Ye olden Reflector has recently returned from Antique Power land
at Brooks, Oregon. On July 29 & 30 they put on their show,
along with the National Meeting of Early Day Gas Engine &
Tractor Association. We were delighted with the show … there were
lots of engines and tractors on hand which we had never seen
before! Of particular interest to this writer was the big
three-cylinder, 80 HP, Fairbanks-Morse Type R engine. It was belted
to a big centrifugal pump, and was an impressive sight, in addition
to providing some beautiful stack music.
Many other fine engines were present, including a Mery, a Regan,
a Woodpecker, and others too numerous to name. Models abounded, but
we were especially taken by John Palmer’s Oil Pull model, built
completely from scratch except for the magneto and spark plugs.
All the talks were very kind to us, and this was greatly
appreciated. We made a lot of new acquaintances, and also renewed
many old friendships. Also of mention were the large selection of
tractors, many of them being one-of-a-kind, or at least, very
On Saturday evening, July 29, the Early Day Gas Engine &
Tractor Association held their Annual Meeting. Among other things,
safety and insurance considerations were discussed. As an
interested observer, the point came across loud and clear that
safety at the shows is becoming an ever increasing concern. For
instance, we noted that many of the engine displays were surrounded
by two ropes or twines, one at about 1 feet, and the second at
about 3 feet high, ostensibly to keep little tykes from blundering
into an operating display.
What with today’s society, hell bent on lawsuits, we came
away with even more conviction that it is imperative to police your
own area, and allow others into your display only with your
permission. We suggest keeping your displays far enough away from
the fence so that spectators don’t wildly wave their fingers
about and get them entangled in the mechanisms. Keep fuel cans out
of harm’s way, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Another point of discussion was the matter of having a clean-up
kit handy in case of a fuel or oil spill. Government regulations
(and regulators) are getting more intent on setting an example, and
we’d hope that none of you are the recipients of their
regulatory balderdash. However, to be on the safe side, we’d
suggest that you try to avoid fuel or oil spills, and if this
should happen, that you clean it up before there’s a
Following the EDGETA business meeting, several people were
inducted into the National Gas & Steam Hall of Fame. Among
those inducted was ye olden Reflector, presumably because we’ve
been writing about old engines and tractors for 25 years. We feel
greatly honored by this award, and a bit humbled. Even after a
quarter century of writing, and having amassed a sizable collection
of materials on the subject, we find new things almost on a daily
basis. In visiting with some of the folks at Antique Power land, we
discovered some new engines and new tractors that had previously
escaped our notice. Purchasing a small cache of old magazines
yielded still further data on engine companies which we’d never
heard of before. So for this writer, being inducted into the Hall
of Fame is certainly a landmark along the path of life. Perhaps its
greatest legacy will be to goad us further into new writing
Largely as a result of our visit to the Brooks Show, we have
decided to move forward with another major book on gas engines,
somewhat in the style of American Gas Engines. If you have
information and/or engines that you’d like to see included in a
future volume, kindly drop us a line here at the Reflections
column. We’ll file these letters separately, and when we move
into actually writing the book, we’ll be able to contact you
further in this regard.
Our first query this month begins with:
30/10/1 Novo Engine Q. See the photo of a
recently acquired Novo engine, s/n AG37225. It has a 2 inch bore,
stands 18 inches high, and has a 10-inch flywheel. I would like to
know the horsepower, and the type of magneto and carburetor used on
this engine. Carroll Pederson, 22122 – 61st St E, Sumner, WA
A. Since this engine was designed primarily as
one half of a contractor’s pump, we’re not sure that it was
horsepower rated. At least none of the literature we searched gave
any indication. There are some of these engines still about, so
perhaps some of the current owners can provide some
30/10/2 Reproduction Nameplates? Q. Is there
anyone out there in GEM land making reproduction nameplates? Some
miscreant stole mine. Also when was a 1 HP Model Z Fairbanks-Morse
engine, s/n 452607 made? Stirling K. Welch, 1208 Truman SE,
Albuquerque, NM 87108.
