A BRIEF WORD
By the time this issue is in your hands, the 1989 show season will, for all practical purposes, have come to a close. By the way, did you drain all your engines and tractors? How about the petcock under the water pump?
As many of you already know, ye olde Reflector is the proprietor of a bookstore. Among the old books, it's always a surprise to see what might turn up. Lo and behold, we recently ended up with a complete set of the Northwestern Reporter, a set of legal reports covering Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Particularly in the 1880-1920 period we find quite a number of interesting cases regarding farm equipment suits. Most of these involve a buyer refusing to pay for a machine that would not perform as warranted, and the seller refusing to take the machine back. Thus far we have run across cases involving the big Mogul 45 tractor of International Harvester, the 30-60 Case tractor, and numerous threshing machines and grain binders. In fact, grain binder suits were fairly numerous.
One such suit by D.M. Osborne Company against a recalcitrant farmer revealed the fact that this particular farmer had bought a mower, it of course being warranted to do a satisfactory job of cutting ordinary grass. Well, the farmer got the mower in the spring, and came back in the fall, bringing along the mower and a refusal to make any more payments on same. He contended that the machine was no good. On inspection it was found that the sickle and ledger plates were completely worn out! As matters moved along, it was found that the farmer had one of the first mowers in his neighborhood, and as a result, had been mowing with it practically all summer. The complaint boiled down to the fact that it wouldn't cut wiregrass. After the smoke cleared, Osborne got their money and the farmer had the mower.
The cases didn't always go this way. In one instance, the farmer signed a contract for a tractor. In a few days the agent came back, asking for the original contract, and telling the farmer that due to his own error in writing it up, he (the agent) would have to write up a new contract, on the same terms, of course, as the first one. The catch was that the fine print at the bottom was different-while the original contract provided for a warranty on the new tractor, the second one specifically disclaimed any warranty or any recourse whatever! The truth finally came out in the trial, and needless to say, the Supreme Court of Nebraska upheld the farmer's contention that he had been taken. Although reading legal briefs is a tough way to pick up on the history of technology, there is without question an awful lot of history buried within these many books!
We start off with:
24/12/1 Huber Serial NumbersMr. and Mrs. Berdell Huber, 10540 Shifferly Road, Bluffton, Ohio 45817 kindly sent us a serial number listing of Huber tractors. Mrs. Huber spent a great deal of time extracting this information from the original Huber records. If you have any questions in this regard, kindly contact the Hubers.
24/12/2 International I-20 tractor Q. See the photo showing the front of an International I-20 tractor with the unique front spring. It was painted a shade of orange. Does anyone have the proper color match for this tractor? It has a seat like that shown on the tractor, bottom left, page 297 of 150 Years of International Harvester. Rev George I. Goodwin Jr., P.O. Box 786, East Worcester, New York 12064.
24/12/3 An Overseas Inquiry Q. I am an avid collector of stationary engines and am an active member of our local club, South West Antique Engine Society. My collection consists of:
Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP 'Z', 1919 (low tension); FBM 3 HP 'Z', 1923 (high tension); IHC M, 1? HP, Wico; IHC M 3 HP, Wico; IHC M 6 HP, American Bosch; Nelson Bros. Little jumbo, 1?; Stover KA, 2 HP; Fuller & Johnson Farm Pumper; and the following Australian engines: H.V. McKay 'Sundial' 2 HP; Moffatt Virtue 2 HP; Blax-land Marine, two-stroke, 1? HP; Ronaldson & Tippett 'Austral', kerosene, blowlamp start, 6 HP. I also have an English-built Hornsby & Sons engine, kerosene, blowlamp start, 6 HP.
My biggest headache is a Now RollR two cylinder engine, s/nCW66614. It has a 3?x4 inch bore and stroke. The engine is complete except for the governor assembly which fits inside the timing gear on the cam shaft. I have made inquiries to a lot of clubs and collectors here in Australia and nobody seems to have even heard of a Novo, let alone what the governor assembly looks like. Perhaps someone of your readers might be able to help me, as I would dearly like to add it to the list of completed engines. David John Barbary, 43 Golden Street, West Wyalong 2671, New South Wales, Australia.
