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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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 9×12 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
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
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.