Having now been to Australia, we can tell you with a certainty
that it is indeed a wonderful place! At the very outset, we
publicly convey our thanks to everyone for their kindness, their
generosity, and their assistance.
Regarding engines and tractors, we found lots of American-made
items that are rarely seen in the United States. A few requests for
information will be found below, with more to follow.
The fourteen hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney wasn’t
as bad as we thought it might have been, although a nice rest was
in order, once we got to our hotel. It’s impossible to report
on the entire tour in our limited space, so we’ll be commenting
about it in several issues. Unfortunately, we’ll have to depend
on others in our group for pictures of our first 11 days. We had
camera problems, and finally got a new battery. Then we discovered
there was another problem, finally solving it by buying a
secondhand, but nearly new, camera at a pawn shop in Geelong!
At the Scoresby show, near Melbourne, there were a number of
very nice engines. See photo MST-1 of a nicely restored Jacobson.
There are a few of these in Australia. The Imperial Super-Diesel by
McDonald is a product of Australia, and these are fairly common..
They are very heavy, and quite a desirable engine. MST-3 shows a
close-up view of the Super-Diesel. Also on display was a Cowley
steam roller built at Ballarat, Victoria. It is one of the few
steam rollers actually built in Australia. It is shown
at MST-9. At MST-12 is a Buzzacott pumper. This one is an exact
copy of the Fuller &. Johnson pumper. We also saw these with
‘Massey-Harris’ cast into the frame, along with two or
three others. We don’t have specific data on this huge steam
portable in MST-18, but the man standing at the rear wheel gives
one an idea of its immense size. This big portable was under steam.
In MST-25 ye olde Reflector is seated in a very rare Yorkshire
steam lorry, under steam and about to go on a tour around the show
grounds. Finally, in MST-20we all got together for a fine dinner
and fellowship before leaving for our hotel and a night’s
sleep, all ready for another day!
32/6/3 Information Needed Q. Can anyone supply
further information on the following:
1) Regal engine (see MST-16 and MST-17) made by Regal
Gasoline Engine Co., Coldwater, Michigan. It is #4032 and is about
3 or 4 horsepower, but the rating is not stamped on the plate.
2) Hercules gas engine, made at San Francisco, California, and
shown in MST-24. 3) Grob Diesel Engine, made by J. M. Grob
Co., Leipzig, Germany. See photos MST-14 and MST-15. Please send
any information on the above to Russell Timms, Yan Yean Rd., Doreen
A. The Reflector saw these engines at the
Scoresby show. The Grob engine is operable, although somewhat balky
that evening, as the temperature was cool. The Regal is not yet
restored, and we were aware of Regal marine engines, but not this
stationary vertical style. The Timms family has over 2,000
While we were on the trip to Australia, word was left for us to
contact a fellow regarding the serial number records for the Novo
engines. Forthwith, we contacted Mr. Phil Goetz at Williamston,
Michigan. A former employee of American-Marsh, the successor to
Novo, Mr. Goetz secured these records, along with lots of Novo
parts, and many of the blueprints. On Easter weekend, we journeyed
to Williamston, about 450 miles, to pick up the serial number
records. All are on 3 x 5 file cards, and when finished, we had our
entire van full of them. Now that they’re here in Amana,
we’re putting everything back in order and will be able to
answer your queries within a couple of months. Please give us a
little time to put everything in order before sending your queries.
All we ask is for postage and a tiny bit of time in looking up and
copying your data. For the Witte and Stover records which we have,
we ask $5.00, and the same should hold true for the Novo records.
Believe us when we tell you that this is a labor of love. . . it
will take quite a few requests just to pay for the recent overhaul
to the photocopier! Anyway, our thanks to Mr. Goetz for looking
after the records this far, and we hope to do the same! P.S. The
Novo records prior to #40,000 were destroyed some years ago, so all
we can tell you is that any engine prior to that number was built
sometime between 1912 and July 30, 1918. After we have a chance to
study the records, perhaps we’ll be able to guesstimate the
production of the 1912-18 period.
Our first query for this month begins with Australia:
32/6/1 Information Needed Q. Rex M. Williams,
57 Hill St., Waroona 6415 West Australia has an engine built by
Geuder, Paeschke & Frey Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s
never heard of another one, and would like to find any available
A. We’ve never heard of this company, so if
anyone can be of help, please contact Mr. Williams.
