Quite often we are asked about U.S. patents in regard to old engines, tractors, and other equipment. During the past twenty years we have made some important discoveries from these volumes. We have also discovered that a great many erroneous ideas exist concerning patents and trademarks.
Perhaps the most notable instance of an erroneous idea is the liberal use of the 1905 patent date cast into the fuel pump handle on IHC Famous Vertical engines. Not infrequently, this date is used in regard to the Famous, sometimes even as a means of dating the age of the engine!
The patent date in itself is a poor indicator of age compared to some other criteria. Far more reliable is the date the patent application was filed. One example is the Gade engine patent, No. 760,333 of May 17,1904. A study of the patent reveals that it was filed in 1902-two years earlier. Once the patent was filed, the engine might have been built with 'Patent Applied For' or 'Patent Pending' on the nameplate. In other words, it would be unlikely for any engines to have been built with the features of this patent any time prior to the 1902 filing date. However, a great many could have been built between that time and the two year span before the Patent Office issued the patent in question. Thus, it is the filing date which is far more significant than the date the patent was granted, at least insofar as determining the probable earliest date that an item was built.
Patents oftentimes reveal some interesting facts that do not at all gibe with legend. For instance, the story has been told of how Carl Gade developed the famous Gade engine (see American Gas Engines, page 194 ff). Infact, this patent was issued to Rice and Hardenbrook, two gentlemen at Jasper, Missouri, and not to Gade at all. Another example is the fuel vaporizer of the R&.V horizontal engines. The patent which they cite on their nameplate, No.758,902 of May 24, 1904 was actually issued to a Frank Dickinson of Springport, Michigan, and was probably assigned to the R &. V people sometime afterward.
One valuable research tool is the Trademark Register, which like the Patent Office Gazette is issued weekly. Particularly in regard to early engine and tractor builders, the trademark application becomes very valuable, since it includes a statement from the applicant as to when the trademark was first used. For example, the trademark of Hares Motors Inc. of New York City (ibid, page 219) was issued in 1921 with the company noting that this mark had been in use on gasoline motors since March 19, 1920. Thus, the earliest use of a trade name can be established.
Some large public libraries, historical societies, and university libraries maintain files of the Patent Office Gazette. If you plan to do any research at these facilities, be sure to have the patent numbers on hand, since this is the only feasible method of searching out the information. Having a name only, such as Deere & Company, would be an almost impossible task, since dozens of patents are issued to this firm each year.
Having a given patent number, you may also send to: Patent & Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231, for copies. You must enclose $1.50 for each patent ordered. Post Office money orders are probably the best method. Cash should not be sent through the mails, and personal checks, if accepted at all, would require an interminable wait. Even under the best conditions, expect to wait several weeks for a reply.
23/5/1 Q. Does anyone have any information on Groton Mfg. Company, Groton, New York? Steve Wright, 6245 Lewis Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886.
A. Groton appears in Encyclopedia of American Traction Engines, but beyond the information therein contained, our files have no information.
23/5/2 Q. I have an engine cart with cast iron wheels like that illustrated on page 535 of American Gas Engines. Can anyone tell me for sure what color it was painted? Kent Zobel, 3009-15th St., Columbus, 'Nebraska 68601.
A. Assuming that you are mounting a Waterloo Boy engine on the cart, then it would probably be the same color as the engine, and probably have black wheels. Engine carts were usually not striped or lettered to any extent-they were simply a method of moving the engine from one place to another. The wheels were usually black-in the days of iron wheels, they were almost always that color.
23/5/3Paul L. Carper, 5644 Columbus Road NE, Louisville, Ohio 44641 would like further information on an Ideal lawnmower engine, including the model number and the original color scheme.
