Rumor has it that General Motors has been clamping down on the
reproduction of owners’ manuals, parts, decals, and similar
items for their non-current production. We haven’t been able to
substantiate this yet, but if true, it might give ample warning to
those who are now making decal sets and other parts for certain
engines and tractors. It seems entirely possible that infringement
of certain patents, trademarks, or copyrights might be involved.
Although the tractor manufacturers seem to have looked the other
way for the most part, we suspect that the ice is thin enough to
warrant some thought on the subject. To put it another way, any one
of the current manufacturers could easily descend on a small
enterprise with extraordinary speed. Getting written permission for
such an enterprise might be advisable. As we noted earlier, it is
unsubstantiated talk at this point regarding GM, but the same
possibilities might exist for those reproducing decals, manuals,
A rather scarce book entitled The History of the Oil Engine by
Arthur Evans was published in 1932. From this title we learn that
the Daimler engine (Germany) of 1885 was the first to be enclosed,
with Daimler reasoning that it was better to close up and lubricate
the mechanism even though full accessibility was sacrificed.
British builders were slow to accept this idea, but for American
builders, especially those building marine engines, the concept of
the totally enclosed engine became standard practice. The year 1885
also saw the introduction of the poppet valve by Crossley of
England. For several years they had been building the Otto engine
under license, using Otto’s slide valve system similar to the
slide valve steam engine. Meanwhile, other inventors were
experimenting with rotary valves-these ranged from simple flat
plates to complicated conical designs. Ultimatelty it was the
sleeve valve which won the contest, and even this design proved to
be no match for the poppet valve.
Even casual reading oftentimes reveals interesting facets of the
historical development of engines and tractors. For instance, the
Allis-Chalmers WC tractor, introduced in 1934 was the first model
in the industry to use a ‘square’ engine-a term indicating
that the bore and stroke were the same, and in the case of the WC,
this figure was 4 inches. Square engines had already gained
acceptance in the automotive industries. Designed by Allis-Chalmers
engineers, this engine and the lightweight WC played a significant
role in making the farm tractor immensely practical.
Our first letter begins:
22/9/1 Q. Can you supply the original paint
color for a Fuller & Johnson engine? Also need serial number
information. John C. Addengast, Box 160, Ashton, IA 51232
A. Write: Verne W. Kindishi, RR 1, Prairie du
Sac, WI 53578. He can supply a great deal of information on Fuller
&. Johnson, including the date your engine was built from the
original F & J record books. Verne can also supply decals for
these engines, as well as instruction books etc.
22/9/2 Q. Can anyone tell me what horsepower
and approximately what year this Ottawa engine was built (see
photo). It has a Webster magneto. Are there any home courses,
training courses, or videotapes available on repairing old gas and
diesel engines. Frederick W. Adams, Route 285, RR 1, Taberg, NY
A. Although no production records exist for the
Ottawa line, we would guess your engine to be of 1917-20 vintage,
primarily because of the Webster ignition system. In the early
1920’s Ottawa changed over to the Wico EK high tension magneto.
We don’t know of any specific training courses on repairing old
gas and diesel engines except to suggest Gas Engine Guide,
originally written as a training course in the long defunct Gas
Review Magazine. Videotapes sound like a fantastic idea, and
perhaps some of our enterprising collectors will produce one in the
near future. Those of us who have been restoring old engines for
many years often become jaded by requests from the new members of
our fraternity for answers to questions that now seem simple.
Whenever this happens, remember back to the time you cranked an
engine for an hour and a half, only to finally discover that you
forgot to turn on the ignition switch or the fuel shutoff. Our
hobby needs to do more toward encouraging the new enthusiasts!
22/9/3 Q. Recently we bought an old two-stage
snow blower with the following nameplate:
Snowline Snow Thrower, Model S728, Serial 58125, The Snowline
Corporation, Eatontown, New Jersey
Can anyone tell me if this company is still in business, and if
so, their current address. Would very much like to find any
literature on this unit. It is powered by a Wisconsin engine and
chain drive. It uses an exceptionally heavy clutch and
transmission. All features of this machine are so unique that
restoration is a ‘must.’ John W. Lewis, 4386 N. Five Mile
Road, Route 3, Williamsburg, MI 49690.
