A BRIEF WORD
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 sometimes.
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 weeks....
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 6x12. 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 72703.
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 18014.
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 84604.
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 14108.
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 with Roy.
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 same.
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 46580.
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.