A. The Reflector doesn't have a parts breakdown on the Novo RollR engines, but perhaps some of our readers can pitch in to help an overseas collector with what appears to be a rather scarce engine in faraway Australia.
24/12/4 Unidentified Engine Q. See the adjacent photos of what I believe to be a Termaat & Monahan engine of about 1? HP. It is similar to the one shown on page 509 of American Gas Engines. Any help will be appreciated. Howard Schantz, 11108 Albavar Path, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota 55075.
A. We tend to agree with you that this is a T&M engine, but note in photo 4C the 1? HP model from a file photo we have. At this point in time at least, the telltale mark of the T&M is the unique webbed counterweight inside the flywheel rim. Your engine has a built-in crank handle, per your photos 4A and 4B, but the engine in 4C does not. Perhaps some of our readers can provide some definitive information. Your letter indicates the part number of the block to be 53A. This may be helpful for someone fortunate enough to have a T&M parts book.
24/12/5 The Reflector's latest bookNow before anyone gets their flaps up, ye olde Reflector isn't boosting anything here-just conveying a well deserved public note of thanks. Our latest title, The Circular Sawmill was recently released by Stemgas Publishing Company. Although several people helped with literature and other materials, we feel obligated to publicly convey our appreciation to Mr. W.W. Hartge, 402B Cottonwood Tr., Edwardsville, Illinois 62025. Several years ago, Mr. Hartge compiled a little book on sawmills, using a lot of sawmill literature he had collected. The book went out of print, and eventually the Reflector took on the task of compiling a similar, but more comprehensive title. Had it not been for the large base of material graciously loaned to us by Mr. Hartge, the present title would not have been possible. We are sure the folks at Stemgas agree that all of us appreciate Mr. Hartge's efforts in this project.
24/12/6 A Book QuerySeveral people have written to us in recent months looking for a copy of My Days with the Diesel by Clessie L. Cummins. The book was published by Chilton Books in 1967. Since this column is intended to be a clearinghouse for information, perhaps we are within our intentions by asking anyone knowing of this title to direct their communications to the Reflector, c/o Stemgas Publishing Company.
24/12/7 Harrington Bearcat TractorMr. Paul Reno, 3254 Kansas St., Oakland, California 94602 writes that he recently came across some information on the Harrington Bearcat tractor built at Harrington, Washington. This company built big harvesters and other machinery. Apparently the Bearcat crawler was introduced about 1914. It used a wide front wheel for steering. Can anyone provide further information? If so, please let us know. (Mr. Reno sent a photocopy of this tractor, but it was too dark to reproduce.)
24/12/8 Hefty tractor Q. Can anyone supply information on the Hefty Model F tractor? I'm in desperate need of a service manual and anything else that might be of help in restoring one of these units. Bob Bartley, 428 Hogan Road, Gordonville, Tennessee 38563.
24/12/9 LeRoi Engine Q. Does anyone have any information on a LeRoi 2-cylinder engine as shown in the photo? I am told that Waukesha Motors bought out LeRoi about 1950. By the way, this engine runs backwards. John Kylander, 3408 Dillon Ave., Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001.
A. Our files are bare on this one, but perhaps some of our readers might have something.
24/12/10 Martin Senour Colors Q. In your book, The Allis-Chalmers Story, you mention paint from Martin-Senour and American Parts, but no address was given. Can you supply further information? Keith Goddard, RR 1, New Boston, Missouri 63557.
A. Particularly in the case of Martin-Senour, there are dealers across the country, so we would suggest consulting the Yellow Pages of your phone directory for the dealer nearest you. In addition, other dealers handling Sherwin-Williams, DuPont, Ditzler, and several additional name brands are listed in the Yellow Pages. Some, if not all of these, have the conversion charts to give the right shade of enamel.
