Just as we sat down to begin this column on December 9,1995, we learned of the tragic death of seven of our friends, and critical injuries for yet another. About 9:00 a.m. on December 9, a group of folks from the Cedar Rapids area was headed to Mt. Pleasant for the annual meeting of Midwest Old Threshers. As was customary, this group was in Virgil Coonrod's motor home, and traveling together for fun and companionship. As we have it at this moment, a semi-trailer jackknifed and skidded broadside on the roadway. The motor home had no way to avoid colliding with the trailer.
Dead at the scene were: Virgil Conrad, Jim Patton, Jack Dye, Steve Barron, Doug and Mary Wiley, and Bill Benishek Jr. Jack Dye's wife, Marnell, survived the crash in critical condition, but succumbed the following day.
These folks were all friends of mine. Many of you folks were acquainted with some or all of them. For this writer, it's especially difficult to accept the fact that seven of my friends died at the same instant. I was a friend of Virgil Coonrod for well over thirty years. Over that time there were numerous forays in the search for old iron. Especially in the past twenty years, Jim Patton and I had gone on numerous trips together, either to look at, or to buy anything from old books on engines to finding engines or parts. I'd rubbed elbows with all the other folks in this tragic accident, and knew them all very well. Thus, it's rather difficult for me to write a sensible column this month . . . and I beg the indulgence of all of you, in that this column will be rather brief. Due to publication deadlines for this issue, the obituaries for each of these folks will not be published until the March 1996 issue of GEM. Suffice it to say at this point that the engine and tractor collectors have indeed suffered a great loss.
From my wife Sheila, and myself, along with the entire GEM staff, we express our sincere condolences to all the families touched by this tragedy.
Our queries this month include:
31/2/1 Hayes Sprayers Q. See this copy of a 1916 advertisement showing the Hayes power sprayer with their engine attached. This is in response to the recent sightings of Hayes engines. Also, what is the year built of a Witte engine, s/n 9284? Bill Hazzard, 633 George St., Norristown, PA 19401.
A. Your engine was built in 1913.
31/2/2 Co-op & Gambles Tractors Q. What is the proper color scheme for the Co-op E3 tractors of 1947-48 vintage; also the Gambles Farm Crest tractors of the same period? They were built by Cockshutt. Everett W. Harvey, PO Box 248, Gibbon, NE 68840-0248.
A. Our information is that those built by Huber were DuPont B8241 Red, and those from Cockshutt were Martin Senour90T22014 Red.
31/2/3 Fuller & Johnson Q. I have a Fuller & Johnson 3 HP, Model N, s/n 72888 that is missing the fuel tank. 1 am desperately in need of the dimensions with exact locations of filler neck and fuel line points; also attachment brackets. Any information will be greatly appreciated. M. D. Wasemiller, 30 W Hilton, Redlands, CA92373.
31/2/4 Witte Information Q. What is the year built for a Witte 4 HP engine, s/n 27713? Wayne L. Hart, 8005 Hwy N, Mountain Grove, MO 65711.
A. Your engine was shipped in November 1933. The Witte records are notoriously difficult, with numbers scattered all over the place. For instance, the engines before and after this one were built in 1916. In this case, we would conjecture that the engine was shipped back to the factory in 1933, rebuilt, and sent out again. The Junior series was long out of production in 1933.
31/2/5 Baker Maney Scraper Q. See the photo of this earth scraper, Model DR. I want to restore it and would like to know its color, plus anything else of interest on this unit. Any help will be appreciated. Vance Wilson, 08 156 Rd D, Bryan, OH 43506-9546.
31/2/6 F-M Type H Engine Q. I have a 7 HP Fairbanks-Morse Type H engine. It is in very nice condition, even original paint is very good. However, it would start and run for a while and then stop. After several of these sessions, it does not go at all. It has an ignitor which works good. When we got it the magneto and ignitor were off, so it looks as if someone else had the same trouble.
I have rebuilt over 30 engines, but never ran into this kind of trouble before. Any advice will be appreciated. James F. Pollard, Vankleek Hill, RR 2, Ontario, Canada K0B 1R0.
