A Brief Word
Back in 1892, Gustav Richard published a three volume series on gas engine design. One volume is devoted to plates of various engines. We thought that the 'Moteur Mac Allen' of 1889 was quite a novel approach to charging the cylinder. The power cylinder is located above, with the charging cylinder situated beneath. By altering the volume of the charging cylinder, one could actually achieve some degree of supercharging with this design.
Another interesting design is the 1895 version of a duplex engine built by Compagnie Parisienne in France. This one uses an interesting combination of a sideshaft, plus a cross-mounted cam shaft. Note also the unusual arrangement of spur and bevel gears at the crankshaft. In case you're wondering why these 'foreign' engines are appearing here, we thought perhaps that the unusual designs might be the catalyst to move some of our model makers into action. Hopefully, we'll be hearing from somebody in the next few months or so, announcing that they have tackled one or both of these unique designs.
From the February 1911 issue of Gas Energy Magazine we read the following:
'Norton & Newland, Marshalltown, Iowa manufacturers of gasoline engines, windmills, pumps, etc. have sold out to Gauthun & Bratteig.
'Economic Engine Works, Utica, New York will occupy the Forry planing mill property at Columbia, Pa. on February 1, 1911. . . .The company builds gasoline engines.
'Evansville Manufacturing Company, Evansville, Wisconsin opened its doors January 2, 1911. Frank Frost and Chester Morgan are the managers, and the company will use the Grange warehouses as a factory. The firm will make a specialty of manufacturing gasoline engines, and will begin work on a one horsepower engine which Messrs. Frost and Morgan recently invented, intended for farm use.'
From the March 1911 issue of the above magazine comes this one:
'Edward A. Hornbostel, a mechanic for Dickinson Mfg. Co., Des Moines, Ia. has patented a gasoline engine which, in the opinion of experts, will revolutionize the whole gasoline engine business. The merit lies in its simplicity...'
Can any of our readers supply further information on these companies? If so, let us know.
Chances are that about the time we send this column over to GEM, a big package of new inquiries will arrive the day after. We hope our readers don't get disgusted because their queries are not always answered the next issue. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way if we're to have the copy in by the deadline. If that happens, then EVERYBODY gets grumpy...
Our first question this month is:
26/6/1 Ireland Drag Saw Q. See the photo of an Ireland drag saw built at Norwich, New York. It has a five-foot blade with a gear and rollers to run the log past the saw. Any information on this unit will be greatly appreciated. Joe Kroes, 7355 West Sorrell Hill Rd., Baldwinsville, NY 13027.
26/6/2 Sandwich & Christensen Q. In a Sandwich engine catalog they state that the color is Brewster Green. Does anyone have a paint this color?
I also just purchased a 21/2 HP Christensen sideshaft engine, and need information on the muffler, shield, and the large tag that was on the side of the water hopper. Is there any difference between the Christensen and the C.P. & J. Lauson engines? Bill McCleary, 70 Dew Drop Road, York, PA 17403.
A. Brewster Green is a dark olive green that is available from most of the paint companies, and it usually shows up in their color charts as Kenworth Green, among other designations. The Christensen and Lauson engines are different.
26/6/3 Poor Man's Rack & Pinion Q.Cliff Larson, 64 Wallace Dr., Rock-away Beach, MO 65 740 tells us that this device can be made by tack welding roller chain to a steel section, and then using a roller chain sprocket as the pinion. We've heard of this before, and have even seen the idea used a couple of times. We think it's a good idea, and hope that some of our readers might find it useful.
26/6/4 Stover Engine Q. What is the year of a Stover KE engine, s/n 163724? Joseph C. Benzing, PO Box 61, South Effingham, NH 03882.
A. Your engine was built in 1925. It is finished in a dark brewster green.
26/6/5 Icemobile Q. Thanks to Kevin F. Biebel, 5 Prospect Drive, Stratford, CT 06497 for sending along a photo of what appears to be an early gas-powered snow or ice vehicle.
26/6/6 Stover Diesel Engine Q. I have a 10 horsepower Stover diesel, s/n D8, DSL 251723. When was it built? Our Mid-South Flywheelers Club has three of the Stover diesels among its members. David Rayburn, 8362 Lakeshore, Southaven, MS 38671.
A. Your engine was built in 1937. Ye olde Reflector has a 10 HP model of 1939 vintage, and we're sure glad it has an electric starter. The Stover diesel was one of the few American-built diesels to use the Acro injection system developed by Franz Lang in Germany. It directs the injected fuel charge at a 'funnel' in the piston head. The hollow piston head acts as an energy cell. Later on, Lang developed the Lanova system which directs the fuel at an energy cell diametrically opposite the injection point. Also of interest, when J. I. Case began building diesel tractors in 1953, they adopted a modified form of the Lanova system, but mounted the injector and energy cell in a tangential pattern.
26/6/7 Hot Tube Ignition Q. Would diesel fuel work in a hot tube ignition system? Also, my Webster engine runs great on gasoline when it is up to operating temperature, but does not run good at all if it is not hot enough. I have tried moving the torch up and down on the tube, but this seems to help very little. Any suggestions? Robert Mayeaux, 2204 Comanche, Sulphur, LA 70663.