23/5/4 Q. I have a World War II military engine-generator set, Model AP-M-1. It was assembled by United States Motors Corporation, using a Briggs & Stratton AP engine and a King & Root generator. Its nameplate reads: Direct Current Generator, Type A, Fr.458, No. 208494, V. 12.5, Amp. 68, 3100 RPM, 100% Duty Cycle, Compound Wound. The wiring is in reasonable shape and appears to be original but makes no sense. King & Root lost their records of this generator in a fire, so could provide no help. Any information will be appreciated. Thomas Schoderbek, 1208 Arbor Court, Mountain View, CA 94040.
S-Heavy series windings, F-Smaller, more numerous shunt windings, B-Brushes, L-i and L-2 are heavy leads exiting the generator. Brushes B-1 and B-3 are both grounded to the frame. Brush B-4 has only a capacitor connected to it. The series windings (S) are pairs of heavy windings hooked together at both ends, except for S-2 which has one end coupled. The other ends each having their own insulated leads as shown. This is a 4-pole, 4'brush generator; the commutator has 27 segments.
23/5/5 Q. Can anyone identify the engine shown in the two photos? It is a 2-cycle design with roller bearings next to the flywheel and next to the rod. There is no name or numbers on it, but it needs a carburetor.Marion Robb, RR4, Box 175, Cherokee, Iowa 51012
23/5/6 Q. I have a Galloway 5 HP engine with a Webster K26 magneto as shown. However, there is no trip assembly on the engine, and I would like help from someone who can furnish the dimensions to complete the restoration. Jim Purbaugh, in No.Garfield PI., Monrovia, California 91016.
A. We don't have the dimensions for you, but volunteer the observation that the Webster magneto might have been required sometime after the engine was built to replace the original battery and ignitor equipment. Galloway furnished the Webster only as an optional accessory, and not as standard equipment.c
23/5/7 Q. James F. Pollard, Vankluk Hill, RR, No.2, Ontario, Canada, K0B 1R0 writes: This past fall a friend of my son was getting wood over in the mountains of Quebec and saw some sort of an engine sitting on the hillside in all the elements of the weather. So he told me about it and we went next trip to see it.
I got a surprise when I saw it-it was a 6 HP Gilson Wizard made in Guelph, Ontario. I knew there was such an engine as I have a pamphlet describing them, but I never had seen one.
They were made in 3?, 6, and 10 HP sizes, very much after the pattern of an International Type M engine-fuel mixer on top of the head, partially enclosed crankcase, etc. They used a Webster magneto, and were for either gasoline or kerosene. I was not going to buy it as I have rebuilt so many wrecks of engines, but it was a rare one. However, next Saturday my son went over and bought it.
The man who owned it is 80 years old and said his father had it to thresh and saw wood. It was in bad shape-his children had taken off the bearing caps, connecting rod end, and smashed1 with a monkey wrench anything they could. That was twenty years ago, so the crankshaft was badly pitted, as was the cylinder. The valves and many other small parts were completely rusted away. The magneto bracket is also broken off. So, if anyone has an engine like this, would they please write to me.
A. The Reflector doesn't have one of these, but here's a story we've heard many times before, of how an engine was restored after sitting outside for many years and having lots of pieces rusted, broken, or completely gone. We'll be happy to hear of the progress with this one!
23/5/8Tom Quenneville, 12044 Amherst Ct., Plymouth, Michigan 48170 would like to hear from those having information on Lauson engines, although a specific model or style is not indicated.
23/5/9Thanks to Bill Growcock, 6106 Oak Meadows Ct., Midland, Michigan 48640. Bill sent in several photocopies regarding the Richmond-Standard Mfg. Company of Richmond, Indiana. For October, 1918 their 5 HP Richmond-Standard engine with a Webster magneto listed at $220.00, while their 1? HP air-cooled model had a price of $85.00.
23/5/10 Q. I have a Cushman vertical engine, Model C8, 4 HP, s/n 58826. It is missing quite a few parts including the magneto and the ignition system. Can anyone tell me the type of ignition and carburetor used, or any other information on this style? Gary Blakemore, RR3, Jarvis, Ontario No A 1J0 Canada.