24/12/11 Lathrop marine engines Q. I am looking for technical information regarding a Lathrop 5 HP make-and-break marine engine. I have access to your book, American Gasoline Engines, but need additional information on the above model. I am planning to install this engine in a period cypress mullet boat after the overhaul is completed, but need help on wheel size, rpm limits, etc. Also the proper lubricants. Frederick W. Rankin, 1420 West Garden St., Pensacola, Florida 32501.
A. We don't have all the technical information you need, but at one point Lathrop used three separate systems for lubrication, including gravity-feed oil cups, a force-feed lubricator, and an oil-gas mixture. It seems to us that some of the modern two-cycle lubricants ought to work very well, being cautious of course that the main bearings etc. are lubricated by other means. Perhaps someone might have a Lathrop catalog with the desired information.
24/12/12 Current Journals Q. In the back of your books you list numerous magazines and periodicals as sources dealing with old gas engines, tractors, and other equipment. Are any of these still available? Are there any magazines on the market for current equipment? Eugene Madison, N. 3907 River Dr., Waupaca, Wisconsin 54981.
A. So far as the engine and tractor hobby is concerned, we can offhand think of three currently published titles; Gas Engine Magazine which you now have in hand; Iron Men Album, similar in format, but emphasizing steam power. These two are published by Stemgas Publishing Company. Another one is Engineers & Engines, published every other month at Joliet, Illinois. There are also several periodicals devoted to specific makes, including Deere, Minneapolis-Moline, and others. Of the old-timers such as American Thresher-man, Gas Review, Gas Power, and numerous others, they are long ago out of business. It must be remembered that prior to our days of mass media, magazines and trade catalogs were the primary source of advertising for new products. With the advent of sophisticated dealer networks and localized advertising in the 1930's, journals like those noted above served their usefulness and left the scene.
24/12/14 Davis two-cylinder engine Q. I have a Davis 10 HP two cylinder opposed engine built by Davis at Milwaukee. Can anyone tell me anything about this company? Jerome J. Simonis, RR 3, Box 165, New London, Wisconsin 54961.
A. Davis Mfg. Company of Milwaukee is listed on page 120 of American Gas Engines. We have it that they built engines from 8 to 60 HP. Whether this is the same Davis who earlier operated a gas engine plant at Waterloo, Iowa is yet unknown. Regardless, it was Davis who designed the engines used in the Avery tractors, and they built these engines for Avery until the latter bought out Davis in 1918. There is also evidence that Davis built engines for several other tractor companies, and in fact, may have had a hand in designing the early Case tractor engines.
24/12/15 Centaur Tractor Q. I have just acquired a tractor with the following nameplate: LeRoi Company Centaur Division, Greenwich, Ohio, Model C1, s/n 525546.
It appears to be the same as the KV shown on page 71 of Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors. Any information on this tractor will be appreciated.
Also, is there a chance that someone might eventually publish 'Reflections from the Territory,' a column written by the late Elmer J. Baker Jr. for Farm Implement News Magazine and later for Implement & Tractor Magazine? His stories of large threshing outfits or the connection between Deere and Velie are a couple that come to mind. Jim Gutenberger, Route 1, Colby, Wisconsin 54421.
A. As some of you perhaps remember, when this writer began doing the 'Reflections' column in this magazine, we noted initially that in some small way we hoped it might be a tribute to the original Reflector, Mr. Baker. We know that there has been some talk in the past of compiling 'The Best of Baker,' but to our knowledge this has never been done. Most of this material is probably under copyright.
24/12/16 Empire EngineChris Thyrring, P.O. Box 7159, Halcyon, California 93420 has just acquired a 2? HP Empire from Empire Cream Separator Co., Bloomfield, New Jersey. It is equipped with a Webster magneto. Chris would like to know who built the engine, the proper color, and the approximate date built.
24/12/17 A Pitted Cylinder Q. I have a nice 7 HP Hercules that runs fine, except that it spatters oil all over, because the back 5 inches of the cylinder are badly pitted. Is there any cure short of sleeving the cylinder? Also, does anyone have service and parts information on an Allis-Chalmers U tractor with the S-10 Continental engine? Carleton Hughes, 28 Gaines St., Huntington, New York 11743.
