Every so often we come across something that seems absolutely
appropriate for the column. You folks may or may not agree, but the
following is from a little placard we dreamed up just for the
shows. It is displayed somewhere near our engines:
We’re not sure how effective this foolishness is in actually
keeping sightseers and inquisitives from sticking their hands where
they don’t belong, but perhaps by stating the case with a bit
of humor, the message can be made. While we hope everybody
doesn’t run out and print up this silliness, perhaps the idea
might serve as a warning to those who don’t know any better,
and a reminder to those who do!
Ye olde Reflector has really been catching it due to the pricing
structure for our latest book, 150 Years of J. I. Case. Dozens of
phone calls and letters have come in, asking why the same book
carries three different prices, all in the same issue of GEM!
Here’s how it works…a publisher sets a retail price based on
the production cost. Since most publishers wholesale their books to
various dealers, the pricing structure has to be built around
something, and ultimately, that original retail figure is the
basis. Now, if someone chooses to buy a quantity of books, that is
to say, any books from any publisher, that buyer has the right to
set whatever price they want. In other words, if a quantity of
books is purchased at $20 a copy, and the dealer chooses to sell
them for $5 bucks apiece, for an instant $15 per book loss,
that’s their business. One should bear in mind that the book
business is no get-rich-quick scheme, and we’ve been at it for
nearly 30 years now. Presently, a copy of American Gas Engines
costs $2.77 just for postage. Then there is another 75 to 85 cents
for the mailing carton, the invoice form costs about 10 cents, and
the printed shipping label is about 12 cents. Then there is the
cost of advertising, and without it, how would one go about
promoting a book? Add to this the so-called hidden costs of
overhead, and that means electricity, heat, phone bills, and all
the other things tied to running any kind of business. So, we are
content to maintain the status quo. We don’t establish the
retail price on any books whether they come from Crestline
Publishing, Motor books, or Stemgas Publishing. That’s all
based on what it costs to produce the book.
We are reluctant to even mention this issue, since just as sure
as the sun shines, there’ll be further comments. However, we
felt compelled to explain our own position, as well as that of
various publishers for whom we have worked, and for that matter,
any publisher we ever heard of. Thus, we trust that this will be
the end of the matter.
Ye olde Reflector is happy to report that we have had some very
nice phone calls regarding our new 150 Years of). J .I Case book
from as far away as England, New Zealand, Australia, and Brazil.
Likewise, we have had some very nice letters from many of our
We understand that Mr. Art Brigham of the J. I. Case Heritage
Foundation is having some sudden and serious health problems, and
we hope all goes well.
The copy for this November issue is actually going in to the
publisher in the latter part of August. This way we can meet the
deadline, and still spend our annual week of fun at the Midwest Old
Let’s get started with this month’s queries:
26/11/1 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two
photos of an engine no one has been able to identify. The brass tag
is gone, and even the brass band is gone from the Webster magneto.
Any help will be appreciated. Dave Moeller, N30805 Milan Rd.,
Chattaroy, WA 99003.
A. Look for the number on the Webster magneto
bracket. It will likely be an A303xxx number. Then, by referring to
the Webster magneto listing, we may be able to identify the engine.
This information is in the newly published Notebook.
26/11/2 Domestic, Etc. Q. See the photo of a 6
HP Domestic kerosene engine. I need to know how the gasoline
starting tank was originally mounted. The engine was originally
equipped with a Webster magneto, but I also need to know how the
trip mechanism was changed to accommodate the Webster. Plus, I need
the paint code for the medium gray color used on Domestic.
Photo 2B shows a Kingery popcorn popper, made in Cincinnati,
Ohio. It is missing the catch basket that hooks on the front to
catch the popped com. I need to correspond with someone who can
give me dimensions for fabricating one to fit this machine. Bob
Herder, RR 5, Box 121, Califon, NJ 07830.
A. We can’t be of any help on the above
queries, and we do not have a paint match for Domestic (as
26/11/3 DeLaval Engine Q. I have a DeLaval
engine with no apparent markings other than the brass,
tri-angular-shaped nameplate on the side of the water hopper,
stating ALPHA and DLSCo. The unit is hit-and-miss with solid
16-inch flywheels. Can anyone help with the color scheme? Bill
Sterling, 139 Candlewood Lake Rd., Brookfield, CT 06804.
A. Sorry, we don’t have a color match for
this one either. Can anyone help?
26/11/4 Thermoil Model T Q. I have a Thermoil 5
HP model that is missing the injector assembly. Since I may never
find these parts, I am thinking of rigging up an assembly whereby I
could install a spark plug where the injector should be. Of course
I would also have to figure out a speed control and a mixer. Would
this work? Wayne Rogers, Rt. 11, Box 433, Tyler, TX 75709.
A. Almost anything will work if we apply
ourselves, and although this will be a lot of work, it still might
be made into an operable, albeit not original, engine. However, the
high compression ratio required for the oil engine design might
create some serious problems. Certainly it seems appropriate to
remove all the spacer shims between the rod and the crankpin
bearing. It may even be necessary to put a spacer between the
cylinder and the head to lower the compression pressure to an
acceptable level. This can only be ascertained with some
26/11/5 IHC Titan Jr. Engine Earl G. Bower,
1617 Douglas, Belling-ham, WA 98225, needs dimensions or a good
photo and information on this model, in particular the rocker arm,
ignitor, and crankguard. See his ad in the ‘Wanted’ section
of this issue.
