With this issue, GEM closes out its 29th year. As one of those
charter subscribers back in 1966, we hoped that our hobby would
enjoy at least a brief moment in history. How could anyone have
predicted what would eventually happen? Today, the engine and
tractor hobby has grown beyond every expectation. What’s even
better, there are many thousands of folks who have no great
interest in collecting and rebuilding engines, but they do have a
great interest in attending a few of the annual shows.
Thus, we once again renew a point made previously. That point is
this: As long as we keep the younger people interested and inspired
by our hobby it will continue to grow. Whenever we thwart that
enthusiasm, it will start to wither. Congratulations to those
numerous FFA groups and others who have set about restoring a
tractor or two as a project! And thanks to the many collectors who
are willing to lend a hand to a kid, whether 16 or 60, who
doesn’t know how to hook up a coil or set a decent blade!
In this issue we’re including an engine data sheet from 1926
for the Fairbanks-Morse Type Z engines. There are great numbers of
these engines, and we thought perhaps some of our readers might
find something interesting in this compilation.
There are a lot of queries this month, so we begin with:
29/12/1 Mietz & Weiss Query Q. A fellow
member of the South African Vintage Tractor & Engine Club has
located an interesting stationary engine. It is a Mietz & Weiss
hot bulb engine. We are advised that it is a two-stroke engine that
runs on kerosene and has a steam injection system into the
combustion chamber. Unfortunately the steam injection system parts
are missing. We would very much like to receive further information
on this engine and how it works. Wilfred Mole, PO Box 408, Halfway
House, 1685, South Africa.
A. The Mietz & Weiss engines were developed
about 1893 at New York. Steam from the water jacket was piped to
the air intake in an effort to reduce pre ignition. This concept
was continued by oil engine builders until Fairbanks-Morse built
their first ‘dry’ engine about 1915. The steam also had the
effect of washing the cylinder walls and this resulted in excessive
cylinder, piston, and ring wear. Perhaps someone owning a Mietz
& Weiss engine might be of assistance in regard to the
29/12/2 A Query from Japan Q. What is the year
built of an International 1 HP engine, s/n A82078? This engine is
in the collection of the National Agriculture Research Centre at
Taukuba in Japan. Also, what is the year built for an International
Farmall tractor, frame number 36855, said to be thirty horsepower,
at the Koiwai Farm Museum near Morioka in northern Honshu?
Christopher Madeley, 207 Park Heim Yoga Itchome, 1-19-19 Yoga,
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158, Japan.
A. The engine was built in 1928; in addition to
the frame number, you also give the engine number of OC36496.
However, neither of these match up to our serial number lists. We
suspect that the number has a QC prefix, rather than OC, but even
then, we still don’t come up with a number that fits. Possibly,
those tractors destined for export used a different series of
numbers in some instances.
29/12/3 Disston Chain Saw Q. I recently
purchased an odd two-man chain saw. It’s powered by a Mercury
engine, Model KB6-AX, s/n 26578, Date 1944, LAB, 6 HP, 4,000 rpm.
Disston Model 6-36. It is military and has a wooden box for
storage. The bar is 36 inches. Any information on this unit will be
appreciated. Jeff Mosley, 53 Legg Road, Five Points, TN 38457.
29/12/4 Thanks! From George H. Houston, 7541
32nd NW, Seattle, WA 98117 who writes: Many thanks to all who
answered me in regards to the puzzle about the ‘Fence
Charger’ in the September 1994 GEM.
29/12/5 A Followup Regarding Mr. Houston’s
note above, we received numerous replies on 29/9/19, as did Mr.
Houston. However, we think a brief description is in order for our
Basically a Model T buzz coil was used with a 6-volt hot shot
battery. The armature had an extension to protrude above the coil
as it lay on its side. With the points adjusted so they were
normally open, the steel ball was made to roll in the inclined
glass tube and as it struck the armature extension the points
closed momentarily, sending a high voltage to the insulated fence
wire. The magnetic pull of the coil drove the steel ball back up
the inclined tube. This repeated as long as there was enough power
in the battery.
When livestock were first turned into a field, the tube was
inclined more, increasing the number of pulses. After awhile the
slope could be decreased again, thus saving the battery. Thus the
beginnings of the electric fencer.
