Reflections

Looking for Clues to Unknown Engines


| December/January 2001



Stover Vertical Engine

36/12/8A

A Brief Word

How could we have known of the events of Sept. 11th? All of our worst fears were realized. Not since Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, has anything approaching this horror happened to our country. In retrospect, we agree with our President and many others in telling us that it is time for us as a nation to return to normal life. Isn't it strange that we also hear echoes of Franklin D. Roosevelt at another time in our history, telling us that 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!'

We are still moving forward with plans for a tour to Germany and Switzerland next July, although a bit cautiously. On the positive side, several people have called us to report that they are still planning to go on the tour, despite the horror of Sept. 11th.

This issue should be in your hands in early November. Once again we ask, 'Have you drained your engines and tractors? Are you sure that you opened those petcocks beneath the water pump, or the plugs at the bottom of the cylinder jacket?

Ye olde Reflector is still working in the construction trades, having done so now for nearly 45 years. The past few months have been extremely busy, so there hasn't been much time for extra articles such as the one we began on early machine tools. Hopefully, we'll be able to resume these articles during the winter months. Maybe we'll even be able to build up a backlog of articles that can be included occasionally during the year. We also have our new book on tools and machinery coming out about Jan. 1, and in its pages you will find many of those elusive tools that you've often wondered about. There will also be many pages of early machine tools, including some foot-powered lathes.

In the next few months we also plan to move forward with our book on magnetos and carburetors. We have accumulated lots of resource materials, but it takes many hours to compile, edit, print, and assemble a book like this. I suppose that an economist would call it vertical integration, but this book, and several others will be compiled, edited, printed, bound and shipped all from our basement print shop.

In cooperation with Jim Horton, a fine wood engraver from Michigan, we are also planning a limited-edition book that will feature wood engravings of the Rumely OilPull tractors. Generally, books like this are limited to about 300 copies, and are printed by letterpress on fine paper. The type is all handset, or perhaps we'll be able to fire up the Linotype and use machine-set slugs.