26/11/6 Famous Engine Etc. Richard L.
‘Dick’ Brown writes his thanks for the article on his
engines that appeared in the January 1991 issue of GEM. Since then
he has heard from four people having throttle governed Novo
engines. Apparently these are quite scarce. Also see Photo 6A
showing the ‘before’ side of a 1 HP hopper cooled Famous
engine; Photo 6B illustrates the ‘after’ restoration side
of the engine. Dick writes that his 17-year old daughter has
already laid claim to this fine little engine! Dick’s address
is: RR 2, Box 336, Gilbertsville, KY 42044.
26/11/7 Bantam Tractor See the two photos of a
Bantam tractor I found in an old garage. It is now restored, and I
painted it Persian Orange. I have the original sales brochure, and
would appreciate hearing from anyone having one of these tractors.
Don Combes, 8536 Seward, Omaha, NE 68114.
26/11/8 Schmidt’s Chilled Cylinder I have a
Schmidt’s hopper cooled, Type K, No. 70507, 5 horsepower model.
It is missing all the governor parts . So far I have found no one
who has seen a hopper cooled model. If anyone can provide any
photos or dimensions for these parts, I will be glad to hear from
you. William G. Doby, 1016 Buckhorn Rd., Mebane, NC 27302.
26/11/9 Sattley Engine Q. See the photo of a
Sattley engine sold by Montgomery Ward. It is 3 HP, s/n 4991. I
would like to know the year made, original color, and decals or
pinstriping. Raymond Wickham, 628 Broadway, Dumont, IA 50625.
A. Our Notebook has DuPont 7498 Green as a
comparable color match. We doubt that it had any pinstripes. There
is no known serial number record for these engines.
26/11/10 Some Questions Q. I have often
wondered why you never show or mention Corliss engines in the GEM
columns. I suppose no one collects them, but still I am very
interested in them, and would like to get more information on their
Could you tell me the pressure in a diesel engine cylinder at
the time of the explosion? Also in a modem gas engine? Another
question, how long would it take to empty a 4,000 psi oxygen bottle
if it was suddenly opened all the way?
Is something wrong with me? I like my old iron as is-I mean all
nice and rusty and dirty. There’s more nostalgia to it that
way, and you get the feel of it more. I even restored my Frisco
Standard marine engine and left it rusty. Should I see a doctor?
Why does everyone want their engines under glass? Robert L.
Wurgaft, Box W 1-A1-2 (Dl8517)Represa,CA95671.
A. To answer your questions in order…since
Corliss engines are steam engines, they just don’t seem to make
it into GEM, except perhaps as a model. There have been a few books
reprinted in the past on the Corliss, but there’s really not
much information floating around on these engines at present.
The compression pressure varies somewhat in diesels, with some
large Fairbanks-Morse engines having this set at 580 to 610 pounds.
We have no idea of the explosive pressure in either gas or diesel
engines without doing some research. We suppose the time it takes
to empty the 4000 psi oxygen bottle will be in direct proportion to
the size of the hole…seriously, we have no idea. Regarding your
latter comment on unrestored engines-we would guess that everybody
has their ‘druthers. Ye olde Reflector has often used the
analogy that we wouldn’t want to kiss some gal with worn-out
shoes, tattered clothes, tangled hair, and a dirty face! We’d
much prefer our sweetheart in high-heeled shoes, a nice dress,
pretty hair, and a clean face with just a touch of perfume! The
same way with engines…we think that these old sweethearts deserve
a facelift too!
26/11/11 Mietz & Weiss The Antique Boat
Museum, Clayton, NY 13624, has a Mietz & Weiss engine attached
to an 11 kw generator. It was installed in 1908. Since I am trying
to restore it for them, I would appreciate any information on this
engine. Robert O. Cox, PO Box 208, Clayton, NY 13624.
26/11/12 A Rusty Piece! Q. I have an old burr
mill made by Wilson Bros, in Easton, Pa. However, it is badly
rusted, and must be taken apart. Have you a way to get it apart
without breaking the bolts? Any information will be appreciated.
David P. Rhine, 1124 Park Dr., Palmyra, PA 17078.
A. The judicious use of an acetylene outfit
will be most helpful. Heating the nuts on a couple of sides will
usually reduce their unwillingness to turn. If any of them twist
off, then it’s a relatively simple matter of drilling out and
retapping the holes.
26/11/13 Galion Roller Q. See the photos of a
Galion Road Roller, grader, and rear-mounted scarifier. This is
mounted on a McCormick-Deering 10-20 tractor chassis of 1927
vintage. Was the 10-20 a typical application for the roller? What
is its color scheme? Any information will be appreciated. Robert
Dahs, 4814 Delematre Road, Monroeville, OH 44847.
A. We can’t tell you much about this one,
although the 10-20 was widely used for such OEM applications. Then
too, so was the Allis-Chalmers U, some Case models, and so on.