29/12/6 Cushman Bean Special Q. 1 have a 2 HP
Cushman Bean Special, s/n 9843, Model 1X4B. 1 am interested in
finding any information on this engine, including the original
colors. Jay Alt, RD 5, Box 5442, Moscow, PA 18444.
A. If you can be of help on this engine, kindly
contact Mr. Alt at the above address.
29/12/7 Engine Trucks Q. I have the trucks
shown in the photo. It came from a neighbor who did not know
anything about it. The front wheels are 10 inches in diameter, and
the back ones are 12 inches. Any information will be appreciated.
Franklin G. Frohwein, 3129 Roosevelt Ave., Sanborn, IA
29/12/8 Evinrude Outboard Q. See the photo of
an Evinrude outboard of perhaps 1911 vintage. Is there any way to
establish the exact age of this engine? This and any other
information would be greatly appreciated. Ken Dietering, Box 356,
Hoonah, Alaska 99829.
29/12/9 Magnet Charger In reference to an
article about magnet chargers in the September 1994 GEM, there is a
diagram and list of materials in the January-February 1978 issue of
GEM. However, if no switch is used on the charger, do not make the
last connection at the battery, as the resulting spark could result
in an explosion. A. M. Hobbs, PO Box 404, Conover, NC 28613.
29/12/10 Brownwall Engine Q. 1 have a 1 HP
Brownwall, s/n 1306, air cooled engine, made in Lansing, Michigan.
Can anyone tell me the year made and the correct color? Any help
will be appreciated. Terry J. Scheltema, 6912- 84th St., Caledonia,
A. We have Sherwin-Williams JX5141 Blue listed
as the matching color. Brownwall moved from Lansing to Holland,
Michigan, in 1914, so it would follow, then, that your engine was
built between 1912 and the latter date.
29/12/11 Toronto Engine Q. See the photo of a
Toronto engine. I have the two flywheels and they are 16 inches in
diameter. 1 would like to restore it but have no information. Can
anyone be of help? L. Gay, 1918 Florena Ct., Glen-dale, CA
29/12/12 Thanks! T. D. Shipman, RR2, Box
371-13, Buckhannon, WV 26201 writes:
Once again, you-all came through for me. Got a lot of replies on
my Shaw query. A very warm thank you to all. A special thanks to
George Lazzo for his fine artwork on the valve cage. Now I can fire
up my lathe and turn out a new one.
Also a thanks to Mr. Hollis Brit-ton who supplied a lot of
interesting information. May your battery keep full charge and
plugs fire true.
As for my Economy, I’m doing a custom rebuild on it. Got it
about 80% done. Only need a mag, ignitor, and fuel tank to get it
done. Painted it Medium Green with gold pin striping and the
Economy logo on each side.
29/12/13 Urgent! Urgent! Need any kind of info
on the Clarke Eng. Mfg. Co. of Evansville, Indiana. Have a ca. 1925
two-cylinder, four-cycle marine engine made by Clarke. Anyone with
any information, please contact: Robert Mayeaux, 2204 Comanche St.,
Sulphur, LA 70663.
29/12/14 Unidentified Engine Q. Can anyone
provide further information on the engine shown in the photos? It
was painted grey with yellow pinstripes, but I can’t see what
was printed on the side of the hopper. Any information will be
greatly appreciated. Russ Sponem, 502 N. Center Ave., Jefferson,
29/12/15 Mudge Engine Q. See the photo of a
one-cylinder, two-cycle Mudge Type W engine, s/n 91583. I would
like to find whatever information I can for this engine. It has a
buzz coil and spark plug. 1 need carburetor parts; and would
appreciate hearing from anyone who can be of help. Richard H.
Ellis, 922 Middle Road, Acushnet, MA 02743.
29/12/16 Replacing Magnets When magnets are
dead on a Wico EK, I went to Radio Shack and got nine or ten
ceramic magnets about the size of a domino. I stacked them up,
wrapped them in aluminum foil and tape. The bundle fit in where I
removed the old steel ones, and with a little shimming with shingle
wood I finished it off. One should use a magnetic compass to
determine polarities of the individual magnets for stacking and the
polarity of the original before removing. I purchased the Wico
Magneto Instruction book, a new set of points, a condenser and plug
wire from GEM advertisers. The finished magneto works fine, the job
was not difficult and it cost little. If there is any interest, I
could do one again, take photos, and write a how-to article for
GEM. Bob Avery, 132 Sugartree Lane, Glasgow, KY 42141.