A. Your letter doesn't state the type of magneto used, and you also mention a battery and coil system. If you disconnect the magneto entirely (so as not to damage it from the battery current) and the same things happen, then we'd look first at the coil. It may be partially shorted, and when it gets warm, it shorts out completely. The mica insulation on the ignitor might be carboned up, and when it gets warm, it becomes somewhat of a conductor and is shorting out. We'd start out by taking a good hot coil and a 12-volt battery. If there's good fire at the ignitor, then assemble everything and see if the engine will run without a hitch. If not, you've narrowed it down to the ignitor, and probably need to give it some attention with new mica washers. We'll be interested to hear what happens.
31/2/7 Waterloo Boy Engine Q. I have a Waterloo Boy, s/n 15332, and 4 HP. It has patent dates of 1900, 1901, 1902, and 1907. The engine is in good running condition, but is presently painted in colors that make it resemble a Holstein cow. Can anyone advise the proper color scheme? E. F. 'Ted' Bolte, 1601 W University, Minot, ND 58703.
A. Our information is that the early ones were painted comparable to DuPont 93-2564-H Red, and the late ones DuPont 93-5316 Green. A few styles were Sherwin-Williams JX4030 Gray. We're not sure though, when the color was changed from red to green.
31/2/8 Information Needed Q. I need information on the following engines: Fairmont two-stroke railroad car engine, water cooled and ignitor ignition. The only markings are Fairmont QB203-1 on the hopper. Also need information on a Reo, Model 552, Type A, s/n 170774. It is off a Reo reel mower. The other engine is a Briggs & Stratton, Model WMB, Type 95581, s/n 1166580. It is a cast iron engine off a washing machine. It also has a kick starter on it. Looking for information on old Sears garden tractors and Lauson engines. Chris Lublin, 2510 Farnsworth, Lapeer, MI 48446.
31/2/9 Novo Engine Q. See the photo of a Novo air-cooled engine, about 10 HP, with a 3 inch bore. The name tag is gone. Any information would be greatly appreciated. George Houston, 7541 32ndNW, Seattle, WA 98117.
31/2/10 Information Needed Q. Can anyone give me the year built on the following engines: Galloway 2 HP, s/n 017046; Jaeger 3 LHP, s/n 443332, plus an engine tag reading Engine No. 356444, 2 S HP; also a Briggs & Stratton Type #304326, Model Z, s/n 62768. Any information would be appreciated. Ricky A. Taylor, 4089 Faithway Dr., Murfreesboro, TJN 37129-5001.
31/2/11 National Engine Q. Anyone out there with a National engine made in Canada, or does anyone have any information on these? This is my first engine and I'm having a really hard time finding any information. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Richard E. Stall, PO Box A, Van Hornesville, NY 13475.
31/2/12 Information Needed Q. The mower in 12-A has the name 'Master.' The mower in 12-B has 'M-48' cast in the base. Were these two made by the same company? The mower in 12-C may have been made by Good all Company. Any information on these mowers would be greatly appreciated. Jerry Nance, 609 South First St., Odessa, MO 64076.
31/2/13 Old Washing Machine Q. I want to make a display with one of my engines, including an old belt-driven washer. On the wringer it says, 'American Gas Mch. Co. Inc., Albert ,.' I can't make out the last words. Can anyone help? Lyle H. Fall, 303 Milford, Apt 4, Davison, MI 48423.
A. From your letter, we suspect it might be Albert Lea, Minn., but can't find this company in our stock of old directories.
31/2/14 Information Needed Q. See 14-A of a belt pulley attachment. Does this fit a John Deere L tractor? The casting number is L52TT.
A. Note especially 18-C of the name-plate. The serial number and the KA prefix line up exactly as one of many engines that Stover built for Chicago Flexible Shaft Co.
31/12/15 Associated Engine Q. I have a 2 HP Hired Man with a brass connecting rod and the 2-piece hopper. It does not have a tag or a serial number, and uses battery ignition. I have seen both this size engine and the 1 Chore Boy with one-piece cylinders and two-piece cylinders . Could either of these changes provide any dating clues? I also have a 2 HP Chore Boy with the gas tank in the base, and the pick igniter trip. How late were Associated engines built? Did Associated build the magnetos for the John Deere Type E engines? What make and type of mixer was used on the White Lily washer engines? The almost identical Schmidt's Chilled Cylinder 3 HP vertical uses a Lunkenheimer, but the White Lily illustrations show a horizontal mixer. Any informaiton would be greatly appreciated. Howard Kittelson, Box 722, Elizabeth, MN 56533.
