By the time this issue is in your hands, the annual flurry of shows, swap meets, and other activities will be in full swing. This year, as those of the past, will probably see some nicely restored engines, along with some rarities that were thought to be extinct. Phone calls and letters to our office indicate that a number of rarities have been located, including a White-Blakeslee vertical model as illustrated on page 59 of American Gas Engines.
Many requests come into our office regarding the Witte gas and diesel engines. By following up on various leads, we got in touch with Steven N. Sobat, U.S. Steel Corporation Public Affairs, Houston, Texas. Within a few days a response was received from Thomas G. Johnston, Ass't. Plant Mgr. of Oilwell's McAlester Works, McAlester, Oklahoma. It reads in part:
The Witte Engine Works, established in 1870, was purchased by OILWELL Supply Co., a division of U. S. Steel Corporation, now known as OILWELL Division in June, 1944. At this time the diesel engine line was sold to the Witte Engine Company which was later purchased by Lister Diesel, Olathe, Kansas. Gas engine production was transferred to the Garland, Texas plant of OILWELL in 1967.
Production of the OILWELL gas engines was transferred to the McAlester, Oklahoma plant in May, 1983. All Witte and OILWELL documents accumulated over the years have been transferred to this plant for reference and for safekeeping.
OILWELL personnel have made a practice of answering any and all inquiries received about the engines. We will continue this practice on a no-charge basis.
We do ask, whenever possible, that people seeking information include a photograph of the engine(s) in question with each engine identified try the serial number. This will aid us in tracking, to some extent, the engine's movement since being produced.
All correspondence should be directed to:
Mrs. Nelda J. Busby, OILWELL Division P.O. Box 1328 McAlester, OK 74502
There you have it folks here is the source of original information on the Witte engines.
The Reflector also is happy to report that in conversations with the remaining management personnel at the Allis-Chalmers Harvey Works, we have learned that the company still has excellent stocks of some Buda and early A-C engine parts. The company also is aware of several stocking dealers around the country who still have large stocks of these parts as well. Since it would appear that Allis-Chalmers might maintain a limited support group, at least for the time being, this might provide the opportunity to obtain certain parts for early A-C and/or Buda engines. Kindly address your inquiries to:
Allis-Chalmers Engine Division Box 1563 Harvey, IL 60426
Wherever possible, the A-C people will try to be of help. Service information can often be obtained, but detailed research is very limited, due to the company's very small staff.
A large number of interesting letters have come in during the past month, with one of the most fascinating coming from Mr. Glenn F. Harvey, 2421 Coley Forest PL, Raleigh, NC 27612. With Mr. Harvey's Letter, see the four adjacent photos of a unique diesel engine:
'These little two-wheeled tractors, connected to trailers of various designs, but always with a driver's seat, are either the second or third most common mode of transportation in China. Bicycles are still the most popular means of transportation; horse-carts are about tied with the little diesel tractor-trailers shown here, and motor trucks come in at a distant fourth place.
'These tractors are still manufactured by the Beijing (Peking) Engine Works and possibly other engine works in China. The new models are similar to the old ones. The new ones are styled with a simple hood and some are equipped with electric lights. I saw some traveling down the highway about 15-20 mph. They, like the cars and trucks that are manufactured in China, are probably of pre-World War Two vintage.
'These little tractors fascinated me on a recent trip to Beijing and Shanghai. Finally, I asked my translator to stop the car so I could take these photos. I explained to him that I had a couple of tractors that are fifty-plus years old, but it is a hobby. He and my other Chinese hosts just couldn't comprehend this!'
21/7/2 Q. The book, American Gas Engines does not show the Fitz-Henry Guptill equipment. This firm at Cambridge, MA built a 3-piston fire pump, operated by a one-cylinder engine with a chain drive. The old Massachusetts Forest Fire Service adopted this as its standard pump and they are still widely scattered through New England. Many of them are still in backup service by fire departments. Somewhere there is a service and parts manual, plus an instruction manual. Despite my fire background I have been unable to locate one, and hope one of the GEM readers might have a manual or other information. This is a very nice show engine as it uses extensive brass and when painted fire engine red and the brass is polished, they are quite a showpiece. When it comes to pumping water, this unit doesn't know when to quit. Philip C. Whitney, 303 Fisher Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420. (P.S. On 21/5/27: Try Jacobson as a start. If it's Jacobson, the name is probably inside the flywheel.)