29/12/17 More on Magnets Merl Barnes, 7013
Northview, Boise, ID 83704 reminds us that he came up with a magnet
charger some years ago, with details being published in the
September-October 1975 issue of GEM.
29/12/17 Unidentified Tractor Q. See the two
photos of a three-wheeled tractor. It is powered by a four-cylinder
LeRoi WF-1 engine with a 2 x 3 inch bore and stroke. It resembles
the tractors made by Indiana Silo & Tractor Co. It is chain
driven, and I assume it was converted from steel to rubber tires.
Any information will be greatly appreciated. James Braymer, 7926
Reynolds Rd., Fort Edward, NY 112828.
29/12/18 Simplex Motor Bike Q. See the photo of
a 19?? Simplex Motor Bike. It is missing the engine, rear fender,
handlebars, etc. Any information, literature, or even pictures of a
complete bike would be greatly appreciated. It was made by Simplex
Mfg. Co., New Orleans, Louisiana. Jerry Asher, HCR 5, Box 23,
Clarendon, TX 79226.
29/12/19 Identification Needed Q. Can you tell
me what VB on the side of this planter means? What was it used for?
Bob Mellin, 11 Library Place, San Anselmo, CA 94960.
A. VB stands for Van Brunt at Horicon,
Wisconsin. This was one of the pioneer builders of grain drills,
and later was bought out by John Deere. It was used for various
29/12/20 Shaw Du-All Congrats to Clifford
Bridgford, 22 Nesenkeag Dr., Litchfield, NH 03051. He has compiled
a registry of over 90 Shaw owners with close to 140 pieces of
equipment registered. He also publishes the Shaw Du-All Newsletter
from time to time.
29/12/21 F&J Information Q. What is the
date built for a Fuller & Johnson 2 HP engine, Model NC, s/n
168591? V. P. Mikulanis, 11863 Serena Rd., Lakeside, CA 92040.
A. Your engine was built after 1932, but for
precise information on F &. J, contact: Verne W. Kindschi,
S9008 Hwy 12, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578.
29/12/22 Northwestern Wat-Air Engine Q. See the
photo of an engine I recently restored. It’s a Northwestern
Wat-Air engine built in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We estimate the
engine to be in the early 1920s or perhaps a bit earlier. It’s
a railroad section car engine, 5 HP at 1200 rpm. This engine uses a
Model T Ford carburetor, piston and rod, a single flywheel, and a
cast aluminum hopper. It weighs less than 200 pounds and is of two
cycle design. It will run a 500 pound section car down the tracks
at 30 mph and get 40 miles per gallon.
I have learned that this engine is a cousin to the
Bloomer-Keller engines that were made in Eau Claire after the
Bloomer Machine Works went out. Having taken the engine to several
shows, I haven’t found anyone who has seen another one like it.
I would like to find more information on this engine, so if anyone
can be of help, please let me know. Also would like to hear from
other owners too! Randy Ackley, 21321 County X, Cadott, WI
A. Although there were probably quite a few of
these made, surprisingly few section car engines remain. Railroad
companies weren’t prone to sell individual items. . . most of
their salvage went to large scrap yards where it was summarily
dispatched to the iron shear, loaded onto a waiting car, and sent
to a foundry. We’ve never heard of a remaining example of your
29/12/23 Nichols & Shepard Walter W.
Reeves, 24 Tennyson Road, South Meriden, CT 06451 writes: I have a
friend in Berks, England, that is looking for information on the
following tractor: Nichols &. Shepard, Red River Line Special,
s/n 8829, built 1925 at Battle Creek, Michigan. If you can be of
help, kindly contact Mr. Reeves.
29/12/24 Identity Uncertain Q. See the photo of
what I first thought to be a Stover ‘K’ engine. However,
the igniter bolts are on 3-inch centers, rather than the usual 2
inches. The ignitor face is not recessed in the cylinder casting as
most Stoves are. The exhaust pipe is upward. The bore and stroke is
2 x 5 inches, and the piston looks original. The flywheels have
counterweights cast into them and are 16 inches with a two-inch
face. Any help or information will be appreciated.
Also, I would like to know how to calculate the bob weight to
check the static balance of these single cylinder engines. 1 have
talked to three automotive shops and all three give different
advice. Perhaps a future article might appear from someone. J. D.
