Gas Engine Magazine

Reflections

By Staff

With this issue, GEM passes another milepost-the 25th year of
publication. We know that all the folks at GEM are indeed proud of
this achievement, and from this desk, ye olde Reflector is likewise
happy to have been so fortunate as to be a part of the GEM family
during the past few years.

From the 1920 volume of ASME Transactions we present some
additional history of the Termaat & Monahan Company, and
specifically on Louis J. Monahan. When the latter died on February
3, 1920 he was the president and general manager of the Universal
Motor Company at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Mr. Monahan was born at
Oshkosh in 1876, and became associated with John D. Termaat in
1902. Their firm, Termaat & Monahan Company began building
engines shortly thereafter, with the company remaining under their
management until 1913. The following year Termaat and Monahan
formed Universal Motor Company. A very talented individual, Mr.
Monahan was a member of the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of
Automotive Engineers.

Homer M. Motsinger, inventor of the Motsinger Auto-Sparker, also
died in 1920. Motsinger was born in 1875 at Pendleton, Indiana.
After studying at Purdue University for several years, Mr.
Motsinger organized the Motsinger Device Manufacturing Company and
was vice-president and general manager from 1900 to 1916. At that
time Motsinger entered professional engineering work for two years,
and then became works manager for the U. S. Ball Bearing Company.
Early in 1920 he became a consulting engineer at Chicago, remaining
in this area until his death.

From the 1921 ASME Transactions we learn that William H. Van
Dervoort passed away in that year. In 1899 the latter, along with
Orlando J. Root, formed the Root & Van Dervoort Engineering
Company at Champaign, Illinois, moving two years later to Moline.
Van Dervoort was the president and general manager of the
engineering company, and also held the same positions with the
Moline Automobile Company which he and Mr. Root organized in 1903.
Van Dervoort was a widely recognized authority on mechanical
engineering, and was the author of Machine Shop Tools and Shop
Practice, a title which is now very difficult to locate.

We have a lot of correspondence this month, and we’ll begin
with:

25/1/1 Paint Colors Q. In your Allis-Chalmers
Story you mention paint from Martin-Senour and American Parts, but
no address was given. Can you advise where to obtain these
brands?

Keith Goddard, RR 1, New Boston, MO 63557.

A. First of all, look in the Yellow Pages of
cities near you-there is likely to be a dealer for one or the
other. The NAPA auto parts stores are also a likely source, and
again, we suggest letting your fingers do the walking. The
addresses of these companies were not listed, since they do not
sell direct to the consumer but through their dealer
organization.

25/1/2 Engine Queries Q. Please send the year
built on a John Deere J 1/2 hp, s/n 305620, a
Me-Cormick’Deering3 hp, s/n BW6359, and a Stover CT-2, s/n
TB1234. I also have a McCormick Deering 3 hp that uses the IHC low
tension magneto with the igniter operated by its own rod linkage.
The tag is missing, so any guess on year built? Was it earlier than
the Type M listed above?

Paul Sheldrick, 20175 Taylor St., Weston, OH 43569.

A. The Deere is a 1928 model, the McDeering is
1925, and the s/n is incomplete on the Stover, lacking two digits.
We would guess however, that it was built in the 1930s. The last
mentioned 3 hp Type M is probably earlier than the one for which
you supplied a number.

25/1/3 Rumely DoAll Tractors

See the above photos of Rumely DoAll in the standard position
and also as a cultivator. For the benefit of those unacquainted
with this machine, the tractor chassis is the same in both cases.
For cultivating, the drive wheels are shifted to the forward
position and the front axle is removed. These tractors are owned by
James L. Keenan, 5717 North 90th St., Omaha, NE 68134.

25/1/4 John Deere L Tractor Q. I am in the
quest for information on a Deere L tractor, s/n 622038. It has the
unstyled brass radiator with John Deere embossed on the tank. Any
information at all would be much appreciated.

 John Bohaty, 4271 Pearl Road, Medina, OH 44256.

25/1/5 Shop Fire

We have been informed that a fire was started by an overturned
engine at the shop of Gerald Ziegler Sr., Waynesboro, PA in early
October, 1989 . Word is that Mr. Ziegler was unloading a small
engine and it tipped over, spilling out some gasoline. When he
attempted to right the engine, a spark (perhaps caused by iron
sliding on concrete) ignited the fuel and quickly destroyed the
entire building.