21/7/3 QWe have a 2 HP Turner-Simplicity engine, but it is different from the ones on page 516 of American Gas Engines in that: 1) It does not have the fancy flywheels,, 2) the oiler goes through the water hopper, 3) the governor weights fit between the flywheel spokes, and 4) the flywheel hub is not of the split design. The engine uses a 41/8 x 5 inch bore and stroke, with 2 HP stamped on the hopper, plus s/n Y5012. It uses a Webster 303K4 magneto. Would like more information on this engine: year color, etc. and would like to correspond with anyone having one of these engines. Jim Walker, 1303 Woodburn Road, Laurinburg, NC 28352.
A. The Webster Master Manual lists the 303K4 bracket as fitting the 2, 3, and 4 HP Simplicity engines, so we assume the 2 HP model was a re-rated version of either the 2 or 3 HP size, but we have no further information to offer.
21/7/4 Q I am restoring several old Sears Motorgo inboard marine engines and note that Sears catalogs for 1915 and 1917 list the finish as 'three coats of battleship gray gloss enamel.' Could you offer an opinion of a modern color match equivalent to battleship gray? Robert O. Knutson, Box 243, Austin, MN 55912.
A. Researching the paint chips indicates that some differences are evident as to the exact shade for 'battleship gray.' We would guess though that Sherwin-Williams JK-3981 of F1A 1067 would be pretty close.
21/7/5 Q We plan to restore a 1 HP Rawleigh-Schryer engine (see photo.) In American Gas Engines it most resembles the Rawleigh in the upper left-hand comer of page 408. However, our engine has no pipes at the base as shown on page 408. Could anyone help with the original color of this engine, along with its age. Are any reprint manuals available? Ray Wickham, Dumont, IA 50625.
A. Per page 408 of American Gas Engines, it would appear the Rawleigh-Schryer was built between 1909 and 1915 only. From the illustrations we have seen, the Rawleigh engines were finished in brown, comparable to DuPont Dulux 93-036, and topped off with blue striping similar to Sherwin-Williams JK-3973.s
From England comes this letter from Nigel McBurney, 'Woodside,' Petersfield Rd., Monkwood, Airesford, Hampshire: 'I have recently restored a Fairbanks-Morse 1 HP 'Jack-of-All-Trades'. The colour is redthis is the most common colour for these engines in the U.K. The tank is 15' dia. x 35' high.
'This engine, s/n 26595 has both hot tube and electric ignitionI can only date the engine as built between 1901 and 1906. The only feature which indicates that it could be 1901-2 is that there are only two stiffening ribs on the crankcase 'door', all the others I have seen have three ribs. The blowlamp should run on gasoline, and is pressurized by mounting it 6 feet from the ground.' (This photo is small in this issue, since there is no color in this issue, but it will be reproduced larger in the August issue when color space is available.)
Kent S. Rue, 4128-6th St., N.E., Columbia Heights, MN 55421 writes: 'My grandfather, Edward Rue, manufactured 'RUE' washing machines in Minnesota from 1904 until the early 1930's. Models included hand, electric, and gas engine powered. The gas engine model was powered by a Cushman gas engine, at least during 1926-27. The gas engine washer is a missing link in research on my grandfather's company, so any leads or information on one of these machines would be greatly appreciated. I would like to display the complete RUE line of washers at the shows, and subsequently hope to write a complete article on Rue Manufacturing for GEM.
See two photos of a Leader engine and pump as built by Leader Iron Works, Decatur, Illinois. This one is a 1 HP, s/n 16266. It uses a 3 x 5 inch bore and stroke. The engine had laid in a small stream for some years, so the connecting rod was rusted in two, and it had a large hole in the cylinder wall. After installing new sleeves and many hours of patient work the engine is now restored and running. Would like to hear from any other owners of Leader engines or anyone with information on same. Robert Fultz, RR 2, Box 332, Clarksburg, WV 26301.
21/7/9 QAndrew K. Mackey, 26 Mott Pl, Rockaway Boro, NJ 07866 sends us some photos and diagrams of an L.C.B. Co. marine engine; it uses a 23/8 x 2 inch bore and stroke. The engine has a number of unusual features. For instance, the speed can be controlled by three different methods1) moving the ignition timer lever (it also reverses the engine), 2) from idle to high idle with a screw-type throttle built into the carburetor, and 3) absolute top speed is governed by an ignition interrupt similar to that used by Eiseman on the Maytag 82 and 92 engines. Flywheel body is solid brass with magnet riveted inside the rim. NO gaskets are used on the engine everything is a machined fit. Can anyone identify this engine?
A. We looked through various files trying to get some clues to the L.C.B. Co. logo, but no luck so far. Curiously, the metal-to-metal assembly without the use of gaskets is typically German design K.H.D. at Cologne has used it extensively in the Deutz engines and tractors.