A Brief Word

| January/February 1997

While this copy will be in your hands during December of 1996, this is actually the first issue of 1997, and begins the 32nd year of the Gas Engine Magazine. It seems impossible that some thirty-five years ago or more, we were urging the late Elmer Ritzman to come out with a magazine for the gas engine and tractor folks, as compared to the ever-popular steam hobby. Elmer finally took the plunge, and here we are, continuing his legacy.

Before Elmer finally went ahead with GEM, ye olde Reflector gave serious thought to starting a magazine devoted to the gas engine and tractor hobby. How well we recall the counsel from some of our friends, mostly to the effect that, 'it sounds pretty risky to me... how much can you write about engines and tractors?...this hobby could just be a flash in a pan, and it'll dwindle out after a few years.' In hindsight, we're glad we never got into the magazine business, what with monthly deadlines and all...we have enough problems just meeting the GEM deadline for the column you're reading!

We're delighted to tell you that we've just signed a contract with Krause Publications to do an Encyclopedia of American Farm Machinery. That might not be the exact title, but it gives you an idea of what we're talking about. We've got a tremendous amount of material through which to sift, and it's a big project, so guess what we'll be doing this winter! It also gives us great pleasure to tell you that we're going to be doing a Standard Catalog of Tractors for Krause Publications. They've pioneered with their Standard Catalog of American Automobiles, and some of you may be familiar with this one.

We've got lots of material this month, but before we start with the queries, here's our opportunity to express our sincerest wishes for a joyous and happy Christmastide, and a healthy and prosperous New Year! We truly wish we could personally thank each of you and please take this message as a very personal way of extending the best of Holiday Wishes! Our first query is:

32/1/1 Johnson Motor Wheel Q. I recently acquired a twin-cylinder Johnson Motor Wheel on which I need information. This 1 HP, two-cycle engine is in excellent shape and has good spark to both plugs. The original gas tank is missing, a sheet metal cooling fan had been attached and the engine had been attached to a homemade mount to operate something other than a bicycle. I would like to authenticate its original usage by mounting it on an early model bicycle after I complete the restoration of the engine.

Any assistance, such as brochures, parts list, owner's manual, or personal knowledge regarding the mounting of the engine on the fender, wheel sprocket, shock-aborbing springs, method of operating head and tail lights off the flywheel magneto, and the like, would be greatly appreciated. Loren Erwin, PO Box 701, Carthage, MO 64836-0701.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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