| October/November 1988

Unidentified engine


Robert Womack

Occasionally it comes time to look back-and in this particular case, looking back at the gas engine and tractor hobby illustrates a dramatic change over the past 25 or 30 years. It's only been about forty years since old-time threshing bees were first held, and these were relatively minor in nature. GEM's founder, the late Elmer Ritzman, started out short on money and tall on dreams with his Farm Album. The late 1940's and early 1950's were lean years indeed. In fact, gas engines and tractors were seldom mentioned-steam was still king!

Rev. Ritzman continued with his quest and followed his dream. Vintage steam power became more and more popular, as did gas engines and tractors. The latter continued growing to the point that in 1966 the original Iron Man Album reverted to a 'steam only' magazine, and the entirely new Gas Engine Magazine was launched for the benefit of gas engine and tractor collectors. In the twenty some years since GEM became a reality, it has become a major publication dealing with our hobby, and has thus helped to move gas engine and tractor restoration into a hobby with genuine credentials and public visibility. Although many visitors at the shows do not understand the original purpose or use of these machines, most of them are awed by the fact that so many different types and styles have been preserved for the future. There can be no doubt that much of the credit must go to men of vision-men like the late Rev. Elmer Ritzman.

Our first question this month deals with:

23/10/1 Q. I recently acquired a Jaeger cement mixer with a Stover engine, TB235263. What time period does this represent? Kent A. Berge, 445 E. 20th St., Costa Mesa, California, 92627.

A. The Stover engine was built June 18, 1936. It was one of 100 shipped to Chain Belt Company at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This represents the distinct possibility that Jaeger might have built the mixer and supplied it to the Chain Belt without an engine. The latter then contracted with an engine company, in this case Stover, and attached the engine themselves.

23/10/2 Q. What is the proper paint color for a Hercules engine? Ed Minnick, RR 1, Box 140, Bainbridge, Indiana, 46105.