In all walks of life we constantly hear about some new and
exciting development, whether it be cars, tractors, or toilet
paper. Now right off the top, we’ll concede that there are a
lot of new and exciting things happening, and many of these are
truly new and original. Witness the computer revolution. However,
we take exception to some of the claims we see and hear. For
We recently came across a couple of photos illustrating the
Cletrac Model F crawler. Now this little machine was announced
about 1919. Take a closer look and notice the overhead drive
sprocket. We’re not sure how well it worked, but the point is
that the overhead drive principle isn’t new at all, despite
some recent claims to the contrary. Chances are that the use of
slides instead of conventional front and rear idlers was a
disadvantage to the design. Then too, the materials available to
the market at that time were simply not developed as they are
today. Thus, for various reasons, this design probably was not a
A look at Photo REF-2 shows the back of this little Cletrac
model. Note the use of an automotive style rear axle housing. This
too was a radical departure from the accepted designs of the
period. In fact, the Wallis tractor of 1919 was one of the few
which had boasted a totally enclosed rear axle for any length of
time. Of course, in this same time frame, Henry Ford came along
with his cast iron marvel called the Fordson, and International
responded with their 15-30 Gear Drive tractor.
In the 1940’s, the Cletrac was equipped with rubber tracks.
Only a few of these machines were built because no one was able to
provide rubber tracks that would stand up to everyday work.
Eventually these problems were solved, and today’s market
indeed has a crawler tractor with rubber tracks. So again,
what’s really new? Now before you start writing unkind letters
to the effect that we are putting people down, we aren’t! What
we are trying to do is to get our readers to take a closer look at
their old’ iron and then make some of their own comparisons. We
think you will find that whether it’s some feature from an old
engine, from an old tractor, or perhaps some long antiquated piece
of equipment, you will begin to see features that go back many
decades. Oh that we could do so well!
We also ran across an advertisement for a combination engine-air
compressor. This advertisement from August 1910 shows the machine
to have been built by Oscar M. Bergstrom at Minneapolis. Priced at
$95, it included the battery, coil, and fifty feet of air hose.
Note that this ad claims that ‘two cents’ worth of gasoline
will inflate from twenty to fifty tires, depending on size.’
Has anyone come across one of these units? See Photo REF-3.
The Reflector can get by reading German, but we’re
completely lost in Spanish. However, we came across some nice
illustrations from a J.I. Case catalog in the Spanish language.
Apparently this catalog was for the South American trade, and there
are indications that Case did indeed ship large numbers of their
tractors and implements to South American countries. The catalog
puts its greatest emphasis on the little 10-18 tractor, so it seems
logical that this model was promoted more than perhaps the larger
sizes. Photo REF-4 shows a Case 10-18 pulling a potato digger
somewhere in South America.
We begin with:
25/11/1 Brockway Tractor Q. I’ve been
collecting gas engines for about eight years, and I recently
acquired my first tractor, a Brockway. Does anyone out there have
any further information than is contained in Encyclopedia of
American Farm Tractors?
How many Brockway tractors were built, and how many still exist?
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Henry A. Macomber III,
202 Paper-mill Rd., Baltic, CT 06330.
A. We’ve never come across any further
information on Brockway other than that already noted in the
tractor encyclopedia. However, it sure is a safe bet that there are
not very many around, since they were not on the market any great
length of time. The Brockway was built at Bedford, Ohio for a
couple of years, ending about 1951.
25/11/2 Fisherman Special Q. See the photo of
an engine called The Fisherman Special. It was built by Lorane
& Trask Eng’gCo., Baltimore, MD. This is a four-cycle
design, and the cam has a two-position lift. Any information will
be greatly appreciated. Roy V. Isom, 2196S. W. Locks Rd.,
Stuart, FL 34997.
A. The two-position cam is perhaps a
compression release system for starting the engine. Other than
that, we’ve never heard of this company before.
25/11/3 Gas Tank SealerBack in July GEM, Jack
Mulford sent us some information on gas tank sealers. We
incorrectly quoted Jack’s letter, so here it is:
The advertisement I sent you was for a gas tank sealer. Clean
the tank as per instructions. Slosh liquid material around inside
the tank, covering all areas. Let it dry. It puts a flexible coat
on inside of tank, sealing off varnish and rust. It fills small pin
holes. IT WORKS! Years ago I couldn’t drive my 1909 Cadillac
more than 10 miles before the inside of outlet on gas tank plugged
up with stuff. A wire up the drain cock cleared it. I put in
sloshing compound, and no more problems. I use it in all my antique
tractors and engines. The stuff was developed for aircraft.
Jack Mulford, Lodi, NY 14860.
Note: Several GEM advertisers carry this material, and it is
also available from numerous commercial sources.
