30/4/60 Rock Island Engine Q. See the pictures
of a Rock Island engine, 3 HP, s/n A87296. The engine has sat in
the trees for the last sixty years. The owner told me it was new in
about 1915. Since I am a beginner, I would appreciate any
information about the color, operating information, etc. on this
engine. Dale E. Schroeder, Rt 3, Box 19, Avoca, IA 51521.
A. This engine is painted brown, like DuPont
93-24590. In Centari enamel, we presume one would drop the
93-prefix. Decals are available through some GEM advertisers, and
perhaps someone might have a photocopy of the instruction hook.
30/4/61 Witte Engine Information Q. What is the
year built for a Witte engine, s/n 25281? David Babcock, 3491 E.
Deckerville Rd., Cass City, MI 48726.
A. Your engine was made in 1916.
30/4/62 Making New Valves Q. I have restored a
number of engines, and find that replacing valves is difficult. I
purchase new valves in a local automotive store, but they are very
hard and it is impossible to drill a hole in them. I have tried
several different ways to soften them, but with no luck. Can anyone
provide a solution? Larry R. Holderman, 2328 W 300 N, Warsaw, IN
A. We’ve experienced the same problem, and
have ended up cutting a groove in the end of the stem with a
carbide tool, and then making a keeper. Even carbide doesn’t
like those hard valve stems! Any ideas would be welcome!
30/4/63 Corn Shellers Q. See photo 63A of a
Sears & Roebuck sheller, Model 242.60. What color was it
painted, and when was it built? They answered me that the company
was no longer in business and cannot give me the information I
wanted. Can anyone be of help? Also see photo 63B of a one-hole
Burrall hand crank com sheller made by the Goulds Mfg. Co., Seneca
Falls, New York, [patented] March 1863. Can someone provide more
information on this sheller and its correct color? Alfred G.
Brejcha Jr., RR 2, Box 12, Western, NE 68464.
30/4/64 Aermotor Colors? Q. I recently acquired
an Aermotor like is shown in American Gas Engines, page 13, lower
left hand corner. I would like to find the correct color; mine
appears to have been a light purple with white or yellow stripes.
Any information will be appreciated. David Jones Clay, Rt 5, Box
142, Brenham, TX 77833.
A. We’ve never heard from anyone about the
correct color, although there have been comments that it was some
shade of dark red or perhaps maroon. That might explain the
purplish cast that you see now.
30/4/65 Information Needed Q. See 65 A of an
Empire 1 HP engine, s/n C115252. The tag reads Alamo Engine Co.,
Hillsdale, Michigan. Can anyone tell me when it was made, and the
Photo 65B shows a 1 HP Type 3 M-H engine with a Tillotson
carburetor and Wico magneto. There are a lot of similarities with
this engine and the F-M Type Z, Style D engine. Can anyone supply
the date built, and the correct colors?
In photo 65C is a Homelite Corp. engine with a tank heater
generator attached. Model HRUH-2B. Can anyone tell me its original
usage, and its age? I’m told it was a booster to help start
aircraft engines. G. Douglas Laing, Box 295, Bethune, Sask SOG OHO
30/4/66 Information Needed Q. I recently
purchased a 1 HP Alamo, s/n 111044. Can anyone tell me when it was
built, and the size and shape of the fuel tank? Where is the tank
The 1 HP John Deere Series E: This is a nearer model with the
vent but the serial # is 29. Can you explain this? Thanks for your
help. Norman Hansen, 2982 Hwy 71, Cambridge, ID 83610.
30/4/67 Unidentified Engine Q. Can any one
identify the small fan-cooled engine in the photo? The only numbers
found were EV-3 and EV-9 inside the crankcase. Richard Miller, 1722
Meridian, Reese, MI 48757.
30/4/68 Mar-Tan Engine Q. See the photos of a
Mar-Tan motor made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I would like to find
some information on this engine from anyone that might know. Any
information will be appreciated. Kendall (Mike) Ellis, 1020 Old
Crystal Bay Road, Wayzata, MN 55391.
A. Isn’t it ironic that we’ve never
heard much about Mar-Tan in all these years, and now the company
shows up twice in the same issue! Perhaps these two new sightings
will improve the odds of finding some information.