A. We can answer your second question;
30/10/3 Dempster Q. See the photo of my 3 HP
Dempster Class ‘E’ engine. I would like to hear from anyone
who has one or has information on same. Mine is s/n 5261. Kent
Zobel, RR 1, Box 35 A, Monroe, NE 68647.
30/10/4 Fairbanks-Morse Q. See the photo of an
upright Fairbanks’ Morse engine, one-cylinder, Model 1B-7, s/n
66-297622, 2 HP. The plate reads: Manufactured for Fairbanks-Morse
Company by D. W. Onan & Sons. What year was this engine made,
and how many were built? Dale Warden, RR 2, Box 488, Underwood, MN
A. We’re not sure of the production period,
but it appears to have been in the early 1950s, and then for only a
short time. Even the company’s own records are silent on this
point; when we compiled the centennial history of the company we
worked with numerous people at Beloit. The Onan-built engines, like
several other products bearing the F-M name, have no records there,
except for an occasional advertising piece.
30/10/5 Babbitt Bearings Q. I would be
interested in any information you might have on casting Babbitt
bearings. I would like to cast them as shells and insert them in
the carriers, as opposed to casting them in place.
As to safety and experience, I operate a small backyard foundry,
using green sand, and cast aluminum, brass, and bronze. I made both
the aluminum pot furnace and the bronze crucible furnaces myself. I
spent seven years as quality manager in a commercial grey and
ductile iron foundry, now closed. I use safety equipment such as
aluminized jackets, chaps, and face shields whenever I handle
molten metals. Any help will be appreciated. Art DeKalb, 51 Van
Alstyne Dr., Pulaski, NY 13142.
A. Casting bearings in shells is comparatively
easy. After making the suitable mandrel and shell, we prefer to
blacken it with acetylene smoke so the Babbitt doesn’t stick.
By using a hollow mandrel, it’s easier to preheat everything.
We like to preheat up to about 250 degrees or so. Getting the
mandrel too hot will cause blistering and air pockets. This
eliminates a lot of problems with cold shots, and gives any dross a
chance to come to the top. The various radii can be machined as
part of the pouring jig to eliminate a lot of hand work later. The
only major problem we see with this plan is in anchoring the shells
to the carriers or connecting rods later. Particularly if the
latter arc not machined, we would prefer pouring in place. By using
a nice clean shaft over multiple main bearings, it’s easier to
align the crank to its bearings after pouring. Depending on the
alloy used, the pouring temperature will range from 625 to 700
degrees on lead-base Babbitt. A good gauge is that the Babbitt will
partially darken a pine stick plunged into the pot. To all, we
issue the usual warning … use heavy gloves, face mask, and other
body protection! Babbitt rite and Duxseal used to be available (and
may not be anymore) for plugging up the leaks. If not, good stiff
clay or fire cement are possible substitutes.
30/10/6 IHC Engine Q. We recently found an old
McCormick-Deering engine, 6 HP, s/n CW18424. We’d like to know
when it was made, and if it is in your book. Mario Morin, CSP
334, Magog, Quebec J1X 3W9 Canada.
A. Your engine was built in 1930. It is
pictured on page 249 of American Gas Engines, and on 138 and 139 of
150 Years of International Harvester.
30/10/7 Woolery Engine Q. See the photos of my
5 HP Model A Woolery engine, s/n 2700. I would like help on age,
color, pinstriping, and general restoration. Raymond Wickham,
Box 402, Dumont, IA 50625-0402.
A. Could any Woolery owners be of help
30/10/8 Standard-Walsh Q. I am restoring a
Standard-Walsh garden tractor. Can you tell me the paint colors for
this tractor? Everett Verdon, Star Rte, Box 74, Roseboom, NY
A. Some help here would be appreciated.
30/10/9 Sears Waterwitch Q. I have a Sears
Waterwitch twin-cylinder outboard motor (see photo). Any
information on this would be appreciated. Also I have a
one-cylinder Sea-Bee, s/n 522531, Model 025-3574, and would like
any information on it. Brad Cannon, 2820 Sunset Ln, Lot 18,
Henderson, KY 42420.