31/2/16 Tractor Umbrellas Q. Does anyone still make tractor umbrellas? I've never seen any ads for them. Dean Larson, 4553 E. Holland, Fresno, CA 93726-2713.
31/2/17 PP& O Plow Q. I am restoring a #5 Chain Lift P&O Genius plow. Though very little paint is present, it appears that the wheels and main frame were a very light green. Does anyone know the proper color scheme for this plow? Dick Washnok, 903 N. Main, #B, Grown, SD 57445-2149.
31/2/18 Stewart Engine Q. See the photos of a Stewart engine I found about 35 years ago, half buried in northern California, at the end of an old sheep shearing floor. I've always felt it was Stover with a Stewart tag on it. Any information would be appreciated Dean W. Larson, 4553 E. Holland, Fresno, CA 93726-2713.
31/2/19 Toro Tractor Q. I need information on an early TORO tractor with a wide front end, with what I call 'cable steering.' I have two of these tractors with successive serial numbers. Both have had the front axle replaced with an old car axle. The only pictures I can find are in your Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors and Test No. 65 in your book, Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920. However, they don't show enough of the front end or steering mechanism. Any further information would be greatly appreciated. Jim Stengel, 6765 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO 80303.
31/2/20 Ottawa Engine Q. I'm restoring a 10 HP Ottawa engine, s/n K14347 for my Eagle Scout project at the Iron County Museum, Iron River, Michigan. 1 would like to know the paint color and the year made. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Life Scout Shane Trotter, 1648 Kofmehl Rd., Iron River, Ml 49935.
31/2/21 Cushman Engines A short time ago I wrote concerning Cushman Mfg. Co. at St. Joseph, Missouri and a Winner Wonder gas engine, which the name plate suggests was made by them.
The St. Joseph (Missouri) Public Library has old city directories and found the Cushman Mfg. Co. listed from 1913 through 1920. They were listed as 'gasoline (engine) manufacturers.' In 1916 the company name was apparently changed to Cushman Sprayer Co, and one would assume, made orchard and crop sprayers (or provided engines for them) much like the Bean Sprayer Co. I remain convinced that the company either bought and assembled, or less likely, manufactured Cushman Motor Works (Lincoln) engines because the features and literature on the Winner Wonder engine appears to be virtually identical to the 4 HP Cushman Model C binder engines. I would still be interested in knowing if any other GEM readers know about these engines or have one. Any information would be appreciated. Jim L. Brown, 7309 Baldwin Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68507.
31/2/22 Economy Engine Q. I would like to know the year built for an Economy 5 HP engine, s/n 61957. It is a Model E with a 5 x 7 inch bore and stroke. Ron Konen, Route 2, Box 47C, Genessee, ID 83832.
A Closing Word
Elsewhere in this issue see our full page advertisement for the tour of England, Scotland, and Wales that my wife Sheila and I are hosting next summer. At the beginning of the tour we'll be spending a day at the famous Tatton Park 1000 Engine Rally. You'll see engines you've probably never seen before! Along with numerous private collections and museums, we'll be spending some time with collectors in the area of Kilmarnock, Scotland. We're informed that there are some very active engine and tractor collectors there. Quite a few of the folks who went on GEM's tour to Europe last fall have already signed up for the England tour next June. Since this tour is limited to 80 people (two coaches), please don't hesitate to contact us for further information or the full itinerary and brochure.
As in the past tours, this one is being handled by Wade Farm Tours of England, a firm with a reputation for assembling some excellent tours. As an added bonus, we're informed that Jackie Coggan, whom many of you have met, will be our courier. Jackie is one of the finest tour guides we've ever met, and she is absolutely one of the most knowledge able you could ever want. We're really excited about the tour, especially since this one has very little similarity to the 1993 tour to England.
Another fine feature of the tour is that we'll be spending five nights at the beautiful city of Chester, using it as our headquarters as we go in various directions. This way, we won't have to move our luggage every morning and night; that in itself is a great advantage! Why not join Sheila and me as we spend two glorious weeks in England this summer! By the way, Lana Hopkins, who accompanied us on our European tour, wrote a college paper, 'Traveling Through Europe' and for which she received an A. We think her very complimentary comments on the most recent tour bespeak the quality you can expect on next summer's journey.