30/4/69 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone
provide information on the engine in the photos? I need the make,
type of carburetor, and what the flywheel looks like, It has an
atmospheric intake valve and a Robert Bosch magneto. Any
information will be appreciated. Gary Kmiecik, 911 Carney Blvd.,
Marinette, WI 54143.
30/4/70 J.O.A.T. Carburetor Q. I hive a
Fairbanks-Morse 1 HP Jack-of-All-Trades engine. It’s completely
rebuilt except the carburetor. The overflow tube is missing and
whatever else, I don’t know. Are there any drawings or prints
for this engine? Any information will be appreciated. Terry J.
Schehema, 6912 – 84th St., Caledonia, Ml 49316.
A. On the return line, the pipe nipple was
simply threaded long and sticks up inside of the carburetor to
maintain a certain fuel level in the bowl. All that’s necessary
is for the fuel level to be well up on the venturi tube. If the
level is too high, the normal vibration of the engine will permit
the engine to get too much fuel at times. If too low, it will miss
sometimes, just from lack of fuel. Generally, the bowl is kept
pretty well full all the time. We’ve taken the approach of
soldering a piece of copper tubing onto the end of the return pipe,
and then using cut-and-try to get the fuel level where it should
30/4/71 IHC Famous & Titan Q. I have a 6 HP
Famous engine, along with original trucks for it. What is the
original color for the trucks? Also, my engine appears to have
green flywheels. Any information will be appreciated. Terry L.
Kasten, RR 1, Box 33, Lake Norden, SD 57248.
A. We think the trucks were all red except for
having black wheels. Some of the Famous and Titan engines used the
familiar Olive Green on the flywheels and crank fender, but the
remainder of the engine was red.
30/1/11 Wico EK Condensers Lee W. Pedersen, 78
Taft Ave., Lyn-brook, NY 11563 writes: With reference to Mr.
Spencer’s comments in January 1995 GEM (30/1/11), regarding
cheap replacements for the Wico EK magneto condensors, I offer a
quality-made condensor made for the EK specifically.
Not only does it come with both wire leads hermetically attached
and cut to proper length with the insulation removed the proper
length for installation on either side; these quality condensors
are made only for EK mags and are temperature and vibration
resistant, unlike radio capacitors. The EK condensors I offer have
a non-conducting body which will not short, ground, oxidize, or
ever adversely affect the operation of the magneto. They are made
only for the Wico EK, matching the original as closely as possible
for size, capacitance, fit, and installation.
In addition, since my only interest is stationary engine parts,
collecting, restoration, and preservation, a portion of the sale of
each part I sell goes to future part development to benefit
collectors and restorers in the years to come.
There are a number of GEM advertisers who have gone out on a
limb, time wise and money wise, to reproduce various parts and
accessories that are essential in the restoration of vintage
engines and tractors. (Some of us even write books on the subject!)
It’s never been, to my knowledge, a tremendous money maker; we
think that ‘a labor of love’ is oftentimes a better
description. So, we encourage you to support the GEM advertisers
whenever possible. For the majority of them, as well as for
ourselves, the ultimate goal is the preservation and restoration of
these old engines and tractors.
Ye olde Reflector
30/2/8 Niagara-Novo Look alike The Niagara
Brand Spray Company’s Novo look-alike interests me. Last summer
I was given a Niagara Sprayer Company engine made in Middleport,
New York. (See the four photos, RW30/2/8A-D.) The engine was
probably made 1912-14- However, it too is an obvious Novo spin-off.
As you will note from the photos, the water hopper and cylinder
head are different from a typical Novo both in shape and in
valving. The Niagara put the spark plug over the intake valve and
the priming cup over the exhaust valve in threaded valve covers.
The carburetor is a very odd shaped aluminum affair radically
different from Novo carburetors that I have seen. In all other
respects, the engine was virtually identical to the Novo. I have a
2 HP Novo and was able to compare parts. Ignition and timing parts
are interchangeable. The fuel pump is the same.
Niagara Sprayer Co., Middleport, NY made its claim to fame with
pesticide dusts delivered by an engine-powered duster. Around
1912-14 they brought out a liquid sprayer similar to the one shown.