Smith, 146 Jo Marie St., San Antonio, TX 78222.
A. At first we thought this engine might be a
Reweigh (a kissing cousin of the Stover) but from our material, we
don’t think so. Perhaps someone can put a positive ID on this
The late Lester L. Roos from Geneseo, Illinois related to us
one time that Stover (and probably other engines) were balanced in
the factory by attaching lead or iron weights to the flywheels, and
then adding, subtracting, or shifting weights until the vibration
came to an acceptable level. Once this was established, the foundry
pattern was modified to put more or less iron in certain places, so
as to put the engine in reasonable balance. Note that a great many
engines have weight subtracted in line with the crank. Dynamic or
running balance is what’s important.
29/12/25 A Small Hone T. J. Shipman, RR 2, Box
371-13, Buckhannon, WV 26201 writes:
On those occasions where a very small hone is needed, I’ve
taken a? x 5 bolt (or ? bar stock), and cut a slot in it down two
inches from one end. Chuck the other end in a variable speed ?
drill and wrap extra fine emery paper on the other end.
29/12/26 Empire 3 Engine Q. I recently
bought an Empire 3 HP engine, s/n 89703. The name plate says Empire
Cream Separator Co., Bloomfield, New York. Did they actually build
this engine? It looks somewhat like an Alamo. I’d also
appreciate any information on the year and the proper color. Roger
Kirchner, 581 S. Water St., Comma, WI 53048.
A. Your engine was likely made by Alamo,
although we don’t have a picture of it to know for sure. We
have GM Corporate Blue listed as the matching color for this
engine, but have no information on the year built.
29/12/27 Hercules Engine Q. We have acquired
the Hercules engine shown in the photo. It is 1 XK, 600 rpm, s/n
12721. The engine was originally painted red, but not sure of the
shade. Could you tell me the correct color and the year made? Any
information will be appreciated. Sam Spencer & Family, 1285-A
Lovett Rd., Orange Park, FL 32073.
A. We have DuPont 674 Red listed as the
matching color, but have no serial number information.
29/12/28 Brownwall Engine Q. I need information
on how to adjust the governor on a 1 HP Brownwall air cooled
engine. Lawrence T. Odland, 225 Oak St., Hillsboro, OH 45133.
A. First, we’ll assume that the pins and
linkages are a reasonably good fit. The pick blade on the governor
arm has to be fairly sharp and not rounded off on the end.
Likewise, if the catch block on the push rod is rounded off, the
pick blade isn’t going to latch very well. At rest, the pick
blade should clear the catch block by perhaps 1/16? of an inch, or
even less. That’s the only way to adjust the speed
differential. Sometimes the cam roller and other parts are worn to
the point that there is barely enough push to release the catch
block. By rolling over the engine with the pick blade locked onto
the catch block, at the high point on the cam, the blade should
release nicely, but not with a lot of over travel on the part of
the push rod. Remember too, that every loose joint contributes to
the problems, including the governor weight pivots, and down
through the line. The effect is cumulative, and given enough wear
in enough places, it’s difficult to make the governor work
properly, if at all.
29/12/29 Identity Needed Q. Can anyone identify
the engine in the two photos? Any advice or information will be
appreciated, also information on the ignition system that was used.
Adam Paloutzian, 2330 Winter Street, Kingsburg, CA 93631.
29/12/30 Leader Engine Q. See the photo of a 2
HP Leader J recently acquired. It was made by Field Force Pump Co.,
Elmira, New York, s/n 6001. Does that mean I have the first Leader
built, disregarding the ‘6’? The fly wheels have ‘The
Leader #2 Made by Field Force Pump Co., Elmira, N.Y.’ cast in
them. The sad thing is that I had a three-cylinder spray pump made
by Field that I sold about a month before I purchased the engine.
If there is anyone out there that has a Field pump, I am interested
in hearing from them, including the man I sold the three-cylinder
pump to. Melvin W. Smith, 23941 Strange Creek Dr., Diamond Bar, CA9
29/12/31 Witte Information Q. What is the
year built of a Witte 3 HP, s/n 84122? Jerry MacMartin, 570 Corliss
Way, Campbell, CA 95008.
A. Your engine was built in 1929, but the
original purchaser is not listed in the record books.
