By the time this copy reaches you, the 1990 elections will be
forgotten, but as we begin this column in late October, the
politicians are in full swing, or perhaps we should say, full sling
(mud, that is). Yet, with all the faults our system might have, it
sure beats the absolute poverty of many other nations. If our every
waking day were another battle for survival, we wouldn’t be
spending much time thinking of our historical past, nor would we be
much interested in preserving our little portion of it. So, all in
all, we really aren’t so bad off as we would like to think
Awhile back, the Reflector and a few faithful helpers removed a
Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine from a power house at Traer, Iowa.
This six-cylinder Model 32 engine uses a 14 x 17 inch bore and
stroke. We’re happy to tell you that this engine is being
installed at the show site of the Macon County Flywheelers at
Macon, Missouri. It will be housed inside, and we hope it will be a
fine addition to their show. Curiously, there aren’t many of
the six-cylinder engines left; most of them have been scrapped.
The truth is that there are more one, two, and three-cylinder
models left than the six-cylinder style. Rarest of the lot though
is the FBM five-cylinder model. Not many of these were built. My
big six-cylinder Fairbanks was built in October 1928. It first went
to Nebraska, and was then installed at Traer, Iowa in 1960. After
operating there for over twenty more years, it was replaced with a
modern dual-fuel style. During its career, it once ran for a couple
of months on five cylinders. It spun a connecting rod bearing, so
it was pulled out, and due to the need for power, the engine was
started again on the remaining five cylinders. Everything seemed to
work alright, so it was put back on the line, and remained on the
line this way for several weeks. I wonder what would happen with
some of today’s modern engines if we were to pull one piston
and try running on five cylinders for a few hours, days, or
Quite a few people have written ye olde Reflector regarding the
progress with the J.I. Case history. We’re happy to tell you
that it is coming along very well now, and we are hoping it is in
print by early summer of 1991. We’re also happy to report that
we will then begin a comprehensive history of Oliver, Hart-Parr,
Cletrac, and related companies.
Out here on the Iowa prairie there’s no telling what the
winter might bring, so we’ve winterized all our engines and
they’ll hibernate until next spring. By the way, have you
winterized your engines and tractors? Did you drain the water pump?
If it’s not already too late, better check for sure!
We begin this month with:
26/1/1 Springfield Garden Tractor Q. I recently
purchased a Springfield Garden Tractor made by Quick Mfg. Co.,
Springfield, Ohio. It is s/n 1257, Model 61TE. Would guess it to
have been built in late 1950’s or early 1960’s. The rear
tires are 6×12. The engine, if original, is a Briggs & Stratton
6 HP. Any information will be greatly appreciated on this unit.
Bob Barger, 2560 Ferguson Ave., Fayetteville, AR
26/1/2 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two
photos of an unidentified engine. It was on a potato sprayer.
Originally it powered a Bean pump, but I do not know if the entire
unit was built by Bean. Any information on this engine will be
greatly appreciated. Harley L. Collins, 2540 Fox Road, Bath, PA
26/1/3 Caterpillar Thirty Q. See the
accompanying photo of a Caterpillar Thirty. As you can see it is a
variation of the winter model. There are several questions about
this tractor. 1) What color was it originally? 2) Was the wooden
cab painted or left natural (varnished)? 3) What would be the most
weatherproof material with which to rebuild the cab? The serial
number is PS 5417. What year was it built? Reportedly, this tractor
at one time pulled a snow plow in southwestern Colorado or
southeastern Utah. If there is anyone who recognizes the tractor
and can provide anything on its background, I would like to hear
from them. Leon H. Meldrum, 987 East 2680 North, Provo, Utah
A. All we can tell you is that the PS Series
was built 1929-1932. Hopefully, some readers can fill in other
information you need in the restoration.
26/1/4 Ruston-Hornsby Darrell Maygra, RR 2,
Crookston, MN 56716 needs information on a Ruston ‘Canadian
Elevator Engine’, Mark CR, s/n 316157. If you can help, contact
Darrell at the above address.
26/1/5 Novo and Iron Horse Q. At the Milton,
Ontario Show it was suggested that I write to GEM regarding the
following: 1) The serial number of my 2 HP Novo is 44 0 36. Can
anyone date it from this number? 2) The engine seems to have been
dark green with gold paint on the carburetor, gas pump and gearing.
Is that correct, and what are the right colors? 3) I have a 4-cycle
engine called the ‘Iron Horse’ and built by Johnson
Company, Peterborough, Ontario. It is a kick-start engine. Can
anyone supply information on this engine? All replies will be
appreciated.Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Ave., New-fane, NY
A. In order, we respond: 1) No. 2) The scheme
is correct. See the last issue for an updated paint color listing.
3) The Johnson Iron Horse was built in the States, and now they are
fairly scarce. However, we have no literature on these engines.
26/1/6 Page Garden Tractor Roy Deegan, Box 381,
Burke, SD 57523 sends along a photo of his Page Garden Tractor. It
is a 1957 model and was built by Page Garden Tractor Co.,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roy also has the plow, disk, blade, and mower
for this 10 HP model. If any of you folks have a Page, get in touch
26/1/7 M-M ZTU Tractor Bruce Wittgren, 104 E.
150 S., Valparaiso, IN 46383 recently acquired a Minneapolis-Moline
ZTU tractor and wants to hear from anyone with information on
26/1/8 Centaur Tractor J.M. Bates, Box 806,
Bancroft, Ontario K0L IC0 Canada needs information on a LeRoi
tractor built by Centaur and pictured at upper right, page 71 of
Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors.
26/1/9 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photo of
an engine with the following tag: T. Eaton Co. Edmonton Winnipeg
This engine has a 5 ? x 10 inch bore and stroke. The June 1989
issue of GEM, page 17 shows an Eveready engine that is very
similar. Any information on this engine will be appreciated.
Donald Byers, 6166 Maureen Dr., Ferndale, WA 98248.
A. This engine is undoubtedly another of the
Waterloo look-alikes. Beginning in 1912, Sandy McManus Co. of
Waterloo, Iowa aggressively sold gas engines. They were probably
built in the factories of Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. Whether
McManus had anything to do with the marketing of these engines to
firms like Eaton, John M. Smythe, and numerous others is unknown.
What is known is that all were of the same basic design, and were
probably built to counter the popular and low-priced engines of
Galloway and Associated, also at Waterloo. Regardless of the
nameplate, this engine began its life at Waterloo. See page 299 of
American Gasoline Engines for further details.
26/1/10 5-Cylinder Magneto Q. Can anyone supply
information on this magneto? Cylinders 4 and 6 fire out of the same
hole. The impulse is either auto-made or manual.L.E. Breeden,
15044 Howellhurst Rd., Baldwin Park, CA 91906.
A. We believe this might be an aircraft style
magneto, although five-cylinder magnetos are not otherwise unknown.
The Fairbanks-Morse OP dual-fuel engines use a magneto when running
on gas, and of course, the five-cylinder models use a five-cylinder
magneto. It is, however, an unusual configuration.
26/1/11 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two
photos of an unidentified hit-and-miss engine. It has no nameplate,
but ‘H-21’ is stamped on the rim of the right flywheel, and
C-3 is cast in the base. It has a 4 ? x 6 1/8
inch bore and stroke. Any help in identification will be
appreciated.Stan Holderman, 2621 W. 400 N, Warsaw, IN
A. We believe this to have been built by Nelson
Bros at Saginaw, Michigan. However, any one of numerous different
companies might have sold it under their own name. Your letter
indicates that the original color was dark red. Perhaps this clue
might provide some information as to who actually sold and/or
serviced this particular engine.