With this issue, GEM closes out 28 years of publication. This writer well remembers that first issue ... a rather thin little journal which approached the gas engine and tractor hobby. In the 1960s it was still quite possible to buy a John Deere engine for $20 or less... a nice sideshaft engine of almost any make could be bought for under $100 with a bit of shopping! Tractors were likewise relatively inexpensive ... ye olde Reflector bought a 30-60 Ault-man-Taylor for $1,000! Ah, how times have changed!
It was during the 1960s that this writer began collecting literature on old engines and tractors. We recall buying two large boxes of old engine and tractor catalogs, along with a lot of good magazines for $150, and that took a lot of thinking. After all, that was a fair amount of money, and we wondered whether we could ever recoup our money. 'Over the years, this purchase has served as a core of our literature collection, and has many times provided the information we needed when researching a particular subject.
It is also significant that in the 1960s the so-called engine and tractor shows were relatively scarce by today's standards. Most of those that were in operation confined the major emphasis on steam power, with tractors and engines being distinctly in the background. There have been a lot of changes in the past 28 years!
Oh, and if it isn't already too late ... have you drained your engines and tractors for the winter?
Our first query this month begins with:
28/12/1 Ariel Motorcycle Q. See the photos of an old Ariel motorcycle. It is mostly complete but some engine parts and the control cables are gone. Can anyone supply any information? Timothy Lowe, l7357TaftRd., Riverside, CA92508.
A. We have zilch in our files on the Ariel. Can anyone help?
28/12/2 Cushman Engine Club
Living in the hometown of Cushman Motor Works, I have long been intrigued by their early gas engines. Now I have become a collector and restorer of Cushman engines, and GEM has been a great help. Very little information is available from the company regarding production numbers and years, so I hope by collecting serial numbers and other information on various size Cushman engines, we can establish their year of manufacture and assist in their restoration.
If there is enough interest, I plan to establish a newsletter and eventually a Cushman Engine Club to exchange information about these unique engines. Anyone who is interested can contact me and I will send them a form for information on their engines, which I will then add to the registry and provide them with a listing. Jim Brown, 7309 Baldwin Ave., Lincoln, NE 68507.
28/12/3 Yardman Motor Scooter Q. See the photo of a Yardman Motor Scooter, Model 4000-0, s/n 1055, made in Jackson, Michigan. If anyone can supply any information, it will be greatly appreciated. David F. Warner, 406 North St., PO Box 257, Braceville, IL 60407-0257.
A. Does anyone have information on this machine?
28/12/4 Economy Tractor Q. See the photos of an old Economy garden tractor. It was made by the Engineering Products Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The s/n is 983. It has a Wisconsin AEH engine on it. I would like to know when it was made, the color scheme, and other information that might be available. Stewart R. Sickles, 5208 N. Hillcrest Dr., North Street, Ml 48049-9618.
A. Can anyone be of help on this one?
28/12/5 Serial Number Info Needed Q. What is the year built of the following:
IHC LB, LBBR6O862HB Stover TB220999 F-M 773306 Hercules 158163 Maytag Model 82, #117212 Willis A. Shook, 1123 Nelms Rd., Albany, GA 31705.
A. The IH was built in 1947; the Stover in 1934; the F-M in 1932; Hercules unknown; and Maytag 1927. Might we suggest Wendel's Notebook for a listing of serial numbers and other useful information, available from GEM or from the Reflector.
28/12/6 Lathrop Marine Q. Can anyone supply information on the Lathrop marine engine in the accompanying photo? This one is a 12 horsepower model with a 7 inch bore and stroke. Scott Barbaria, 47 Warren St., New Rochelle, NY 10801.
A. Does anyone have information on this specific model?
28/12/7 Engine Starting Device See the photos of my electric starting system for my 5 HP Novo engine. The starting motor is a Ford as used in the 1950s and 1960s. The starter motor is mounted on a hinged board to put tension on the belt for starting. When the engine starts the board is lifted up to release the belt and flip it off the flywheel of the engine. The electrical system is the same as on an automobile with a solenoid and a pushbutton in place of a key. Note that I am using a lawn mower battery for starting.
The motor in the foreground by the wheel is a HP AC motor I use when I am home or when a 120 VAC supply is available.
Why the electric starting system? If that engine had to run by my cranking, it would never run. I am a senile old codger age 85 and with a pacemaker implanted in me.
Also, last year my son-in-law and I took the engine to a show and cranking almost resulted in an accident, because the crank stuck on the engine shaft. I got the engine stopped before the crank flew off. The other accident was that while my son-in-law was cranking the crank came off and hit him in the upper lip where they put some stitches in his mouth. That was the end of running that engine for the rest of the show, so please be careful. J. Miller, Ellison Bay, WI 54210.
28/12/8 Maytag Battery Ignition This battery ignition system for a twin cylinder Maytag was also sent in by J. Miller, Ellison Bay, WI 54210. He made the changeover because of an unwillingness to spend considerable money for coil repairs. See the photo and accompanying sketch.
28/12/9 Wire Tie Binders Harold Biel, Spring Valley, MN writes that information on the early wire-tie grain binders is to be found in the book The Grain Harvesters by Quick and Buchele. This book was published by ASAE.