Reflections

Readers' Engine Questions


| October/November 2003



Engine

A Closing Word

First of all, my thanks to everyone who contacted me, sent cards, e-mails and the like when I got sick and during my long convalescence. Recovering from a stroke is indeed a long-term project. However, after a year-plus, 1 can get around fairly well, and have regained limited use of my left hand. Sometimes this is frustrating, but it's amazing just how creative one can be.

We're taking a serious look at reprinting American Gas Engines Since 1872, this time with the yellow cover. We're also looking at doing a second, but smaller volume of gas and diesel engines. We've considered redoing everything from 'square one' but gave up on that idea. Printing has changed so much, and we would have to digitize every photo in the book if we combined everything into a new edition. This would be months of work, and since typing is now limited to one hand, we've opted for a simpler solution of compiling Volume Two. Your input is important. If you are interested in seeing the Yellow Book back in print, and/or a second volume, please call, write, or e-mail Richard Backus at the coordinates listed on page 8.

Meanwhile we have a new edition of Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements coming out this Fall. It is a much larger book, and has a new index of manufacturers. For instance, if you want to see how many companies made corn shellers, you need only to go to that section to see the huge list we've compiled, all from original sources. Right now, we're working on a huge volume of tractors that will combine our Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, Standard Catalog of Tractors, and our Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 book into a single volume. We'll grant that there have been dozens of tractor books published over the last 20 years, but this new tractor book will easily eclipse anything you've seen. Once we get ourselves in the clear on the new tractor book, we'll be starting on our second volume of the Yellow Book.

After our long hiatus from writing the Reflections column, we've reluctantly decided that others should step into this task. Actually, the 'Reflections' name probably will disappear, since it was used by permission. Originally, the late Elmer J. Baker Jr., whose father published Farm Implement News for decades, used this name. We always admired Elmer's writing, and attempted to emulate his style. Now that we've gone digital, we plan on doing some freelance articles from time to time.

We're also thinking of doing another overseas tour or two, if health maintains or improves. The National Rally in Australia will be in South Australia in early 2005. If we should do a tour, we've already decided we won't be doing that straight-through 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. Instead, we'll break things up by stopping off at Fiji or someplace instead. Fourteen hours is just too long to be confined to an aluminum tube! We thank everyone who has helped us over the years. If you have pictures and information on engines not in the first engine book, please send them over to Richard, at GEM.

38/10/1 Fairbanks-Morse EngineQ: I'm looking for information on my upright Fairbanks-Morse engine and hoping someone can help me. I would like to know the year, horsepower, paint color, etc. The engine has 28-inch flywheel. I find no evidence of number on the ends of the crankshaft. Any information greatly appreciated. Wayne Hanson, Box 444, Mt. Lake, MN 56159.