25/11/4 Stover Q. See the photo of a Stover KE
engine in very bad shape. It has a 31/8 x 3?
bore and stroke. Any help or information on this engine will be
greatly appreciated. David Myers, HC 75, Box 2476, Camp Verde,
A. If you can be of help, contact Mr.
25/11/5 E-B 12-20 Tractors Q. We have three E-B
J 2-20 tractors in the U.K. at the moment; the oldest is a 12-20
Model Q that actually took part in the 1919 Lincoln & Edinburgh
trials and has been in the Hunday Tractor Museum for several years
now. The other two are imports that have come in for preservation.
The first, ‘34715,’ was imported about twelve years ago,
and the second, ‘32811,’ is near enough identical to the
12-20 AA except that it does not have the throttle or magneto
levers on the steering column under the steering wheel. Instead
they are mounted inside the left hand fender. There are also other
differences, but are these two tractors actually different models
of the 12-20, or are they both versions of the AA model? Can these
tractors be dated from the serial numbers? Any information will be
greatly appreciated. Henry Roskilly, Hillside, Peter Tavy,
Tavistock, Devon PL19 9LY, England.
A. Offhand, we would suggest that the changes
indicated above, and others you mention in your letter, are part of
an evolutionary process. This seems to have been taking place
during the transition from the Model Q to the Model AA. Since there
are no serial number listings available, and since this information
may or may not show up in advertising literature, perhaps someone
has done some in-depth research in this area. Our own research had
been inconclusive. It appears that there were some transitional
tractors, but they seem to have retained the Model Q designation
until the Model AA took official status.
25/11/6 OMC Engine Q. I am restoring the
engine-generator unit in the photo. It is a Model PU-5008/U, s/n
600291, manufactured by Outboard Marine & Mfg. Co. of Canada
Ltd. Any service information would be appreciated. Kenneth
Sulkowski, 29725 Moulin, Warren, MI48093.
25/11/7 Jacobsen Engine See the photo of my
restored 1929 Jacobsen engine. I acquired it via a GEM classified
ad about a week after another reader wrote in trying to identify
some type of engine. After contacting him and doing some research,
I found out that this engine was originally from a special golf
green mower and actually got a copy of the manual from Jacobsen.
The engine stands about 18 inches high, displaces 11 cu. in., has
throttle control with external valves, and an atmospheric intake
valve. Since this photo, I have mounted it on a wood frame as a
stationary engine. Any questions, please contact Jesse
Brumberger, 59 Lone Oak C.ir., Penfield, NY 14526
25/11/8 Novo RollR Engine Please first let me
thank all those who helped me out with information on my Novo RollR
(roller bearing) engine. By studying photocopies of parts lists I
was able to fabricate the parts missing and complete another
restoration. See the photo.
The engine is a Novo RollR Bearing engine, No. C.W. 66614, Model
CW 66, 3? x 4 inch bore and stroke, 8-11 HP, at 1200 to 1800 r.p.m.
Approximate year is 1940-45.
The unit which it powers is a Goldfields 420 Type screw feed
diamond drill built in Melbourne in the late 1940’s for
exploration work on the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme which
began in 1949.
There were only fifteen of these units built, and as far as I
can make out this is the only one that has survived the
scrappies’ sledge hammer. After the Snowy scheme was finished
the rig was purchased by a relative and used on his farm to sink
water wells. Water was found, but due to the inexperience of the
operators and the unsuitability of this type of rig with
17/8 drill pipe drilling six inch wells in
unstable ground, most of the drill pipe was lost. The owners then
decided that the winch would be ideal for pulling down trees and
old power poles but this resulted in the tower being completely
wrecked so the rig was left in the paddock to rust until I rescued
it in 1986.
Restoration involved a complete pull down of all parts,
sandblast and prime, rebuild worn parts, replace all roller and
ball bearings, rebore and resleeve engine, new rings, valves. The
last parts for the engine were for the governor and the whole unit
was reassembled and painted and finished in early 1990. D. J.
Barbary, 19 Quota Drive, West Wyalong 2671, New South Wales,
25/11/9 United Engine Q. Clarence Martin, RR 1,
Box 346, Calhoun, TN 37309 needs information on a 6 HP United hit
& miss engine. If you can help, contact Mr. Martin directly at
the above address.
25/11/10 IHC Mogul Q. Is there a listing of IHC
Mogul serial numbers? John P. Lapp, 33 Reifsnyder Rd., Lititz,
A. GEM published a listing of the Mogul serial
numbers in 1985 (June issue), but we have seen no other listing.
(This back issue of GEM is available from Stemgas, PO Box 328,
Lancaster, PA 17603 for $3.50 postpaid.)
25/11/11 Kewanee Engine Q. See the photo of an
engine built by Kewanee Private Utilities Company. I am
particularly interested in the operation of what appears to be a
pressure sensor which interrupts the spark and is located
immediately behind the air bulb on the pumping unit. Any other
information, including the proper color, will also be appreciated.
William C. Schwartz, 122 Ormsby Ave., Pittsburgh, PA