32/6/2 Pierce Engine Q. Can anyone supply
information on the Pierce engine shown in the photo? Especially
need information on the points marked ‘1,’ ‘2,’ and
‘3’ on the photo. Bert Van Dissel, 11 Janice Place,
Christchurch 8, New Zealand.
32/6/3 Old Water Wheel
Someone gave us an envelope with pictures of an old water wheel
made at Springfield, Ohio. Two dates are visible on top, viz., 1862
and Oct. 1864- The unit was originally installed at Latrobe
(Australia) and was installed at Nretta in 1920 or thereabouts to
drive a generator and/or chaff cutter. Hopefully, someone will
contact us regarding this query, and hopefully, our colleague in
Australia will get the necessary information. Sadly, the photos and
accompanying note have no name.
32/6/4 ‘To Restore or Not’I especially
appreciated this article in the March ’97 GEM (page 14). Like
most collector/restorers, I have had a mindset of wanting my
engines to look like new.
Several years ago I acquired a 4 HP Associated, patent date
1911, on its original wood frame truck, with about 50% of the
original paint on the engine and truck. I took a lot of pictures of
the lettering and striping so I could duplicate it after rebuilding
Then I had second thoughts. Why should I obliterate the original
markings and then try to imitate them? I decided to keep the
machine ‘as is,’ complete with drips and runs in the
factory paint, and about a 50% coating of surface rust.
It is very educational to see how little care the factory took
with cosmetics on this machine. The paint is rather thin, and
applied unevenly. A notch was chopped haphazardly in the truck to
create clearance for a fuel line.
‘To Restore or Not’ convinced me I was right to save the
original character of the 4 HP Associated. I hope more original
machines like this can be found. George Snellen, 1807 Buddy
Williamson Rd., New Market, AL 35761-9137.
A. Your letter raises some good points, and
also points out that Associated, for one, was a very competitive
firm, and tried to cut costs wherever possible. With this engine,
as well as with many or perhaps most others, the paint job was a
necessity, but not something that needed more than minimal
attention. Other companies had a different approach. . .
Fairbanks-Morse being an example. The big majority of their engines
were finished off with a filler, and while no striping was
generally used, the paint job was done with great pride. Also of
note, maintaining an exact shade of ‘red’ on an engine was
not a big priority. That’s why the color will vary
considerably, depending on batch to batch, and which supplier made
the low bid.
32/6/7 IHC Famous Q. What is the year built and
proper color for a 2 HP IHC Famous, s/n KA31312? Also have a
Detroit 2-cycle engine like 32/3/7A and 7B in the March GEM. It is
missing the governor control valve on crankcase, and I would like
to know if someone might have one or good pictures or drawings so
one could be made to make this engine operational. All responses
will be answered and reproduction costs covered. Past requests have
been answered by many, again, thanks to all! This helps make our
hobby all the more enjoyable. Wes Allen , Allen Diesel Energy, 862
Onstott Rd., Yuba City, CA 95991.
A. Your engine was made in 1910. We just had an
e-mail discussion with someone about the Famous colors. Some were
red with the DuPont 29609 Olive Green on the flywheels. Some appear
to have had black flywheels, some were all red, and a few even had
blue flywheels; apparently these were sold by Osborne dealers. See
32/6/7 of a 1906 Famous Vertical, showing the color scheme. We
don’t have any idea when they changed it or any other details,
but at least here’s what they looked like in 1906.
It’s also nice that Wes mentions he’ll respond to all
who write, and will reimburse postage, copying, etc. That should go
without saying, so if you make a query, try to reimburse those
responding. Don’t be a cheapskate!
32/6/8 Alamo Engine Q. We recently acquired a 2
HP Alamo engine, s/n 84682. It has been set up to run using a spark
plug and buzz coil, and runs quite well like this. However, I
understand that it originally used a Webster magneto. Can you tell
me the magneto it used? Also when was this engine made, and the
appropriate color? Mark Booth, 3083 Malcolm Rd., Barboursville, WV
A. From the s/n, we’re not sure of the
engine’s age, so we’re not sure which bracket to look for.
The earlier engines used a 303K18A bracket. Later ones used either
the A23-R1 or the A23-P11 bracket. Perhaps the best way would be to
supply a photo of the ignitor side for identification purposes.
