
Eclipse also marketed the Duo-Master line of rotary mowers, beginning in the mid 1950s. These were some of the best made early rotaries I have seen. I believe Eclipse used Briggs & Stratton engines on most or all of their mowers. I have never seen an Eclipse without one.
Unfortunately, Eclipse built their mowers a bit too well, and lost market share to cheaper models. In the early to mid-1960s Eclipse was taken over by Hahn Company at Evansville, Indiana, thus creating the Hahn-Eclipse line. Its flagship walk-behind unit was the Pow-R-Pro self-propelled rotary, which was one of the very few rotaries from that period that featured a blade clutch. Again, these mowers were not built down to a price as most others were, and eventually Hahn-Eclipse faded from view. I do not know if the company is still operating, but there are no Hahn-Eclipse dealers listed in the Baltimore area.
Recently we added another computer to our household, and this one even has those wonderful Internet capabilities. Despite all this wonderful equipment, we remain a bit intimidated by the whole scene . . . perhaps our 50-some-thing years of doing without this particular piece of equipment has set us in our ways. This writer, after spending several hours with the bloomin' thing, has concluded that taking a two-night class on the subject would be most beneficial, and might keep us from running up a $200 phone bill or some other equally ludicrous foolishness. Don't get us wrong, we're not at all intimidated by progress, but we quickly discovered that in the Internet world, there's a whole new language that includes a good' many terms we've never heard of, much less comprehend!
By the time this copy is in your hands in mid-October, the engine runnin' season will be pretty well past us for a few months. Therefore, we once again, as we have annually for many moons, issue our usual warning...did you drain those engines and tractors? Are you sure? Might not hurt to check again! Recently we heard of a very nice John Deere GP tractor (a high-dollar tractor by most standards) that didn't get drained last winter. Deere GP parts are expensive, and this one is going to take a lot of those expensive parts, especially since the radiator is also ruined. Anyway, if you're not sure, check 'em again!
One other cautionary word...if you have a shop press, and have to press a ball bearing on or off, be sure to wrap some old burlap sacks or a lot of wipers around the bearing. If your setup isn't what it should be, the outer race can break, and those bearing balls under tension will pop out of there like hardened steel bullets.
There are a lot of machinists and handymen in our ranks, and we presume that at least some of you have set up one or another of several different ways to successfully run three-phase motors off of single-phase power. Perhaps this winter, some brave soul will venture forth with an article that would explain some of the ins and outs of this process. Especially with machine tools, a converter of some type is much easier than trying to refit the machine with a single phase motor.
Enuf said for this time...we'll see you again next month!
The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to: REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17608-0328.