A. Is anyone familiar with these
30/10/10 Viking Twin Q. I recently acquired a
Viking Twin garden tractor. I have mechanically restored it and
would like to complete the job by cleaning and painting it.
However, I am unable to find out the proper color scheme. It was
made by Allied Motor Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I would also
like to know when it was made; s/n 401CF 1265. Mark Ostrander,
14488 Bierman Rd., Rigo, MI 49276.
A. Would the Viking owners please step
30/10/11 FIMACO Lawn Tractor Q. See the photo
of a FIMACO 58 Lawn Tractor. I’m told it was produced in the
Lancaster County (Pa.) area. Does any one have any information on
this tractor or the company that built it? Ralph Walters, 37
Cepp Rd., Perkiomenville, PA 18074-9697.
A. Can anyone help on this one?
30/10/12 How About This?
Dave Dickinson, 6190 Keller Ave., Newfane, NY 14108 writes: Here
is a picture of me shortly after I told my wife that I had bought
my fourth engine of the week … the Little Jumbo 1 HP engine and
mud sucker in the background. (Note that all we can see of Dave is
his toes… apparently, he’s flat on his back, either asleep,
30/10/13 Prodigy Service
My purpose in writing is to inform you of a new line of
communication that can be accessed by computer users who are
subscribers of the Prodigy service. Fellow engine enthusiasts and
collectors have established the ‘engine net’ in the Antique
and Collectible bulletin board (bb). Simply get ‘on-line’
and get into the ‘collecting 1 bb’ category, then click on
to the topic ‘other’ and you will see three or four antique
engine categories that can be viewed. We even have established an
unlisted ‘chat’ room for private chat between members. The
password will be given out upon request through the
This has opened up new avenues of communication and assistance
among fellow engine hobbyists from all over the country. I have
‘met’ friends that I haven’t yet met personally, but
hope that someday I will.
Also see photo 13A of a Ford F4 truck with a F-M Type Z, 3 HP
engine and a McCormick-Deering Type M, 6 HP engine. They are belted
to a com cob grinder and a grain grinder made by the Marvin Smith
Co. of Chicago. Photo 13B shows a ? scale Associated Hired Man
belted to a working pump jack. Photo 13C is a half scale Domestic.
Joe Kelley, ID #DZGE58A, 25 Wessnette Dr., Hampden, ME
30/10/14 Unidentified Engine Q. See the photos
of an engine no one has identified so far. It was found on a farm
in the upper peninsula of Michigan. This engine has a 2 inch bore,
L-head, and four-stroke design. It is splash lubricated. The speed
is governor controlled at a preset level, with a separate
hand-operated throttle valve for ‘no-had’ operation. The
base appears to be a very dark green. All the parts have a
‘GM’ prefix. Someone told me of their vague (?)
recollection of Delco once building a line of stationary pumping
engines. Could this be one? Any and all help will be appreciated.
Donald J. Armstrong, 2844 Deborah Drive, Punta Gorda, FL
30/10/15 Domestic Engine Q. I have just
acquired a 4 HP Domestic engine and pump, s/n 22096. Could anyone
tell me the year built? Also, what is the original color scheme? It
is currently a light gray, but I don’t know if this is
original. An additional question: the Domestic name is cast upside
down on the base. Was this typical, or simply a mistake in the
foundry? Dr. David E. Rotigel, RD 4, Box 143, Greensburg, PA
A. We’re not sure whether any Domestic
engine records still exist. Can anyone advise? Likewise, we do not
have a color match for the Domestic engines. If someone can send
this information over to us, we’ll be glad to put it on
30/10/16 Fordson Q. See the photos of a
mid-mounted Junior Mower, s/n 1893 made by the Detroit Harvester
Co. I am currently fitting it to a Fordson F for which it was
designed. Can you tell me anything of the company or the colors
used on this mower? There are traces of red still visible. The gear
box which has a reciprocating action is mounted directly to the
differential housing of the tractor. John Caldwell, Kelk
Cottage, Crosshouse, By Kilmarnock, Scotland KA2 0BG.
