| March/April 1987

This month's column is shorter than usual, since it is being compiled in late December to avoid numerous holiday conflicts.

In late August, 1986 the Reflector was advised that the famous Franklin Institute in Philadelphia was deaccessioning (getting rid of) quite a large number of books. We talked to their people, but soon learned that the books were being sold in rather large lots for one thing, and that they were unable to provide us with a compiled list of what was being offered. Logistically, it was impossible for us to make the trip from Iowa to Philadelphia, so we persuaded GEM's Linda Sharron to make the journey from Lancaster instead. Linda soon replied that several lots would be of interest, particularly since they involved steam and/or internal combustion engines. To make a long story short, Linda was the successful bidder on some of this material, and as a result, the Reflector's research library now holds an immense number of very early and very rare titles on these subjects.

Looking back over the years, we recall the first book we ever got hold of on the subject was Stephenson's Farm Engines & How to Run Them, a little hardbound book that was quite popular in the early 1900's. This one was in Grandpa's attic, and the Reflector at the age of about eight years old, had his first book on steam engines. That was in 1946, Christmas Day to be exact. Ever since that time we have actively collected literature on steam engines, gas engines, tractors, and other items relating to mechanical technology. Eventually our little collection turned into a good-sized research collection, with the addition of the many new titles from the Franklin Institute making it very extensive on all phases of internal combustion engineering.

Having all this material does not make us expert at all, but it certainly provides an opportunity to provide a lot of scarce information, at least part of the time. From time to time, we will be including some articles on rare or 'different' engines of times past, and possibly might work up a series of articles on various phases of engine design.

Logan & Jones, engine collectors at 1271 Pollock Road, Delaware, OH 43015 recently forwarded photocopies of material on the Viking garden tractor. It is already on file for future reference, and is greatly appreciated.

Our queries this month begin with: