A Brief Word

| June/July 1995

This issue marks the halfway point of the thirtieth volume of Gas Engine Magazine. We have every issue from that very first one, and find it hard to believe that so many years have gone by . . . and how quickly! We recall some conversations of many years ago about this 'then-new' magazine, with some people opining that it couldn't last for very long, since there 'just ain't that much to write about. . . .

Long before our 1983 publication of the book, American Gas Engines Since 1872, we began collecting information on engine manufacturers on index cards. The card files aren't used much anymore, since computers make the job a lot easier. Anyway, we assembled at least two full drawers of individual file cards on engine manufacturers at that time, and countless additions have been made in the intervening years.

Several times in the last year we've included some trademarks in this column, noting that we were researching the Patent Office Gazette for engine (and related) trademarks. That process involved researching some 4,500 weekly copies of this journal! It yielded several hundred trademarks, many of them for companies of which we have no other reference whatsoever. Taking these, plus many other company references found in magazines and advertising, we've assembled a listing of some 2,700 different engine models. The computer makes indexing a breeze, so it was relatively easy to compile the listing by trade names. The next logical step was to index on company names, and from this index we discovered that Associated Manufacturers used some seventeen different trade names for their various models. A third, and perhaps more significant index, is one compiled by city and state. This puts all the different companies in Waterloo, Iowa, in a single grouping, or for instance, it's interesting to note all the engine makers in Oil City, Pennsylvania, or Grafton, Wisconsin. All of this, and more, will be published in our new American Gas Engine Trademarks, to be released sometime this summer.

We're also in the preliminary stages of two different books. One of them will be an encyclopedia of construction and industrial equipment. We've got a tremendous amount of magazine material, although we're somewhat deficient on manufacturer's catalogs in this regard. all our travels, we've never found much on the subject. Living here in eastern Iowa, there's perhaps a chance of finding an old tractor catalog on a farm sale, but not much chance at all of something pertaining to an excavator or a commercial cement mixer.

The other book we're planning is tentatively titled, Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements. Again, we have a wealth of material on hand, but it's a very time consuming task to go through literally thousands of magazines and other pieces of literature searching for the illustrations and pertinent facts.

While we're discussing books, there have been numerous complaints about the current printing of American Gas Engines having a red cover, instead of the yellow cover used for a decade. The decision to change the cover was made by Motor books International, the publisher of the book, and not by the author! We had nothing to do with it, and didn't even know of the change until after it was printed. However, the contents are identical with the 'big yellow engine book' even though the cover is different.


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