A. Detroit Harvester was an early manufacturer
of mounted mowers, designed particularly for mowing roadsides. The
company continued manufacturing similar machinery for some years,
and apparently specialized in these products. It, or a subsidiary,
may still be involved in this endeavor. Whether the company was
somehow connected to the Detroit Tractor Company of 1914 is
30/10/17 Curtis Compressor Q. See the photos of
a Model B Curtis compressor, s/n 7665, size 3 x 3, and 250 rpm.
Could anyone advise when this machine was built? Also what went in
the opening in the block? Any kind of information would be greatly
appreciated. George T. Benge, Rt 2, Box 41M, Lovington, NM
A. Does anyone have information on Curtis air
30/10/18 Empire Engine Q. I have found another
engine; it is an Empire 1 HP, s/n 62535. The engine was originally
blue, and the nameplate in-decades that it was built for Cockshutt
Plow Co. Ltd., Brantford, Ontario. This engine has a 2-piece water
hopper, just like a 1 HP Alamo. Can anyone advise any history on
this engine, or when it was built? Any information would be greatly
appreciated. Kevin Bergen, #202 – 1966 Pandosy St, Kelowna, BC V1Y
A. This engine was likely of the same color as
the Alamo Blue Line engines, namely, GM Corporate Blue.
30/10/19 Kirloskar Engine Q. See the photos of
a Kirloskar engine. I would appreciate any information on this
unit. Wm. Spoerl, 5531 Fond du Lac, Dubuque, IA 52002.
30/10/20 Agri-Cat Q. See the photo of my
Agri-Cat. It was built in California by Roost Mfg. Co. Any
information on this unit is appreciated.
Also, I have a Holt dozer built at Independence, Oregon, by
Francis Holt. It has a 172 Ford engine, Sherman forward-reverse box
and a Clark rear end. I’d like to correspond with anyone having
information on this unit. Les Greenstreet, PO Box 2007, Palmer, AK
30/10/21 Morton Engine Q. Can anyone out there
help me to obtain further information on the Morton engines, as
illustrated on page 319 of American Gas Engines? Any help would be
greatly appreciated. Louis Moore, PO Box 522, Edgar Springs, MO
30/10/22 Hayes Engine Q. See photos of my Hayes
engine. In the past thirty years the one included in Reflections of
June ’95 (30/6/9) is the only other I have found. As you can
see, mine is much different. In 1965 I bought it from a neighbor
for $5.00. I contacted the Galva (Illinois) Chamber of Commerce and
some old employees concluded that Hayes didn’t actually build
the engines. This conclusion was reinforced when I found that my
engine looks like a Deyo-Macey on page 133 or a Gifford on page 206
of American Gas Engines.
My engine is a 1 HP model with s/n 641. Color is a somewhat
faded pea green. The decal in 22A has been repainted but the one in
22B is still original. Colors of the decal are quite plain: the
circle is outlined with black, the large circle is green; darker
than the engine, but not as dark as the green in the photo. Black
letters say ‘Hayes Farm Tools and Pumps, Galva, Ill.’ The
cross is black with ‘Hayes’ in both directions in red and
the four blank spaces are a shade of orange. This engine is high
quality and runs well. It uses a buzz coil and has a built-in set
of points. The gas tank is cast in the base. It used to run
woodworking equipment in a shop fry means of line shaft. Dar-rell
Reichow, 20340-195th Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307.
A. Unfortunately Darrell’s photos slid down
behind our computer and we couldn’t locate them in time for
publication in the September issue. We apologize for the delay.
30/10/23 Letz Grinders Q. I have a Model 6 Letz
grinder, Type A. The tag also says, ‘Crown Point, Indiana.’
Yet, on the hopper there appears to be part of the word
‘Minneapolis.’ Is there a connection? Most importantly, I
need to know the proper colors, and the design of the logo on the
hopper. Mike Turpin, 7028 Mustang Rd., Shepherd, MT
A. The colors are orange and blue, but we
don’t have a color match.
30/10/24 Lister Engine Q. Can anyone supply
information on a 2 HP Lister Model D engine, s/n 82123, SPC-11D2?
When was it built? Was it made in England or in Canada? Any
information will be appreciated. Hal Opdyke, 4960 Sioux
Way, Okemos, MI 48864.