Within a few years the company got completely out of liquid
sprayers, concentrating on dusters. However, the more modern units
are shown with John Bean-type engines and New Way air cooled
engines. Old-timers say that the Niagara engine was cast and
assembled in their foundry at Middleport. I think that your theory
that Novo may have sold manufacturing rights to other companies is
probably quite right. Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Avenue, Newfane,
Hercules Article Regarding the ‘Hercules
Engine News’ in the January 1995 issue, I wish you would print
more of this information. I have a McCormick-Deering flywheel
[engine] with no idea on how to tune up, or even the proper way to
start it; any information would help. Wendell D. Stevens, 1923
Indian Rocks Rd S., Largo, FL 34644.
30/2/24 Montgomery Ward Your M-W tractor, Model
MID50555a, s/n 1688 was first sold in 1954 or 1955. The engine is
the BKN Wisconsin, 6 HP. The same model number was also used for
those sold without the riding sulky. We bought one of these new in
1956 without the sulky. The MID identifies the tractor as being
built by Midland Mfg. Co., South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for
Montgomery Ward. It was introduced in 1954 and sold through listed
numbers until 1959. Not many were sold with the sulky, and they are
scarce now. Many of these were sold with the heavy duty 32-inch
rototiller. The tiller had a model of GIL5613a and was made by
Gilson for Montgomery Ward.
What is especially confusing is that Montgomery Ward again began
to sell garden tractors from Simplicity in 1956. One of these also
had a three-speed and reverse transmission. All of the
Simplicity-built models began the model no. with SIM and a 4 or
5-digit number. Since the model No. was painted on the tag, most of
these are unreadable now. All of the Midland-built had an almost .
flat oval tube that extended out to the handlebars. The
Simplicity-built had two round tubes for the handlebars. On some
models the tubes were parallel as they extended from the body of
the tractor and on other models the tubes were splayed at an angle
from each other. All of the Montgomery Ward garden tractors from
1937 through the mid-1960s were made by Simplicity, except for the
ones by Midland from 1950 through 1959. All tractors used the same
front and rear equipment. All tractors from both companies were
painted with Simplicity red paint, but some had off-white wheels.
Both manufacturers also sold the tractors through their independent
dealers. Kenneth Scales, 2601 Shady Nook Way, Oklahoma City, OK
30/2/9 Question The Everite Pump Company can be
reached as follows:
Everite Pump Company Div. of C. B. Tool Co. 1340 Manheim Pike
Lancaster, PA 17601 PH 717/393-3828
Also, sometime back there was someone who asked about a
Dellinger Co. in Lancaster, Pa. The A. M. Dellinger Co. was founded
in 1895 to manufacture ensilage cutters as a new product for the
Mountville Co., which was finally a product No. 611 of the New
Holland Co. Then in 1932 the Dellinger Co. bought the Mountville
Co. line of machinery, however they did not buy the land or
building of the Mountville Co. which was later bought by New
Holland Co. in 1942.
Then on September 16, 1948 the Dellinger Mfg. Co. was bought out
by New Holland Machine Co. The details of all this information are
contained in the book called The Innovators, the story of
New-Holland Company. The book was written by Homer K. Luttringer,
and published in 1990. This book also contains a list of balers
made up to 1979, listing of all types of implements manufactured,
location of the manufacturing plants, and other information. Noah
M. Brubaker, RR 2, Box 283, Lewisburg, PA 17837-9610.
30/2/27 It’s a Panzer With reference to
30/2/27, this tractor is a Panzer, Model T70B, powered by a Kohler
7 HP, Model K161, electric-start engine. Built by the Panzer
Products Inc., 1010 Main St., Waynesboro, Pa. in 1962-63.