If ye olde Reflector might comment: We harp ad infinitum on
safety, and here’s a sad story that began in a most innocent
way. Don’t gamble on anything. If those loading planks of yours
would be better off as firewood, then this winter might be a good
time to be rid of them and make up some better ones for next
year’s shows. And if gasoline is spilled, wash it down before
doing anything else. In our locality, three people were seriously
burned recently, and a shop destroyed, because it is said that they
were using gasoline to clean up the shop floor. Whether from static
electricity or some other cause, it ignited, and the rest is
history.

25/1/6 R & V Air-Cooled Engnes Q. Can
anyone provide information on the R & V vertical air-cooled
engines as shown on page 434 of American Gas Engines? Any help will
be appreciated.

Judson Tracy, Box 356, Carrington, ND 58421.

25/1/7 Lister Blackstone Q. Can anyone provide
information on a Lister Blackstone diesel engine. It has no serial
number, no name plate, and is quite heavy, weighing about 1400
pounds.

Art England, 204 – 216th SW, Bothell, WA 98021.

A. The Lister Blackstone is an English-built
engine, and we are of the opinion that a substantial number were
used in Canada. This make is rather popular in some parts of the
world, so we are hopeful that some of our readers can lend a
hand.

25/1/8 Endless Tread Garden Tracker Q.Floyd Gibson, 12427 Stottlemyer Rd., Myersville, MD 2 1
773
has one of the above captioned tractors, Pat. No.
2,529,369, s/n 758. It uses a Briggs & Stratton engine. This
unit was built by Sam Beachy & Sons, Salisbury, Pennsylvania.
Any information will be appreciated.

A. All we can tell you is that the above
mentioned patent was issued on November 7, 1950 to Samuel A. Beachy
at the above address. Application was filed on March 22, 1945. The
original patent application shows a small tracklayer garden tractor
equipped with a Maytag Model 92 engine.

25/1/9 Serial Numbers and Maytag Info Q. What
is the year built of a Waterloo 1 1/2 hp, sl75627 and a Deere 3 hp,
s/n 234503? Where are the serial numbers located on a Maytag Model
92M engine?

Gene Sutter, 14243 E. Buffalo, Gilbert, AZ 85234.

A. No serial numbers are available for the
Waterloo engine; the Deere engine was built in 1923. Our
recollection is that the flywheel rim has the Maytag s/n.

25/1/10 M-W Airline Charger-Generator Q. Any
information will be appreciated on a Montgomery-Ward Airline
Charger-Generator, 6 volt, Model 14K6630, s/n A-2513.

Richard Nielsen, 9122 W 66th PL, Arvada, CO 80004.

25/1/11 Hercules Engine? Q. I have an engine
which appears to have been built by Hercules. The tag reads: s/n
7964, HP 2 1/2 XK. The flywheel has three round holes and it uses a
Wico magneto. Any information will be appreciated.

William Cloutier, 404 South Huron Ave., Harbor Beach, MI
48441.

A. Your engine was built in 1928 or 1929. From
A History of Hercules by Glenn Karch it appears that the
‘X’ designates the model, and the ‘K’ suffix
indicates that this was built as a kerosene engine. The comparable
gasoline model would have an ‘XI’ notation.

25/1/12 L. J. Wing engine Q. See the two photos
of a Wing engine. Although it is not absolutely identical to the
one shown on page 555 of American Gas Engines, it seems very
unlikely that any two designers could have come up with this
unusual design. The engine has a 5 inch bore and stroke, and is
missing the carburetor. Anyone with some ideas should be sure to
write.

Walt Celley, RR 1, Cabot, VT 05647.

A. We would suggest doing some experimenting
with a Schebler or similar carburetor, especially since Schebler
was used on a great many marine-style engines.

25/1/13 Unknown Engine Q. Can anyone identify
the engine shown in the two photos? It has a 4 1/2 x 6 inch bore
and stroke and 20 inch flywheels. The engine was run at least some
during its life, but now that it is mounted on skids, it kicks like
a mule. Any help will be appreciated.

Joe Kessler, 283 Neponset St., Canton, MA 02021.

25/1/14 Parts Cleaning Machine Q. See the above
photo of a ZENITH INSTR-MET parts cleaning machine. It has base
dimensions of 22 x 26 inches, and from the center of the base there
extends a round column that is two inches in diameter and 27 inches
high. This column supports the motor, reduction gear and parts
basket. It is exactly like a large version of a mechanical watch
cleaning machine that was used before the ultrasonic cleaners came
along.

Although I own and operate watch and clock cleaning machines, I
need literature and information on this one to help with
maintenance and information regarding solutions used in this
machine. Will appreciate any information that anyone can
supply.

John W. Lewis, 4386 N. Five Mile Rd., Route 3, Williamsburg, MI
49690.