Then perhaps one of our readers owning a. similar engine could be
in contact’ with you, advising of the correct Webster bracket
and the appropriate linkages. We’re unsure of the correct
32/6/9 Balancing Engines Q. I have a
Fairbanks-Morse 1945 3 HP ZC and a 1 Type Z of 1920. Both engines
have to run at very slow speeds; if you speed them up they bounce
off the ground. How do you balance this type of engine? Can I get
some of the vibration out? My trucks are small for storage and
moving reasons, and at the shows I like them to be out where people
can walk around and look. My concern is that they or I will bump
the throttle and speed them up. A runaway engine is not what I
want. Joe Hand, 1531 NE Westwind Dr., Lee’s Summit, MO
A. We’re not sure of the speed you’re
running now, but most engines can be bumped up to where they are
out of balance and will jump all over the place. Fairbanks-Morse
engines usually are well balanced, and should be okay at normal
operating speeds, but perhaps the lightweight trucks don’t
provide enough mass to stabilize the engines sufficiently. The
other problem is that if the flywheel balance is changed for a
higher speed, then it probably won’t be suitable at a lower
one. Can anyone provide an easy answer?
32/6/10 New Big 4 Mower Q. I am restoring a New
Big 4 horse drawn mowing machine, but it is missing the sickle bar
and drive. Any information that would help in restoring this mower
would be greatly appreciated. Brian Brent, 660 Adobe, Weiser, ID
32/6/11 Information Needed Q. I have a
Fairbanks-Morse 15 HP Type Y, Style H oil engine, s/n 412134- It
has extra heavy generator flywheels. Where can I get information on
Also, I have a Renfrew Oil Engine made by Renfrew Machinery Co.
Ltd., Renfrew, Ontario. It was built under license from R. M. Hvid
Co., Chicago, and carries a patent date of August 11, 1914. It is
two cylinders, 6×10 bore and stroke, and 18 horsepower. Where can I
find information on starting and operating this engine? Dale W.
Penney, RR 2, New Germany, Nova Scotia BOR 1EO Canada.
A. For the Type Y, the usual procedure is to
light the torch to preheat the head. While it is heating, lubricate
everything, and be sure the auxiliary reservoir is at least half
full. Usually it takes about ten minutes to preheat. Turn the
flywheel to head end dead center (the keyway in crank will be
straight up). Give the injection pump two or three short strokes by
hand and turn the flywheel nearly one-half turn in the direction of
rotation. Close the relief cock, and bring flywheel backwards
sharply against compression, and engine should fire. Be careful to
grasp proper arm of flywheel so it can be released without danger
when the explosion occurs. The engine should start, and it may be
necessary to give an extra stroke or two of the pump by hand. If
the engine is flooded, it will refuse to start, or will rock back
and forth without making a revolution. Only skill and practice can
bring out the fine points.
It would seem logical that the big Renfrew engine would have
some sort of starting mechanism such as air starting. Turning an
engine of this size over by hand would be quite a feat. Can someone
provide further information to Mr. Penney on the above engines?
32/6/12 Magnet Charger Q. Can anyone provide
information on a magnet charger made by H. G. Makelim Co., San
Francisco, California? It is Model M, s/n 296. Any information as
to its use, age, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
32/6/13 Drott Marine Engine Q. See the photos
of my Swedish-built Drott marine engine. I acquired this engine
from a friend who found it on Hornsby Island, east of Vancouver
Island, British Columbia. It is of 2-cycle, semi-diesel design with
raw water cooling. The engine has a forward-reverse mechanism and
clutch, coupled together on an integral frame.
Would like to hear from anyone with information or knowledge of
this company or the engine. The plate reads: Drott Crude Oil
Engine, Type BR10, HP 10-13, 800 RPM, s/n 3901; Motor A. B.
Pythagoras, Norrtelje, Sweden. Randall Baron, 13007 – 239th Ave SE,
Issaquah, WA 98027.
32/6/14 Safety Concerns Q. I have noticed your
concerns for safety, and maybe some of you could help us in this
The restoration scene here in Switzerland is beginning to gather
momentum, and tractor meetings always attract a lot of attention;
for instance at the 1995 in Moriken two years ago there were over
300 exhibits and 20,000 visitors. Last year there was a similarly
well attended event in Unterehrendingen, and this year there will
be another meet on August 23/24.