A. Diesel fuel and kerosene would not work very well in a hot tube engine because these fuels have a much higher boiling point and they do not volatilize like gasoline. Your problems with the Webster are fairly typical for a hot tube engine. Taking one outside and trying to run it on a breezy day can be a challenge. There is enough wind to cool the engine and the ignition tube a bit, and that's enough to get poor ignition, if you can get it at all. We wish we could offer more encouragement. However, might we offer a suggestion ? How about filling the reservoir up with hot water before starting, and that way you might minimize the rough performance. Also, throttle the water flow so that the cylinder temperature is kept as hot as possible.
26/6/8 Square Deal Engine Q. See the two photos of a Square Deal engine, s/n 563. As it is neither pictured nor described in American Gas Engines, I thought perhaps it might be on the rare side of things. Also, since there are bits and traces of original paint and striping on it, would it hurt the value to repaint it? Any further information on this engine will be appreciated. Jere M. Groff, 1612 New Danville Pike, Lancaster, PA 17603.
A. Yours is indeed an unusual engine. There have always been two schools of thought regarding restoration. Bring it back mechanically, and let it keep its original aged look, or on the other hand, restore it completely, both mechanically and cosmetically. Although this writer prefers the latter course, that's only our personal opinion.
26/6/9 Engine-Generators? Q. As a new subscriber, I am wondering if anyone is still left making old-style engines?
Also, wouldn't one of these engines, when connected to a generator, produce the cheapest electricity possible? Are they not more efficient than modern engines? How much output can be expected from a 1 or a 3 horsepower engine hooked to a generator? Robert L. Wurgaft, Box 29 1-A2-18 (D18517), Represa, CA 95671.
A. We've heard that the Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engines are still made somewhere in Mexico.
Regarding the efficiency of small engine-generator sets, it isn't very good, in fact, not good at all! Until the 1970's, when diesel fuel was relatively cheap, municipal diesel plants flourished across the country. However, with the first oil embargo, these plants quickly became inefficient when compared to the large stations using coal, water, or nuclear power. Thus, the majority of the diesel plants have been broken up for scrap over the past few years. There was no way that they could compete with the big generating stations. Moving a step backward, the small home plant of say, 10 kilowatts, has only a tiny fraction of the capacity of even a small diesel plant, and as could be expected, the net cost per kilowatt is considerably higher. Briefly stated, today's huge power plants can generate for a fraction of what it would cost to run a gas or diesel engine.
A 1 horsepower engine would be hard put to operate a 500 watt generator at full load for any length of time. Likewise, a 3 horsepower engine will handle perhaps 1500 watts for a short time, but a 1000 watt load will certainly put it to work.
26/6/10 IHC Mogul 30-60 Tractor Q. My father, who is 87 and still working as a mechanic, has derived many hours of enjoyment and memories from GEM. He talks about an IHC Mogul 30-60 that his father had and drove. Might it be possible to run an article on this tractor? Also, where might my father and I go to see a 30-60 Mogul, especially here in the West? James Haegle, M.D., 409 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
A. Several years ago, ye olde Reflector compiled a book, 150 Years of International Harvester, that illustrates numerous views of the 30-60 Mogul tractor. We don't know of one out in your part of the world, but if any of the readers can help, please contact Dr. Haegle at the above address.
26/6/11 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of an unidentified engine. It has 10 inch flywheels, and is about 3/4 HP. Can anyone give the name, correct color, or any other information on this engine? It seems to be missing the crank guard and the carburetor. Any help will be greatly appreciated. John M. Preston, 2500 Curtis Rd., Leonard, MI 48367.
26/6/12 Unidentified engine Q. See the photo of an engine in my possession. It has no tag or markings except for 'No. 44' stamped in the end of the crankshaft. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Charles R. Snider, HCR 26161, Box 35, New Martinsville, WV 26155.
26/6/13 Hercules? Q. I have a Hercules 5 HP engine, but it has a lot of blue paint on it, and you can faintly see the Hercules logo. I also have a 11/2 HP Economy, s/n 75933. Can you tell me when it was made? James Luper, 5430 Voice Rd., Kingsley, MI 49649.
A. Your engine was probably built by Hercules for the Jaeger Machine Company. The 11/2 HP engine may be as early as 1916.
26/6/14 Coldwell EngineKenneth A. Simmons, PO Box 91, Friendship, ME 04547 needs information on a single-cylinder Coldwell engine. It has no serial number or nameplate. If you can be of help, drop Ken a line at the above address.
26/6/15 Some Questions John B. Mulford, Jr., Penrith Farm, Lodi, NY 14860 comments that perhaps there should be an 'industrial handbook' for the gas engine and tractor hobby. As an example, who still builds wooden wheels, or who can supply the leather for an ancient cone clutch, or can help solve a problem with an ancient automobile engine? John tells us that some years ago he needed a repair job on a relief valve on a Case steamer. After some checking, he found a company that could rebuild it and certify it; not cheaply, mind you, but at least it could be done. So, if anyone knows of people specializing in past arts or who can supply those out-of-the-ordinary things, always be sure to drop us a line! Thanks John, for bringing this to our attention.