| January/February 1989

Well, here we go again, into another new year, and into the twenty-fourth year of publication for Gas Engine Magazine. When Rev. Ritzman began GEM back in 1966, we wonder if in even his wildest dreams he thought of a magazine which would eventually grow to the size of GEM! The Reflector stands proud to be a part of the GEM team, and we hope to bring you news and information during the coming year.

This past fall ye olde Reflector became the owner of a Junkers diesel engine. Rated at about 12? horsepower, this little engine is of opposed piston design. The crankshaft has three throws. The center throw is connected to the lower piston, while the upper one is connected through guides and reach rods to the two outer throws of the crankshaft. We understand that Hobart Welder Company brought a few of these engines to the U.S. in the 1930's, ostensibly to power their portable welding generators. The experiment apparently didn't go very far, but a few of the engines still remain. Since we have virtually no information or data on this engine, we would appreciate hearing from anyone who might be able to provide something along these lines. We also would like to hear from anyone who can tell us how we might contact Junkers or its successors over in Germany.

We're told that the Junkers opposed piston diesel design was quite popular in Germany, and in fact, some were developed for use in aircraft. Information is sketchy in this regard, so we would be happy to hear from anyone with data on these larger engines as well. Perhaps we will be able to compile an article on the subject if we can gather enough material.

Our first question for the 1989 issues begins with:

24/1/1 New Idea engine Q. I have recently acquired a New Idea No. 2 engine, s/n 2257. It was built at the Sandwich, Illinois plant of New Idea Spreader Company. What is the date of manufacture, how rare is the engine, and what company actually manufactured the engine? Darrell Maygra, RR 2, Box 73, Crookston, MN 56716.

A. New Idea bought out Sandwich Mfg. Company about 1930 or 1931. In so doing they inherited the Sandwich engine line. New Idea, however, seems to have phased out the Sandwich engines, including their fairly recent Sandwich Cub (see page 44547 of American Gas Engines). The New Idea Vari-Speed was a fully enclosed model intended for strong competition with John Deere, IHC, and other engines with a fully enclosed crankcase. As such, it was eminently capable, and a substantial number appear to have been built, even though they are now relatively scarce. The Vari-Speed was unquestionably built by New Idea at the old Sandwich factory.


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