There have been some impressive engine and tractor shows this year...the Ageless Iron Expo at Ankeny, Iowa ranking among one of the largest. By the time this copy is in your hands, sometime in September, the 1997 show season will have passed its zenith, after countless large and small shows, tractor pulls and small exhibits. It is interesting to note that numerous small shows have emerged simply from a few folks taking a few engines and tractors to a county fair, a local big day, or some other activity.
Recently we were guests of Patrick and Kay Farrell at Otsego, Michigan. They have gone with us on most of our overseas tours, and we were amazed at the size of their tractor collection, numbering into the hundreds. What a joy to spend a couple of days visiting and looking over their large collection.
We also visited Krause Publications at Iola, Wisconsin; they have just recently completed our new Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements. Chet Krause, the founder of this firm, has a substantial collection of vintage tractors, plus a large number of military vehicles and automobiles in the area. Much of this equipment is on display when Krause Publications puts on their old car show, and their military vehicle show at Iola at various times of the year.
The grim reaper continues, and we were saddened at the death of our long -time friend, William H. Lemke of Waterloo, Iowa, who died on July 17, 1997. Many of you were acquainted with Bill. He didn't collect engines and tractors, but instead collected literature about them, and was a walking encyclopedia of farm equipment development. His specialty was the development of the mechanical corn picker, although he was an expert on many different phases of farm tractor development, particularly the John Deere.
Thanks to John Hamilton, 461 Algonquin Place, Webster Groves, MO 63119 for sending along a large copper electro showing a Leffel portable steam engine. The latter is quite a rare steam portable, and although it's got nothing whatever to do with gas engines, we'll beg your indulgence by pulling a proof as soon as possible and illustrating it in this column. Old printers cuts of vintage engines and tractors are becoming very hard to find, and if one is not into letterpress printing, it's not so easy to get a proof. Thanks to the Hamiltons!
Recently we came across a little booklet from the International Flax Twine Company at Chicago, Illinois. Some interesting historical information can be found in this booklet of about 1910. For instance, at that time, over 100,000 tons of binder twine was produced annually. Back in the 1890s Wm. Deering sought to develop a flax twine, with International Harvester Co. producing several tons of it in 1905. The International Flax Twine Co. had its plant at St. Paul, Minnesota; the latter was owned primarily by the major stockholders of International Harvester Co. The company occupied the plant of Walter A. Wood Harvester Co. at St. Paul. This firm was not connected to Walter A. Wood Mowing & Reaping Machine Co. at Hoosick Falls, New York, but a few of its stockholders were connected with the St. Paul and the Hoosick Falls firms. The St. Paul Wood Co. absorbed the Minneapolis Harvester Co., and later this became the Minnie Harvester Co., a firm organized to make the Minnie grass twine binders. Minnie Harvester didn't last long either, and about 1905 the International Flax Twine Co. was organized. History has shown that the latter didn't last more than a few years.
Our first inquiry this month comes from:
32/10/1 Deming Hydraulic Ram
Verne W. Kindschi, S9008B US Hwy 12, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578 has a Deming Fig. 695 hydraulic ram (see photos). The valve mechanism is missing, and he would like to hear from someone who has one of these rams or illustrations of same so that this one can be completed.
Yeolde Reflector looked in our old Deming catalogs and couldn't find a Figure 695 hydraulic ram.
32/10/2 Miami Engine Q. I have a Miami engine from Middle-town Machine Works, No. 20166, Type K8, Speed 400 rpm, made at Middletown, Ohio. It was sold by Bacon & Donovan Engine Co., Springfield, Mass. Any information on this engine would be appreciated, including original color, when it was built, horsepower rating, etc. James E. Ashmore, 36 Lane Barn Rd., Avella, PA 15312. Also, we have a Fairbanks-Morse engine with a missing nameplate, so we do not know the horsepower. Is there a way to tell the horsepower when the tag is missing?
A. We can't tell you anything about the Miami engine, since we have no literature for this one.
From a chart used by Stover Engine Co., here is a listing of horsepower sizes, together with the bore and stroke dimensions. The latter can be used to get some idea of the original horsepower rating, even when the tag is missing:
Bore x Stroke
63/4 x 9
7? x 12
The above listing is for the Stover Junior Engines. Stover Regular engines used somewhat different dimensions, as followus:
Bore x stroke
32/10/3 1HC Model M Problems! Q. I have a 1920 IHC 3 HP Type M kerosene engine. It starts easily and runs for a short time as if all is right with the world. Then it begins to speed up to the violent jumping stage. As soon as the speed starts to increase the governor closes the throttle plate, but to no avail.
Since the seats and needles are new, and I have tried two different sets of gaskets and installed o-rings in front of the new seats, determined that the throttle plate and shaft have no play, and reset the governor according to the book, I am out of ideas. Can someone help? Mike Cannon, 402 Dray-ton Road, Orelard, PA 19075.
A. Have you checked to see that the throttle plate completely closes the throat? We're not sure on this one, but usually there's a right way and a wrong way to put in the plate. If the governor is working properly, it seems that this might be a possibility. Occasionally the pot metal venturi between the top of the mixer and the mixer body will break, but since this would let the engine suck in more air, we doubt this would be the problem. Has anyone else experienced this difficulty? If so, please let us know your solution!
32/10/4 REBI Motor Q. See the two photos of a small engine, about five inches high, five inches wide, and about nine inches long. The only identifying mark is 'REBI Motor' on the side. Any help in identifying this engine or providing further information will be greatly appreciated. Ed Roberts, PO Box 1371, Overton, NV 89040.
32/10/5 David Bradley Enthusiasts! Anyone with an interest in David Bradley garden tractors, join the David Bradley Newsletter. Receive valuable technical information, buy, sell, and trade parts, as well as meet swell people. Contact: Terry E. Strasser, Rt. 1, Box 280, Hedgesville, WV 25427.
32/10/6 Fisher Electric Generator Q. I have a small electric generator and would like to find more information about it. It was made by Fisher Electrical Works, Detroit, Michigan. Lighting Generator, #679. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Grant W. Barnes, 7013 Estepa Dr., Tujunga, CA 91042.
32/10/7 St. Marys Engine Q. See the photos of an engine as purchased at an estate sale. Note that the exhaust valve operates directly off the crankshaft. Any information regarding this engine would be greatly appreciated. Craig Barton, 11230 Drycreek Rd., Auburn, CA 95602.
A. We can't tell you anything about this engine, but perhaps some of our readers are familiar with it. Thanks also to Mr. Barton for sending along some information regarding the Sandwich hay presses.
It usually works out this time of year that we get very few inquiries...everyone is busy with outdoor activities, leaving little time for reading, and even less for writing. However, we look for an improvement by next month.
By the way, if you won't be showing your engines anymore this season, be sure to check that they're drained! Take a stick or a rod and poke into the hole to be sure that rust and other crud hasn't accumulated over the drain hole, partially obstructing the drainage. Be sure also that if there's a separate drain plug for the head, water pump, or other areas that could freeze, that these are all drained as well. No use in restoring an engine only to let it freeze up over the winter! See you all next month!
The purpose of the Reflections column is to provide a forum for the exchange of all useful information among subscribers to GEM. Inquiries or responses should be addressed to:
REFLECTIONS, Gas Engine Magazine, P.O. Box328, Lancaster, PA 17608-0328.