However this rise in popularity has its drawbacks, and the large
number of visitors means that the tractor [and engine] movement has
to get its act together on the question of SAFETY. So far there
have been no major incidents, but should one occur, we will be
faced with the usual Swiss overreaction to such a situation that
could even culminate in a ban on such events. (Circuit racing was
banned in this country following the Le Mans accident in, I think,
1954…so there are precedents!) This would have dire consequences
on the fragile movement to preserve what little has not been
At a recent club meeting our president made it a priority to get
a safety code out before the season begins, and I offered to help
by trying to get safety information from English-speaking
countries. I am sure that our plea for ‘development aid’
will fall on sympathetic ears in the USA. Martin Albrecht,
Lenburgerstrasse 14, 5503 Schafisheim, Switzerland.
A. While in Australia, we noticed that their
engines are operated in enclosures of woven wire, with a small gate
for entry. No one is allowed inside the enclosures except by
invitation. Some of the U.S. shows are using rope enclosures of one
or two ropes around the operating areas. Tractor shows tend to be
more open in most places we’ve seen, although some are now
roping off the areas to keep spectators at a safe distance. We
contend that when engines and tractors are in operation, it
ultimately falls to the operator to display good sense. However, in
response to Mr. Albrecht’s query, we would encourage clubs,
shows, and individuals to respond to him so that they can formulate
a safety code of their own. We fully agree that one major incident
will bring a harvest of wrath, not to say anything about the legal
consequences. So once again we say, Be Careful and above all, keep
spectators away from your equipment. If they can’t get their
mitts on it, they’re less likely to get hurt. And by the way,
those loading dock areas? Keep everyone away except those who are
supposed to be there!
32/6/15 Sandwich Engine Q. J have a 2 HP
Sandwich engine, s/n B9321. Can anyone tell me when it was made,
and where to find the Sandwich decals? I also have a small pedestal
burr grinder with the name ‘Little Wonder,’ and it is the
same color as the Sandwich engine. Can anyone provide information
on it? Any help would be appreciated. Marvin M. Smith, Box 292,
Hooper, NE 68031.
A. There are no known s/n records for the
Sandwich line. It was taken over by New Idea in the 1930s, but we
don’t know whether the latter has any information. You should
be able to locate decals through GEM’s advertisers.
32/6/16 American Marc Diesel Q. I have a
one-cylinder air-cooled American Marc Diesel engine. It is in
excellent condition except for a bad part in the attached
generator. I have no information on this engine and would
appreciate hearing from anyone who could be of help. Kent Davis, Rt
1, Box 59, Dozier, AL 36028.
A Closing Word
Even before we’d gone on the wonderful trip to Australia,
plans were in the works for our 1998 tour to parts of Germany and
Austria. As you may have guessed, it’s essential to begin the
layout of a tour at least 18 months ahead of the planned date.
Otherwise, the hotels are booked, the coach companies are
committed, and the result is chaos. Presently, we’re looking at
mid-June for this trip to begin, probably about June 17. We’re
in contact with a very knowledgeable fellow near Frankfurt, and
he’ll be able to point out many things to see, along with some
that probably aren’t worth a detour, although interesting.
We’re also looking at an optional one-week extension tour to
the north of Germany. Originally, we had plans of Vienna and the
Technical Museum there, but it is uncertain whether it will be
open. It has been completely closed down for some time, due to a
complete renovation project. However, the city of Munich has the
Deutsches Museum, said to be the largest technical museum in the
world, as well as the BMW Museum, also in Munich (it’s
practically across the street from the Olympic Complex). We’ll
have everything organized in the next 30-60 days, and when we do,
you’ll see our announcement right here in GEM. For the ladies
who always accompany our tours, we’re also planning a trip to
the Kislinger Crystal Glass Factory, and another to the Hummel
factory north of Coburg, Germany.
For our friends who made the long 14-hour flight from Los
Angeles to Sydney, the 1998 tour is only about nine hours from
Chicago to Zurich. Surprisingly, the flight went quite well, except
when we hit an hour of bad weather somewhere near Fiji. Even for a
big 747, it was very bumpy for awhile.
By the way, we were told that the L. A. to Sydney flight
required somewhere around 50 tons of jet fuel. All this figured out
to a fuel consumption of over 700 gallons per hour. We were told
that one of these big planes, fully loaded, has a lift-off weight
of about 400 tons, yet we were airborne in 51 seconds from the time
they opened the throttle! Incredible, isn’t it!