Recently we were in an antiquarian bookshop, as we are wont to do. This particular one had a sizable cage in the back of the basement, and through the wire we could see something that looked like old literature. A request to see this material got the door unlocked, and we plunged forward. While most of the material was automotive (and outside of our collecting interests) we found some large packets of magazine clippings.
Photo 30/5/A is from McClure's Magazine of November 1902, and illustrates the Globe engine from Globe Iron Works. Photo 30/5/B is from the Literary Digest of May 1916, and illustrates the Ideal Jr. Power Lawn Mower. Although most of us are familiar with the Ideal mowers with the horizontal engine (see page 238 of American Gas Engines), we've not seen the vertical engine shown in this 1916 advertisement.
A Matthews Automatic Light Plant is illustrated in 30/5/C. This interesting and very compact unit was fully automatic, and capable of starting and stopping on its own accord, as compared to making a trip to the basement or the wash house for this purpose. This advertisement is from the May 1916 issue of Literary Digest.
One of the most interesting ads we found was for the Crosley Farm-O-Road shown in 30/5/D. The unit shown here was equipped with a front-mounted mower, and numerous other implements were also available. This one was illustrated in Town & Country for April 1951. At the present time we're compiling a book, American Gas Engine Trademarks. It will present several hundred different trademarks in their entirety, and will be published by Stemgas Publishing Company. We discovered a great many trademarks that we hadn't heard of before. All in all, we think this will be a significant title for gas engine collectors. More information will come later.
The upcoming tour to Germany and other countries, set for September 9-23, is seeing considerable activity, with a substantial number of reservations already. If you haven't yet talked to GEM about a tour packet, call them at (717) 392-0733 or send a fax to (717) 392-1341. They'll be happy to send you all the information, including a detailed itinerary. We think it will be a trip to remember, especially since Wade Farm Tours is in charge. Rob Rushen-Smith and Jackie Coggan will be our couriers; both are very knowledgeable, and Jackie in particular has traveled widely in Europe. Alex Skinner will be accompanying the group as our resident expert. Those who have met him already know this, and those who haven't will find him to be quite as affable and helpful as we're telling you. So join me and my wife Sheila, and spend a couple of interesting and enjoyable weeks with us as we traverse parts of Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, and England.
Our first question is:
30/5/1 David Bradley Q. I own a David Bradley Model 917 .5751 with several attachments, I have obtained a copy of the owners manual, but have nothing on the attachments or company history. I also have what I believe is a Standard 'Monarch' garden tractor and would appreciate any information on it. Clinton E. Koontz, RD 3, Box 324, Pine Grove, PA 17963.
30/5/2 Information Needed Q. See the photos of a pump which I have begun to restore; we think it is a Fairbanks-Morse. The check valve washers have 'F,M & CO.' stamped on them. Any information would be appreciated, such as color, when built, etc.
Also, my grandfather recently acquired the Galloway 2 horsepower engine shown in 2-C Although the tag says 2 HP, the block is identical to that used on the 1 HP Boss of the Farm engine. Any explanations?
Lastly, what is the paint color for the F-M Jack of All Trades engine, of about 1908 vintage? It appears to be somewhat similar to the shade of red used on the F-M Battery-Equipt engines of the 1920s. Rick Hanson, S. 3423 Bowdish Rd., Spokane, WA 99206.
A. Although we have lots of F-M literature, we don't have much on their pumps. The logo you mention would lead us to think it was made by F-M however. Our information is that most of their equipment of this period was a dark greenish black, or blackish green, as you prefer. This would be on the order of Sherwin-Williams 4811 Green.
Regarding the Galloway, this was a common practice. An engine would be built rated at a certain horsepower, and speed. Raising the speed a little, and sometimes boring the cylinder a little larger, gave a slight increase in power without the need of new foundry patterns, jigs, and lathe fixtures.
We've occasionally seen some of the Jack-of-All-Trades engines in red, instead of the more common dark green (4811 above). We think it could have been either way, but we're not sure that anyone knows for sure.
30/5/3 Globe Engine Q. See the photo of a 1 HP Globe air-cooled engine. It was made by the Globe Foundry & Machine Co., Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I've owned this engine ten years and have never seen another like it. Any information will be appreciated. Bob Kubisch, 2111 Gilbride Rd., Martinsville, NJ 08836.
A. Outside of the information given on page 210 of American Gas Engines, we've found virtually nothing on this company. Mr. Kubisch's letter alludes to the similarities of this engine to the Ideal, and we agree, but we have found nothing to tie to two together in any way.