A. We honestly doubt that anything but a rebore job will cure the problem. To our knowledge, none of the various cements etc. will be more than a temporary patch. Perhaps though there is something out there that will work. If so, let us know!
24/12/18 Downes Special Q. See the photos of a Downes Special, 1? HP, s/n 33053 made by P.J. Downes Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota. I did find some green paint on it. Can anyone provide any information on this engine? Wm. Miller, 404 27th St. NW, Great Falls, Montana, 59404.
A. We're tempted to think this engine might have been built by Stover, but without seeing the governor side, we can't tell for sure. The top of the water hopper certainly resembles the early Stover design. To our knowledge, Downes did not build their own engines but bought them on contract from various manufacturers.
24/12/19 FBM engineJoe McKerdy, 86 Gladstone Ave., St. Thomas, Ontario N5R 2M1 Canada needs to hear from anyone with literature or information on a FBM 1? HP 'Z' engine with solid flywheels.
24/12/20 Cushman Cub Colors Q. I recently began restoring a Model R14 Cushman Cub and thought they were green until cleaning it up and discovering gray or very light blue. Does anyone have the correct color? Richard K. Brehm, 22 Tyler Road, Lexington, Massachusetts 02173.
A. We have heard of several different color numbers, and perhaps there was some difference in the actual shade of gray during the years of production. We believe that DuPont's 57704 gray is close, or for something a bit lighter, perhaps 652D Massey-Ferguson gray might be about right. We think both of these colors are in the ballpark.
24/12/21 Huber Light Four Q. I have a Huber Light Four using the Waukesha four-cylinder engine and the Ricardo head as they did between 1929 and 1933. Any information will be appreciated. D.S. Betts, 25111 McCoy Rood, Freeport, Ohio 43973.
A. Many of our collectors are probably unaware of the use of a Ricardo head on the Huber tractor engines for several years. For a bit of history, Harry Ricardo was a famous English engineer who, as the name implies, pioneered this system. It was intended to provide the turbulence needed for better combustion, and as a consequence, higher fuel economy with more power.
24/12/22 C. T. Wright Engine Q. See the two photos of a C. T. Wright engine, 3 HP, s/n 79, built at Greenville, Michigan. It uses a Lavigne mixer with a drip oiler incorporated into the mixer itself. This eliminates the need of mixing oil with the gas. Does anyone have any information on this company or the engine? Has anyone established a DuPont color match for the Alamo Blue-Line engines? Mark Wigmore, 5010 Wezel Circle, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80916.
24/12/23 Leader Engine Q. I am restoring a Leader 4 HP engine by Field Force Pump Co., Elmira, New York. I removed the engine and pump from an orchard sprayer. Any information on this engine or the company will be appreciated. Charles R. Edwards, RR 1, Box 164, Schuyler, Virginia 22969.
24/12/24 Unknown Engine Q. See the two photos of an engine I retrieved from an old 'Desert Claim.' The engine was belted to a 6 inch irrigation pump. There are no part numbers of any kind. It has approximately a 9x12 inch bore and stroke, uses a sideshaft design, although the shaft is gone. Any information or suggestions as to the make of this engine will be greatly appreciated. Rich Howard, Hysham, Montana 59038.
24/12/25 John Deere Q. See the photo of a recent acquisition, a John Deere of 1929 vintage, s/n 400033. When I got it, a tree was growing up through the steering wheel. Can anyone supply information on this tractor? Llyn Spencer, RR 2, Box 187, Gatesville, Texas 76578.
24/12/26 IHC LA Engine Q. I need information on an IHC LA, 1?-2? model, such as the proper colors, type of decal, etc. Dick Lossner, 1836N. McKnight Rd., Maplewood, Minnesota 55109.
A. These engines used no striping, and the majority are finished with IHC Red enamel, available at most paint stores. A small double-globe decal is placed on the flywheel side, and the 2?x6? manufacturers decal goes on the pulley side. These decals are available through various GEM advertisers.