My Panzer, purchased used about 1976, has seen hard use both
summer and winter with two valve jobs and about three breakdowns in
17 years. It runs well and I still use it once in awhile. I have
the owners manual and parts list and will forward a copy to anyone
needing it. Dwight Cushing, RD 1, Box 121, Schaghticoke, NY
30/1/17 Lauson-built Engine Your Lauson-built
Montgomery Ward engine was listed in the Spring & Summer M/W
catalog from 1939 through 1942. The remaining stock was sold out in
1943. Lauson also sold this engine through their dealers with
identical specs. The Wards catalog shows the color to be
‘Bright Orange Enamel.’ I have one of these with the same
catalog number and serial no., 84363. Under the brass tag the color
is a reddish orange but Jacobson lawn mower orange is close. This
engine has a four-bolt head and uses a 1 x 17/8 inch bore and
stroke. Kenneth Scales, 2601 Shady-brook Way, Oklahoma City, OK
30/1/3 says Thanks! I received many replies and
letters on this inquiry. All were very informative, interesting,
and greatly appreciated. I believe I’ve answered all the
letters, but if I’ve missed anyone, I want them to know I thank
them for their help and nice letters. Donald R. Green, PO Box 618,
Allyn, WA 98524-0618.
30/1/4 Response I believe this is an air-cooled
version of the Nelson Bros, engine as shown in the top right
corner, page 333, of American Gas Engines. We have one like this,
and ours has the identical push rod, rocker arm, and igniter as
shown on page 333. It has pushrod K6, and the plain flywheel number
is P2114 stamped on the race, which is the same numbers as used on
the Little Jumbo. John Innes, RR 2, Embro, ONT N0J 1J0 Canada.
30/2/24 Thank You! In the February issue I
wrote, asking for some assistance with my latest venturehelping my
son Peter restore a Montgomery Ward garden tractor. We received a
number of replies and each contained valuable information. Thanks
to all of you for being so kind and helpful! Rae Tyson, 13033
Compton Rd., Clifton, VA 22024.
Mr. Tyson included some of the information already noted above,
and commented further that his nine-year-old has learned some
valuable lessons about human nature as a result of this [pleasant]
Another Thank You! Frend Poore, 3031 W.
Huntsville Rd., Pendleton, IN 46064 sent us a little book on Marvel
carburetors recently. It is undated, but pre-1920 and contains some
interesting data on the Marvel. Thanks, and it’s already on
Thanks to Galen Bengston, PO Box 507, Quinter, KS 67752 for
sending along photos of some recent projects. MM-1 is a six-cycle
I/C design by Philip Duclos. A Whatzit design by Philip Duclos is
shown in MM-2.
Bengston’s vertical Stirling is shown in MM-3, following a
design by Arlan Climes.
Valmer Nixon designed this Scotch Yoke Stirling, as built by
Bengston and shown in MM-4.
A Robinson Stirling using the Richard Leach design is shown in
John Deere and Iowa
In MM-6 is a ? scale vertical four-cycle hit-and-miss with
screen cooling and belt-driven governor. It is built from Iowa’
castings which I scaled down a number of years ago.
The engine in MM-7 is a high base model John Deere. This is a
fabricated engine, except the flywheels which were castings. My
thanks to Arlo Preem of Denmark, Iowa, for letting me measure his
original John Deere. They are hard to find and differ from other 1
HP engines in several areas. Most obvious is that they will mount
on a flat surface and not require skids. Don Aclon, 28223 Hwy 52,
Bellevue, IA 52031.
A Closing Word
In our continuing series of original photos from Alamo, we
include an Alamo log saw outfit in this issue. This is the first
time we’ve run across one from Alamo. Another interesting photo
shows a large Alamo direct-connected via a clutch to a pump. This
was probably the very first water system for some small town,
somewhere in the U.S. Unfortunately, there are no markings of any
kind on the photos. The Alamo vertical mounted on a Moline binder
is also interesting in several aspects, including a rather ragged
looking bundle in the bundle carrier. And then there’s a photo
of a Rock Island engine mounted on trucks, ready to be crated for
This closes the largest Ref lections column we’ve ever
compiled! Your letters are always appreciated. It all helps to
improve our hobby. Speaking of which, if you’re thinking of
joining my wife Sheila and me on the tour of Switzerland, Germany,
Holland, and other places this September, call the GEM office at
(717) 392-0733 and they’ll send you full details. We’ve
already received a number of confirmed registrations, so we’re
anticipating a good-sized group. We look forward to visiting with
you during the tour!
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. Box328, Lancaster, PA17608-0328.
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.
A Concrete Demonstration at Old Threshers
A longtime Old Thresher Reunion supporter and antique gas engine enthusiast makes concrete blocks the old-fashioned way.