30/5/4 Maynard Engine Q. We are bringing a 1 HP Maynard back to life. It has serial number 3206, and we were wondering if anyone could tell us when it was built. Also, the original paint is a badly faded dark red or maroon. Can anyone provide a color number? Any help would be appreciated. Kenneth E. Davis, RR 1, Box 234, Hollis Center, ME 04042-9742.
A. Charles Williams Stores began selling Maynard engines in 1916, and continued for a few years; thus we would guess your engine to be in the 1916-20 period. Some paint dealers have a spectrum chart with which one can come quite close to matching an original color. We have no specific information on the Maynard.
30/5/5 Information Needed Q. I recent!)! found a large valve that appears to be out of a tractor. Its dimensions are: 11 inches long, with a 31/16, inch head. The numbers 223 23-3 and 8K are stamped on top of the valve. An)' suggestions? Dominic Centonze, 14 Deck Road, Myerstown, PA 17067.
A. We have no idea what this valve is from. Does anyone?
General Tractor Co., Bellevue, Ohio. General Model D
30/5/6 General Tractor Q. Larry D. Walker, 9150 Coit Rd., RR J, Ravenna, OH 44266 needs information on the General Tractor shown in the specification information (30/5/6). This tractor had a 14-inch plow with it and came from vineyards in the Kingsville, Ohio, area.
Capacity: One 14' plow.
Motor: Own make, 2 cylinders vertical, 3x5'.
Accessories: Wico magneto; Tillotson carburetor.
Service Data: Spark Plug Size ?'. Piston Ring Size?'. Number to each piston4.
Speeds forward: 3 M. P. H., varied by throttle. Reverse: same.
Net Weight: 1500 1bs.
A. Information on some of the early tractor companies is very elusive, and this one is no exception. We've found listings for it in 1928 and 1929, but no place else. Perhaps some of our readers might be able to enlighten us.
30/5/7 Kinkade Tractor Q. I have a Kinkade tractor (see photos) with the original brass plate on the wooden handle. It is s/n 21440. The air-cooled engine is of the 'P' design and runs counterclockwise. I am restoring this unit and would like to know the original color scheme, along with its age and any other information. Vernon Schederer, 16732 Robinson Road, Marysville, Ohio.
A. Can anyone supply this information?
30/5/8 Great Western Engine Q. See the photos of a 3 HP Great Western engine, s/n L928, built by Smith Mfg. Co., Chicago, III. This company appears on page 472 of American Gas Engines, but none of these engines show or mention a round water hopper. However, on pages 426 and 427 this engine is seen under the Rock Island Plow Co. heading. It is said that Rock Island Plow spent a lot of time preparing and painting their engines, and that they were painted dark green. I believe my engine has the original paint, and it is black. So, was this engine built for Rock Island, or did Smith build and sell it themselves? Any information would be appreciated. Michael O'Malley, 7Meadowbrook Rd., Littleton, MA 01460.
A. The late Andy Kruse and this writer once discussed this very situation, and it was Andy's contention that the Great Western engines were black. We concur, in that we recall seeing one years ago, still in its original state, and there's no doubt that it was black. It may or may not have been sold by RIP; even if it was, they may not have repainted all the engines they sold. Additionally, we don't believe that the Great Western lasted much longer than 1912, and if Smith Mfg. lasted longer than that, it couldn't have been by much, especially since it does not appear in the 1914 edition of the Farm Implement News Buyer's Guide.
30/5/9 Gibson Tractor Q. I have recently bought a Gibson riding garden tractor. What year was it built? Is there a Gibson collectors organization? I also need to find a Chevrolet ring #370220 or 6; the last number is partially obscure. It has 37 teeth, and the pinion number is 375039-9-37. It has nine teeth. These are for the Gibson rear end. Any help will be appreciated.
A. Can anyone be of help?
30/5/10 Cletrac Information Q. I'm looking for advertising literature or information concerning tests made using a Cletrac crawler and testing for soil compaction by burying an egg in tilled soil and driving a crawler track over the egg without breaking it. Then an automobile was driven over it in a likewise spot, and of course, breaking it. There may have been pictures taken, as well as written articles on this test.
The tests were conducted by the dealer and possibly the company about 1926. My neighbor across the fence, now in his early eighties, was operating the Cletrac that day. I would like to present him a copy of the writeup on this test. Can anyone help me out? Ted H. Stein, 3228 - 180th St., Fort Madison, IA 52627.
