Reflections


| July/August 1986



Two-wheeled tractor

21/ 7/1a

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.