29/12/32 Missing Information Raymond L. Gray,
2135 Little Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN 37862 writes that sometime
back he requested some information on a Fairbanks-Morse outboard
motor. For reasons unknown, we didn’t get his letter, so we
don’t have the particulars. However, if anyone has any
information on one of these, please contact Mr. Gray.
Once again, we point out that we attempt to answer every query
that comes across the desk. In fact, sometimes we’re asked why
we answer the same questions over and over. It’s simply because
the inquirer might be a new collector or a new subscriber, and if
there’s an answer to be had, we feel they deserve one. Please
note that some queries are for specific information from those
having a certain piece of equipment or specialized knowledge of
same. In these instances, and where we simply have no information
on the question, we see no point in offering a ‘non-answer’
29/12/33 Information Needed Q. Chris Lublin,
2510 Farnsworth Rd., Lapeer, MI 48446 needs information on the
Lauson air cooled, 1 HP, Type RLC-457 with a Tillotson side
float carburetor; Lauson 6 HP air cooled, Type TLC-349; and Briggs
& Stratton Model S, Type 700117. Any information will be
A. Here’s a fourteen year old collector
with ten engines; if you can be of help, kindly do so.
29/12/34 Edgston Garden Tractor Q. See the
photo of my Edgston, made at Minneapolis, Minnesota. It uses a
two-cycle engine. Does anyone have any information on this one?
Charley Sommerfeld, 702 Lincoln, La junta, CO 81050.
29/12/35 Identification Needed Q. Can anyone
identify the baler shown in the photos? Any information will be
appreciated. Aquilla D. Mast, 3001 Lititz Pike, PO Box 5093,
Lancaster, PA 17606-5093.
29/12/36 Light Inspection Car Q. See the photos
of a recent acquisition. The nameplate indicates Light Inspection
Car Co., Hagerstown, Indiana. It has hit-and-miss governing and
make-and-break ignition. This particular engine had last been used
to pump oil in northwestern Pennsylvania. I would like to locate
any information which might have surfaced on this engine. Any
assistance will be greatly appreciated. William C. Schwartz, 122
Ormsby Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15210.
29/12/37 NAPA Numbers Q. In the October 1994
GEM you list
NAPA 90R3724 and 3725 as the colors for the David Bradley. I
checked with NAPA and they tell me they have nothing listed by that
number. Please advise. Paul H. Burkle, PO Box 1871, Waterloo, IA
A. The listing came from a NAPA listing
provided several years ago by a NAPA dealer.
29/12/38 Empire Tractors
Thanks to Carl Herng, RD 6, Box 131, Grant Avenue, Auburn, NY
13021. He recently sent us some material on the Empire tractor and
its history. Carl reports that there are now some 70 members in a
club specializing in the Empire. A newsletter is also being
published periodically. For further information, contact Mr.
Richard D. Hamp, 1772 Conrad Ave., San Jose, CA 95124-4501
sends information on some queries:
29/9/20I believe the engine is a Hercules
because of the 7EK horsepower rating. Woodin & Little were
agents for Hercules as well as for the Stover line of engines and
29/10/9Regarding this query, it appears to be a
Wiscona Pep motor. They were originally made by Termaat &
Monahan Co. at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1921 the firm was sold to the
Wiscona Pep Motor & Parts Co. of Oshkosh, which continued
production of the 1 and 3 HP models until late in 1939.
Model makers Corner
Richard Shelly, 2835 Camp Rd., Manheim, PA 17545 forwards two
photos of John Deere tractor models. The row-crop model was made
from lawnmower parts. He used a Roof lawn mower axle drive and
wheels, plus a Briggs & Stratton motor.
A Closing Word
Some time ago we announced that Verne Kindschi at Prairie du
Sac, Wisconsin, had acquired a packet of Alamo engine literature.
There are numerous photographs, but none have any markings of any
kind. So, in closing this month, we submit one image showing a
display of the Alamo line, but we don’t know whether this was
at the factory or at a trade show. The other photograph shows the
Alamo light plants on a test stand preparatory to shipping.
Work is moving ahead post haste for a GEM voyage to Germany and
who knows where else next summer. At press time we have just
learned that the tentative dates for the tour are September 9 to 23
(so as to avoid missing the many Labor Day shows in the U.S.), and
we plan to arrive in Munich and depart from London. More details
As we close out Volume 29 of GEM, ye old Reflector wishes to
extend a personal thanks to all those who have written during the
past year. Your input is greatly appreciated.