30/5/11 Information Needed Q. What is the year built of the following: Witte 4 HP, s/n 95133; and Briggs & Stratum, 18949? William]. Hayes, 3906 Woodbine St., Stockton, IL 61085.
A. The Witte was built in 1935; the only information on the FH we have is that they were built between 1925 and 1933.
30/5/12 Witte Information Q. We have a Witte 8 HP engine, s/n 38761 .It appears to be like the one pictured on the lower right, page 559, of American Gas Engines. There is a bolt-on bracket on the rear of the engine for a magneto with four mounting bolts. The bracket has cam-following trip device with an spark advance lever. Is this correct for this engine? What type of magneto was used? The original tanks, muffler, and magneto are missing. Any information would be appreciated. Rodney Leonard, 200 Woody Ave., Salisbury, NC 28146.
A. The engine was built in 1926. It was probably equipped with a Webster high-tension magneto. In our opinion, this style was a notable failure. The engine was started on gasoline, using a small reservoir tank, and after warming up, was switched over to kerosene in the main tank. The water needle was regulated to control preignition on kerosene fuel. However, lots of people stuck to using gasoline and didn't bother with kerosene and its related problems.
30/5/13 Information Needed Q. What is the year built of the following John Deere engines: 356095; 357512; 349460? J. F. Mitchell, Box 844, Walhalla, ND, 58282.
A. In order, 1943; 1944; 1939.
30/5/14 Unknown Engine Q. I just purchased a very small two-cycle gas engine. It is a single cylinder, 1 inch bore, and has a piston like a twin Maytag and brass rod. It has 'BM' cast on the rod, and top of housing is number stamped, 'IN 1571'. It uses a small Type 51 D Eisemann magneto. I can find no names or other numbers. There is a cast iron tank, and a solid aluminum dished flywheel with fins on the inside. It is about nine inches high and long; the crankshaft is about 12 inches long. It is a hit-and-miss. If anyone can help, please let me know. Ben J. Kinsinger, Kinsinger Engine Service, RD, Box 234A, Meyersdale, PA 15552.
30/5/15 Novo Engine Q. See the photos of a four-cylinder Novo engine, sin CW1332828, with a 3 x 4 inch bore and stroke. It has a Holley carburetor and a Fairbanks-Morse FM magneto . The engine is complete, and runs very well.
I would like to hear from anyone who has information on the later years of the Novo Engine Co. and specifically on the engine pictured here. It appears to have been military, and I suspect there may be World War Two veterans who remember exactly how and where these engines were used. Any help will be appreciated. J. M. Bingman, 449 NW Paxford Lane, Bremerton, WA 98311.
30/5/16 Jack of All Trades Q. I have a very early Fairbanks-Morse Jack of All Trades engine, but it is missing the hot tube. Can anyone possibly inform me or provide information on this part? The engine has the studs broken off where the hot tube should be fitted. John Moore, 23 Gofthorne Road South, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0PS England.
30/5/17 Thanks! To all the people who responded (over 30!) in reference to my old tiller article in 30/3/6. Again, my thanks! F. J. Leonards, Rt 1, Box 496, Winnie, TX 77665.
30/5/18 Standard Garden Tractor Q. See photo of this tractor I purchased at a farm sale. In the November 1994 GEM under 29/11/6 it states that all Standard-built tractors had a numerical prefix before the serial number, but this engine does not. It has battery ignition, automatic intake valve, and inch spark plug. Would 1 be safe in assuming it dates into the 1920s? It looks like the engine and transmission were dark red, with the wheels and implements green. Any information would be appreciated. Gary Pollard, 2014 SE St Rt V, Polo, MO 64671.
A. Can anyone provide specifics on this unit?
30/5/19 Bulls Eye Engine Q. See the photos of a 3 HP Bulls Eye engine recently acquired. There was a little original paint on the side of the water hopper, a very dark green with yellow pin striping, h looks like the same color as the old Field-Brundage-Sattley sold by Montgomery Ward. All the others I have seen have been red. Airy information will be appreciated. Larry Hughes, 12403 East 34th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98446.
A. In our list of trade names, we find that Montgomery Ward sold the Bullseye, and two companies are listed as building a Bulls Eye engine: Barnhart-Davis Co., and Jacobson Mfg. Co., both of Warren, Pennsylvania.