23/5/11 Q. In your column you have said that Jaeger never made any engines. My question is, how do we ask for parts for these engines then, by the name of the engine, or do we try to figure out who made it? Also, what is the purpose of the clutch type pulley on gas engines? I have a Chief engine with a clutch pulley on it, but have never figured out the advantage. H. Rossow, P.O. Box 15, Weston, Idaho 83286.
A. With the Jaeger, as with any other engine, if unsure of the actual make, furnish a photograph when running an ad or writing to one of the parts suppliers in GEM. In fact, even when the engine make and model are known, it is still a good practice, since manufacturers often made minor changes without documenting them. The clutch pulley is, as its name implies, a clutch-in other words, a means of disconnecting the engine from the driven machine. Granted, a clutch is really needed for very light loads. In other words, who needs to bother with a clutch when the little 1? HP engine is belted to a corn sheller or some other small load. Belt it to a load with a high inertia such as a cream separator, and it would be almost impossible to bring it up to speed without throwing the belt or killing the engine. In other words, a clutch pulley was and is used for the same purpose as any other clutch.
23/5/12 Q. Can anyone supply the year built of a Gold Shapley & Muir engine, 1? HP, No. 810. John Spun, 14326-99 Ave., Edmonton, Alta T5N 0H2 Canada.
A. We know of no one having GS & M serial numbers.
23/5/13 Q. I recently acquired a Clinton 1? HP engine which I am now restoring. It uses a Tillotson carburetor. Is this the correct equipment? The engines: Model 700-A, s/n 0051773, Carburetor No. ML7A. David P. Rhue, 1124 Park Dr., Palmyra, PA 17078.
A. We have nothing at all on Clinton, but perhaps some of our regular GEM suppliers might. Clinton engine decals are also available from GEM advertisers.
23/5/14 Q. We have a Wico Type B-1 magneto, No. 007331. This magneto is much like the Wico EK. While the EK has the push action, the R1 uses a rotative action to drive it. Can anyone help me with a repair and operation manual for this magneto? So far I can find nothing at all. Rex A.Whiting, D.D.S., Box 146, Weber City, UT 84032.
A. The Reflector has considerable information on the Wico line but our confidence was dashed by the inability to find a single scrap on the B-1. Is ye olde Reflector slipping, or is the B-l a scarce item?
23/5/15 Q. See photos of a Novo 2-cylinder engine, Model CWR, s/n 661688. It has a 3? x 4 inch bore and stroke. I need information on this engine, and also need to correspond with anyone having one of these.Michael Bond, 3594 Test Rd., Richmond, IN 47374.
23/5/16 Q. I acquired a clearing saw that cuts either vertical or horizontal. It uses a Wisconsin AEH engine, with the name-plate being stamped for 6 HP. The saw is built by Ottawa Mfg. Co., Ottawa, Kansas. Any information on this outfit will be appreciated. R.R. Hallman, Outdoor Power Eqpt. Inc., P.O. Box 806, Ridgeland, MS 39158.
A. Although we have no literature on this outfit, it was advertised in the farm magazines, we believe in the 1940's, and perhaps later. We've only seen one of these outfits-it was a big circular saw blade mounted on the front of the unit, and the saw could be set in a vertical position for bucking logs, or in a horizontal position for felling. It always seemed like a scary sort of outfit to us.
23/5/17 Q. See the accompanying photo of our Empire tractor. They were built from 1946-1948 at Phildelphia, New York. I know this tractor was built in 1947. It is s/n 5637, but I need to know if it is a Model 88 or a Model go. Any information will be appreciated. Gordon Chrisenberry, RR 2, Box 65, Holden, MO 64040.
A. Now here's another new one-if anybody can help on this tractor, drop Gordon a line, and kindly let the Reflector know as well.
23/5/18Thanks to Maynard Peterson, 61 Horseshoe Road, Wilmington, OH 45177. Maynard sent the two adjacent copies of material on Wm. Deering &. Company. One of course is serious, the other is a parody.