A. Look at a similar engine on page 383 of
American Gas Engines. We would suggest that the design stems from
Parsell & Weed, although it does not necessarily follow that
they built this engine. In fact, their turn-of-the-century book,
Gas Engine Construction, details how to build a similar engine. We
believe it is entirely logical therefore, that the castings and
drawings might have been supplied by Parsell & Weed’s
Franklin Model Shop in New York City. Another possibility remains
that the engine could have been developed, patterns, castings, and
all, by some enterprising machinist, using plans from Parsell &
Weed.

25/1/15 Faultless Engine

Barney Williams, 531 W. 45th, Joplin, MO 64804 needs information
on a Faultless 2 hp, built by Faultless Engine Company at Kansas
City.

25/1/16 Fairway 12 Tractor Q. I have a Fairway
12, s/nFOS-1624. Did IHC put out a special book on this tractor, or
is there anyone having information on the Fairway models. Any
replies will be appreciated, especially from other Fairway
owners.

Duane Hildebrand, RR 2, Box 453, Drums, PA 18222.

25/1/17 Holland Engine Q. I have recently
acquired a Holland Machine Co. engine, originally sold to Charles
J. Jager Co., probably for a cement mixer. We found out by the
Webster magneto bracket number (303M42) that it takes a Webster
magneto and igniter. I would appreciate hearing from anyone having
one of these engines or the magneto bracket so that I could use
these dimensions to fabricate the parts needed to put the engine
back to its original condition.

Greg Dewhurst, 87 Bridge St., E. Bridgewater, MA 02333.

25/1/18 Gade Engine Q. I have a Gade 2 1/2 hp
engine with spark plug ignition and the old style cast iron mixer
with the holes around the bottom. It has two ports, one at the rear
of the cylinder, and another at the exhaust valve. If a muffler is
attached, where is it secured?

Also, does a constantly running magneto, as on an air-cooled
Chore Boy engine, require timing to the points? If so, how is this
accomplished?

Will Keister, 6165 Contreras Road, Oxford, OH 45056.

A. Regarding your first question, Gade claimed
that no exhaust muffler was necessary from the head-end port, since
its basic purpose was to relieve the pressure of the returning
piston. The threaded port at the back end of the cylinder carried
away the exhaust gases and the heat of the power stroke. This
concept was the basis of the Gade air-cooled design, since they
believed that by using the auxiliary port and releasing the heat at
the end of the stroke, much less cooling effect was required than
in the conventional method of wiping the cylinder with the exhaust
gases on the exhaust stroke of the piston. So in answer to your
question, the muffler goes on the cylinder port, and none is needed
at the valve port, since all that is left is air and the remaining
exhaust gases.

So far as timing a gear driven magneto is concerned, if the
magneto was original equipment, there should be timing marks to
indicate the proper mesh of the gear teeth. There are only two
points in each revolution of the armature where the magneto
discharges its maximum current. If the magneto has push pins on the
rear endplate, then first note the direction that the magneto
turns, and if the gear runs toward letter ‘L’ then press in
on the pin near that letter on the backplate, and slowly turn the
magneto until it drops into a slot in the inside mechanism of the
magneto. Now lower the magneto back onto its bracket and into mesh
with the timing gear. Of course it is necessary to first turn the
crankshaft in its direction of travel so that it rests about 10
degrees ahead of the inner dead center. Sometimes it will still be
necessary to move the gear one or two teeth ahead or back so as to
get the best spark.

If there are no visible marks, we have resorted to the following
plan: First set the engine to its inner dead center, or just a
trifle earlier. Now take a jumper wire and short out the magneto
terminal to the base. Turn the armature and feel where the greatest
pull is achieved, and having arrived at this, set the magneto down
onto the timing gear. Remove the cylinder head completely, so as to
be able to see the breaking of the points, either directly, or by
use of a mirror. Now with the magneto in this initial
‘cut-and-try’ position, crank the engine over by hand and
see what kind of spark you are getting. Experiment a bit by setting
the magneto gear ahead or back a tooth at a time. This is
admittedly the hard way to get results, but once timed to the
engine, there is no further need to worry, and should it be
necessary to remove the magneto, marking the teeth of both gears
will insure getting it back in the same position.

25/1/19 Kohler Electric Plants Q. I have two
Kohler electric plants, and both are in excellent shape, including
original paint. Can these engines be dated? I am guessing that
these engines were built in the 1930s.

Todd W. Kuhns, PO Box 142, Kingman, KS 67068.

A. We suggest you contact Kohler Company,
Kohler, Wisconsin. They may be able to date the engine for you, and
possibly might be able to supply photocopies of service manuals
etc.