A. So far as we know the Lister was built in
England, although a great many were shipped to Canada. Beyond that,
we must defer to our British collectors, or perhaps to some of our
own American collectors who have researched the Lister line.
30/10/25 Information Needed Q. In April 1990 I
discovered that I had russets and it has gotten progressively worse
(which means better) over the years. I’m now recovering from a
side effect of this ailment (a hernia) and thought it a good time
to sit down and share through the Reflections column.
Photo 25A is of a Brown wall, s/n 36XX with a 6 x 7 inch bore
and stroke. It is headless with a cast-in-place valve chamber. I
would like to know the horsepower, when built, and the color. Photo
25B is of a Domestic side shaft, 5 HP, with the original wagon,
seat/battery box. I would estimate this engine to have been made
about 1917. Photo 25C is a 3 HP Waterloo Boy Type H, complete with
Wizard magneto, crank guard, and belt pulley. When was it built?
Any information, instructions, etc. on these three engines would be
greatly appreciated. Paul Spence, 1543 Laguna Lane, Lakewood,
30/10/26 What Is It? Q. See the two photos of
an unidentified tool. It was found in a barn near Chicago,
Illinois. The machine is marked Defiance Button Machine Co., New
York, New York, Machine No. 29. Edwin H. Brede-meier, Route 1,
Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441.
30/10/27 Stover Engine Q. I have a Stover Model
Y, s/n 137106 (see page 31 of Power in the Past, Volume 3). The
engine was supplied to Piker’s of Paris, France, in 1920.
I am now restoring the engine to original condition and need the
bracket which attaches to the exhaust push rod (‘ round) and
holds the push finger journal for the Webster magneto. However,
this is not listed in the parts lists. Any help would be greatly
appreciated. Barry Buckley, 12 Bennett Close, Welling,
A. The Webster parts and linkages apparently
came from Webster, or as part of a magneto assembly, and usually
don’t show up in the parts lists. Perhaps some one of our
readers might have a Stover 2 HP Y engine with the Webster magneto,
and might be able to furnish photos and dimensions of same to
30/10/28 Information Needed Q. Can anyone
supply information on the following tractors:
McCormick-Deering 22-36, s/n TG157526MB. This serial number is
higher than the listings shown in the book, 150 Years of
International Harvester, but it I guess it is 1936.
English Fordson, Model N, s/n 979037 Massey-Harris 25, s/n
73634. This tractor is a three-speed ’25’ but is styled in
Australia (Sunshine, Victoria) by H. V. McKay to resemble the new
Pacemakers. They were known out here as a ‘Red 25’ or
Pacemaker. H. V. McKay and Massey-Harris came to an agreement in
1930 that allowed Massey-Harris to distribute McKay’s
‘Sunshine’ harvesting equipment in North America. This also
allowed Massey-Harris equipment to be sold in Australia under the
H. V. McKay name.
Any help would be appreciated. L. G. Polgreen, PO Box 5,
Arthurton 5572, South Australia, Australia.
A. All of our serial number lists end with
TG157477, so we’d assume your 22-36 is at the very tail end of
the run, probably 1935, or perhaps 1936. The starting s/n for the
English Fordson in 1938 is 826779, so we’d assume yours to be
of that year. We have no further serial numbers on this one. Our
lists for the ’25’ aren’t very informative, but we know
that the beginning number for 1931 was 69000. Thus, we’d
believe yours to be a 1931 or a 1932 model.
30/10/29 General Electric Q. See the photos of
a General Electric 25kw generator set. These units were made by
General Electric in the early part of the century under a contract
with the US Army. The sets were installed in coastal defense
fortifications to supply auxiliary power to the rifle batteries.
Approximately 250 units were produced and installed in batteries
both in the United States and overseas.
The Fort MacArthur Museum is located in Battery Osgood-Farley on
the Upper Reservation of Ft. MacArthur. Volunteers have restored
the Power Room to nearly original condition. All that’s missing
to finish this restoration are the two generators. The location of
a handful of these sets is known. One set is in a museum at Ft.