23/5/19 Q. I'm enclosing a picture of my 16-30 OilPull, s/n 7760-H. I believe it is a 1920 model. A plate on the carburetor reads, 'Made in Canada.' Did Rumely have a Canadian assembly plant, and if so, I would like additional information. Any other information on Rumely Oil-Pull tractors will be appreciated. Dale S. Krasser, 16002 Tiger Mt. Rd. SE, lssaquah, WA 98027.
A. To what extent Rumely actually manufactured in Canada we cannot tell you. However, given the idiosyncrasies of bureaucratic nonsense at the border patrol stations, it would seem entirely possible that at least a portion of some Oil Pull tractors were assembled in Canada to somehow fall within the constraints of the law. Doing so probably had a profound effect on the amount of duty and/or other taxes paid to the government.
23/5/20Sometimes we (in this case 'we' means everyone at Stemgas Publishing) get letters like this one from Arlie J. Levy, 1206 N. Fremont St., Janesville, WI 53545. It reads in part:
'I have been collecting engines since 1983. This 15 when I began subscribing to Gas Engine Magazine. I think this is a must to any collector. I really enjoy the magazine and I feel you do a great job in putting this magazine together. I have recommended the GEM to several of my friends who collect gas engines and they are also impressed.'
An occasional letter like this one certainly brightens the day- especially when it's been one of those days when almost everybody seems intent on chomping huge chunks out of your physical being, even though you really didn't care to part with anything just yet. Thanks!
Mr. Levy continues: If a crank guard is missing from an engine, try a mini-bike fender. With a little alteration it can often be made to work.
On old engines, before you take them apart, make sure you mark the timing gears so the engine will be in time when you put it back together. Make notes and sketches of how you take it apart so you won't have any problems on reassembly.
Don't sandblast enclosed crankcases such as John Deere and small air cooled engines. The sand gets into the porous metal and the oil washes it out, causing serious damage later on. To clean very rusty engines without sandblasting have them acid dipped. If the rust isn't too bad, use naval jelly. It is available at many hardware stores.
On small air cooled engines like Briggs & Stratton, the first thing to do is remove the sump. Then you can check the connecting rod and crankshaft to determine whether it is worthwhile to go any further. Totally wash out the inside of the sump. Most of them only need to be cleaned up. Take the points off and buff them on a wire wheel. Then file the burned and pitted part smooth. Take medium emery cloth and put it on a hard surface and rub the points back and forth until smooth. Finish with fine emery cloth. Finally gap the points to original specs and run a clean piece of paper through the points to clean off any dirt or oil.
I have never found a bad coil and only one or two condensers out of about 50 engines I have restored. The point cleaning is very important. Only replace the points if they are too far gone. Buy high temperature gasket material for head gaskets from a plumbing supply house. Cut all other gaskets from gasket material available from hardware stores.
Cereal and potato chip boxes also work good for gasket material.
Caution! Never use a crank to start your flywheel engine the first time after restoration. If the engine is not in time it can kick back and break your arm. Always spin it by the flywheels.
Be careful with a wet cell battery. I just recently had an accident with one. I was connecting a wire post while it was connected to a charger. A spark occurred and blew the top off the battery. No one was hurt, but could have been. Dry cells are best. Keep fire extinguishers handy.
I learned to be patient with old things. If you find an engine with parts missing just set it aside and sooner or later you will find what you need. You can always sell the parts.
If you have an engine with good paint but it is dirty, clean it with solvent and wipe it clean. Then spray with WD40 and buff with a soft cloth. It really puts on a shine and also acts as a rust preventative. Finally I'd like to correspond with anyone who collects Briggs & Stratton engines.
23/5/21 Q.What is the proper color match for the red and yellow of Massey-Harris tractors? Wendel R. Cooperrider, 8742 Ballou Road, SE, Glenford, Ohio 43739.
A. We have H-19 Rustoleum Red (matches H-21 Ford Red) and #659 Rustoleum H-18 Yellow. Another of our listings shows Dupont Dulux D18H as being Massey-Harris Red.