30/5/20 Bates & Edmonds Q. See the photos of a I HP Bates & Edmonds tank-cooled engine, built by Bates & Edmonds at Lansing, Michigan. The serial no. is 877. I would like to correspond with anyone who has this type and size engine, and specifically need information as the the shape of the muffler; the pipe size in one inch. Any help will be appreciated. Norman R. Parrish, 769 Mcintyre Road, Bardstown, KY 40004-8936.
30/5/21 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of an engine I found several years ago as a complete basket case. After a lot of work it is now restored. However, it has no identification of any kind, not even a number. The engine is a two-cycle, with a 5? inch bore and stroke. It uses a Schebler carburetor. I am told it is a marine engine, but do not know whether this is correct or not. I'm looking forward to hearing from anyone who might be able to identify this engine or provide any information. W. H. McGibb, Box 803, Nipawin, Sask. S0E 1E0 Canada.
30/5/22 Huber Light Four Q. What is the proper color for a Huber Light Four tractor; also what is the proper color for the lettering of a 1929 Minneapolis 27-42 tractor? Dave Aikens, 12696 Smedley Rd., Waterford, PA J 6441.
A. We understand this information is available from Ed Axthelm, 5071 Ashley Rd., Cardington, OH 43315.
30/5/23 Stromberg Carburetor Q. I recently found a big Stromberg carburetor; it weighs about six pounds. It has a large filter glass, about three inches in diameter, and has a patent date of July 13, 1909. Can anyone give me any information on this one? T. J. Shipman, RR 1, Box 371-B, Buckhannon, WV 26201.
30/5/24 Bryan Steam Tractor Q. I'm trying to locate the owner of a Bryan steam tractor that was built in the 1920s at Peru, Indiana. Any information would be appreciated. James Walker, 605 Saxony Lane, Kenner, LA 70065.
30/5/25 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos of a recently acquired engine with no identification tag. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Edward D. Hutchins, RR 1, Box 59A, Alba, TX 75410-9602.
A. Yours is a McCormick-Deering Type M; chances are that the nameplate has been removed. It's generally riveted to the top of the water hopper.
30/5/26 Removing Gib Keys For the restorers of engines, where the gib key can't be reached to use a wedge to drive the key out, I would drill and tap the key to at least one inch in depth. Use a fine threaded bolt. On the head of the bolt weld a sliding hammer. It is very easy to make if you have a scrap iron pile. Screw this tool into the gib key hole and start sliding the hammer. With patience the key will come out. Spray WD-40 (or your favorite penetrant) around the key. A new key will have to be used, as the old one will be weakened from drilling it.
Also, when I wash small bolts etc., I don't like to get my hands in the solvent. I use a flexible claw to hold the parts while scrubbing. Some solvents are hazardous to your health, as they can be absorbed into the skin. Wearing protective gloves is the best. John M. Edgerton, 603 Loon Lake Rd., Bigfork, MT 59911.
Recently you mentioned a Humphrey Pump. In a place called Cobdogla in South Australia we have the only working Humphrey plant in the world. I have been fortunate enough to be present on rare occasions when this is working and I can tell you it is an experience not readily forgotten. The purpose of this letter is to say that if anyone wished to know about the function of this monster, I have sheets explaining its principles, and would copy these off, should anyone wish them. I also have home video taken when the pump was operating. Brian Blum, PO Box 211, Busselton, West Australia 6280.
30/3/1 Spry WheelSeveral people wrote to say that this one is a Sprywheel. John C. Romaine, 3925 Cameo Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056 even sent us a picture of his Spry-wheel (see RW-1). Thanks to all those who sent us information!
30/3/9 Phelps The engine in 30/3/9 is surely a Phelps. I have a very similar if not identical model. Mine has a 3 x 4 inch bore and stroke, so is it possibly a little earlier? Crawford MacKeand, 115 South Spring Valley Road, Greenville, DE 19807.
Mr. MacKeand details some of the features of the Phelps, and this, coupled with other info we've read, makes us believe this would be a nice engine to have, especially with all of its generating system, and of course, the electric starting system, working at full power.
30/3/6 Frazer Rototiller Doug Plance, 4960 Mamont Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668 writes that he believes this unit to be a Frazer Rototiller.
As we close up this month's column in early March, it's cold here in Iowa, with snow on the ground, but the prospects are for warmer weather in a few days. It can't come too soon for this writer; winter has never been one of our favorite things, but there are too many things we like about Iowa to consider living elsewhere.
We close this month with three more photos of Alamo engines from the collection of Verne Kindschi, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. There is no identification at all on these photos, but we present them anyway for your edification and your viewing enjoyment!