Stevens in Oregon, another at Ft. Moultry in South Carolina, and
some at Ft. Monroe. There is a generator rumored to be in Hawaii,
but no one can verify its existence. The museum has made attempts
to retrieve the remaining generators located in the Panama Canal
Zone without success. The government bureaucracy is a quagmire.
Not many people know that GE provided this type of equipment
early in this century. A visit to the Antique Steam Engine Museum
in Vista, California, gave me the opportunity to question the
docents and mechanics there. No one seemed to know anything about
these machines. Chances are slim that we can find a set, but
someone might recognize the equipment in the photographs. Any
information or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Patrick
Mur-man, 17311 Lee Circle, Ft. MacArthur Museum Association,
Huntington Beach, CA 92647.
30/7/27 Unidentified Engine
I believe this to be an Olds Type R, 1 HP model, which
unfortunately, is not illustrated in American Gas Engines. Possibly
this is a photo of a prototype, as I see some possible differences
to the production engine; the base cut-out seems to be shallower,
and the governor weight is hinged differently; third, I see no
evidence of carburetion or exhaust which should come straight
upward from the head. Yes, the Olds Type R has two flywheels.
Leonard Spoelman, 3221 Brookshire SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.
I have this same engine. There is no tag stating it is a
Fairbanks-Morse. The crab and exhaust manifold are separate units.
The flywheels, crankcase and cylinder are the same. There are
numbers cast on the crankcase (A7318), cylinder (A1313), and each
flywheel A3157, and A3156. Houston Sliger, PO Box 235, High
Island, TX 77623.
The engine belonging to Len Bontje is either a Scott or a Jowett
engine, built in Yorkshire, England. Len will be able to find these
names, together with the serial number, stamped into the crankcase
casting immediately below the governor linkage on the left hand
side of the engine. For the benefit of your readers, this is a
two-cycle engine developing about 4 horsepower. Cooling is by
induction, that is, air is drawn down over the cylinder and out
through the flywheel, not updraft, as stated in the letter. They
were made between 1936 and 1965, and were used to drive a 2.75 kva,
130 volt, three phase generator. The engine and alternator were
housed in a steel cabinet which also contained petrol and oil tanks
and the electrical control gear. So it’s not a marine engine,
but a piece of military hardware. These generating sets were used
to supply power to Bofors guns, and many saw action in WW2. About
1100 of these engines were built and only some 14 have survived
into preservation, so it is now quite rare. Phillip Gallimore, 36
Stakehill, Largs, Ayrshire KA30 9NH Scotland.
Eddie Mittelstadt of Eddie’s Eldorado Engine Company, PO Box
957, Eldorado, IA 52175 sends along some pix of his model making
adventures over the past year. MM-1 and MM-2 are a Parsell &
Weed model. Eddie writes, ‘. . . Ed Chick of Winona, Minnesota,
had the original blueprints for it, so I could make the parts; it
is not a practical engine as it is frail in many places. George
Archer of Des Moines owns it. He calls it a ‘shelf
Photos MM-3 and MM-4 are of a Perkins engine. Eddie writes:
The Canadian Perkins is a real nice engine and runs good. Jim
Sylling of Mabel, Minnesota, got the castings for me. They came
Photo MM-5 is a half scale model of a Lake Breeze hot air fan,
called a Little Breeze. The castings came from Paul E. Jacobs,
Our compliments on some more fine models from Eddie!
A Closing Word
The November issue will come to you without our multi-page
ramblings we’ll be off somewhere in Switzerland or Germany with
the Gas Engine European Tour. During our one-issue sabbatical,
Linda will provide expert answers to your questions.
Since we also realize that this issue will come right after the
Mt. Pleasant Show, we’ll take the liberty of thanking all of
you in advance for having stopped by our stand during the
Your letters and conversations over the past year have now
convinced us to go ahead with a second book on gas engines. We
really don’t want to replace American Gas Engines, nor do we
plan to. However, we realize that there is a tremendous amount of
material and additional information available now that wasn’t
there a decade ago. When we’re ready to move forward with it,
we’ll let you know right here in GEM, and then we’ll
solicit your comments on additional companies and engines that
aren’t in American Gas Engines. Please be patient; it’s
going to take some time to do another engine book!