25/1/20 Hot Tube Ignition Q. After reading the
October, 1989 article in GEM concerning hot tube ignition, I would
like to know why engineers of the 1890s and later seemed to prefer
this method of ignition over other forms then available.

Robert Mayeux, 2204 Comanche, Sulphur, LA 70663.

A. Perhaps as an oversimplification, hot tube
ignition became very popular, simply because it was the most
dependable system of the time. Spark plugs as we know them were
scarcely developed, and reliable low tension (ignitor) ignition was
likewise unreliable, especially because of the poor quality of
then-available batteries. The hot tube method of ignition was, on
the other hand, entirely self-contained, and about the worst that
could happen was the occasional blowout of the redhot tube. Thus,
the hot tube system was but one of a series of steps toward the
development of reliable ignition methods.

25/1/21 Nilson Tractors Q. I would appreciate
hearing from anyone with information of any kind on the Nilson
tractors, along with the specifications of the Waukesha engines
used in the 20-40, 24-36, and 15-30 models.

Gary Oechsner, N-8594, Bancroft Rd., Theresa, WI 53091.

25/1/22 Vaughn Motor Works

Art Biagi, RR 2, Bx 227, Centralia, IL 62801 would like
to hear from anyone with information, including the proper color
scheme for an engine from Vaughn Motor Works, Portland, Oregon.

25/1/23 Strauble Engine Q. See the photo of a
marine engine with the following nameplate information: Strauble
Machine Co., s/n 651, 10 hp, made in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It
appears to have been blue or blue- green in color. Any information
on this company or its engines will be appreciated.

John Knoll, S. 85 W. 28188 Hartwig Ave., Mukmonago, WI
53149.

25/1/24 Engines & Letterpresses Q. In the
November, 1989 issue you made comment regarding the hobby of
letterpress printing, and it brought back a lot of memories of how
gas engines and letterpresses were related when I was a youngster.
Our shop was set up in the early 1900s by my grandfather, using gas
engines for power. It continued to be run this way until about the
mid- 1940s. There was a 60 foot line shaft with a clutch in the
middle, and a gas engine at each end. The clutch was so you could
run either half of the shaft, or in an emergency, engage the clutch
and run the whole shop with the other engine. In the mid-1940s an
electric motor replaced the engines, but one of the engines is
still in place, although the shafting has been removed.

Belted to the shaft was a Cranston newspaper press, folding
machine, two Intertypes, a 10 x 15 Peerless job press and an 8 x 12
Chandler & Price letterpress. It was quite a sight to see all
of that running. My grandfather died in 1954, and my father sold
the newspaper, but kept the job printing department. We still have
both the engines, the Peerless press, and still use the Intertype
daily. The Peerless is belted to one of the engines, just for
fun.

Edgar Woodward Jr., Conway Publishing Co., 327 Main St., Conway,
SC 29526.

A. It’s always interesting to hear about
the applications of the gas engine. Truly, virtually everything now
run by electric motors was once operated by a gas engine, or in
some cases, by steam power.

25/1/25 The New-Way in Holland Q. See the photo
illustrating a New Way engine recently obtained by one of our club
members. It is a very rare engine in this part of the world. We
would appreciate help from any of the GEM readers who might know
something of the New-Way.

Wouter van Gulik, Trompweg 1, 7441HN Nijverdal, Holland,
Europe.

25/1/26 Hercules XK Engine Q. See the photo of
a Hercules XK, 2 1/2 hp engine, and would like to know about when
it was built. Any information will be appreciated.

Tom Norwood, T & J Small Engine, RD 1, Box 229D, New Berlin,
NY 13411

A. For answer, see 25/1/11 above.

25/1/27 IHC Type M Engine Q. What is the year
built of an IHC Type M engine, s/n 294341 David Surdi, 16349
Lynch Road, Holley, NY 14470.

A. 1920.

25/1/28 Buda Engines Q. Can anyone supply
information on a Buda YRH power unit, s/n 215696A?

Allan Curtis, Box 191, Arthur, Ontario N0G 1A0 Canada.

A. As noted in The Allis-Chalmers Story, Buda
Company was bought out by Allis-Chalmers in the early 1950s. Thus,
much of the specific Buda history is long gone, and with the
shutdown of the Harvey Works, little at all remains. Hopefully
however, some of our readers might have some information on the
above engine.

25/1/29 Doodlebugs Q. Can anyone supply any
information on the ‘doodle bugs’ made and/or sold by the
Gamble Stores? When were they built, and what was the color scheme.
I have one I plan to restore, so all replies will be
appreciated.

Justin Moffet, 309 E. Depot, Knoxville, IL 61448.

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  • Published on Jan 1, 1990
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