A. Yours sounds like a most interesting
machine, but we can’t tell you a thing about its age, or for
that matter, anything else. Send us some photos of it when you get
22/9/4 Q. I am restoring a Hartman gas engine,
and would like to know its horsepower- it has a 6 inch bore. Also
would like to have the proper paint color. It is the same engine
pictured on page 220 of American Gas Engines. Roger Hansen, Box
109, Kanawha, IA 50447
A. Yours is probably the 7 HP model. This
engine is virtually identical to the Sandow, Smythe, Sheldon, and
various others ostensibly built by Waterloo Gas Engine Company.
22/9/5 Q. Restoring old tractors is becoming
very popular in Australia especially the older models. Am enclosing
some photos, one of my 10-20 McCormick-Deering, (22/9/5B) and my 2
HP Type B, H. V. McKay, (Massey-Harris) engine (22/9/5A). The 10-20
is of 1923 vintage, but it painted red, although I wonder if it
shouldn’t be gray? Would be delighted to hear from anyone with
information and photos of clubs and meetings in the U. S. A., W. F.
Tuohey, Box 73, Elmore, P.C., 3558 Victoria, Australia.
A. The McCormick-Deering is indeed gray, at
least here in the U.S. For all I know however, the export models
may have been red originally. The gray corresponds to DuPont 7498D
22/9/6 Q. I have just found an old Piker
vertical engine on a local farm. The serial number is YC32491. Am I
correct in thinking this engine is a Stover? It looks very similar
to the engine on the bottom of page 489 in American Gas Engines.
Arnold Sayer of 106 South Road, Kirby Stephen, Cumbria, England,
writes regarding 22/4/37, the Webster bracket on his Hobbs engine
A. You are correct, this engine was built in
1911, about the time that Stover peaked in shipment of engines to
Pilter. In fact, many hundreds of Stover engines went to Pilter,
with a majority of these being verticals. After being out of print
for a time, the Reflector’s title, Power in the Past, Vol 3:
Stover Engine Company is now available from GEM once again. It
carries detailed information and instructions for these engines
from original literature.
22/9/7 Q. Several collectors have told me this
engine is a Middletown (See 22/9/7A & B). However, it does not
look like the photos on pages 304 and 305 of American Gas Engines.
The engine uses a Lunkenheimer vaporizer, the fuel tank is in the
base, and the 17-inch flywheel are cast with part No. K-17. The
base has part letter ‘A’, the frame is K1, and the hopper
is ‘N’. Would appreciate any information. Paul Guarner, 406
Ocean Avenue, Massapequa, NY 11758.
A. We believe your engine to be built by
Middletown Machine Company, although there are some differences
between it and those shown in the above mentioned book. However,
American Gas Engines does not illustrate every model and derivation
from every company, so yours might simply be an engine that was not
Mr. Jim Albaitis, 3064 Lincoln Rd., Ludington, MI 49431 sends us
some information on the ‘All-Go’ marine engine built by
Hoch Brothers, 61 West Division St., Grand Rapids, Michigan. Only
about 60 were built just prior to World War One. Jacob F. Hoch was
a pattern maker, and Chas. W. Hoch was a machinist. Between the two
of them, plus a small crew, these engines were built. Mr. Albaitis
sent along a photocopy of an old letterhead illustrating the
‘All-Go’ engine, but we were unable to reproduce it again
for the Reflections column.
22/9/9 Q. I am a young engine collector and
have about fifteen engines, and find the oldest systems most
interesting. Engine collecting is really starting up over here, and
we do have quite a lot of old European-built engines. Stover,
though, is very rare over here, and as far as I know, I have the
only ‘A’ and ‘K’ styles. The last engine in Holland
was sold under the name ‘Standaard.’ The other Stover
engines were imported from France and have the name
‘Filter’ and were sold by Maison Filter in Paris. (See
photos 22/9/9/A & B.) Kees Fitters, Niewkuyksestraat 134, 5252
AK Niewuwkuyk, The Netherlands.
22/9/10 Q. Can you tell me the year built of a
Stover DVA-1 air-cooled engine, s/n DB258512? Jason Jenschke, RR 8,
Box 208, Fredericksburg, TX 78624.
A. Your engine was built October 14, 1938. A
change in bookkeeping methods makes it nearly impossible to get an
accurate tally of the DVA-1 air-cooled engines, but from all
appearances, very few were built, probably only a few hundred at
22/9/11 Q. I’m new to engine collecting and
need the proper color for a Fairbanks-Morse 1918 headless model.
Chris R. Thyrring, PO Box 7159, Halcyon, CA 93420.
A. Your engine like all the FBM ‘Z’
engines is DuPont Dulux 93-77161 green-a very dark green with a
hint of blue-green.
22/9/12 Q. I’m in need of information on a
Briggs & Stratton Model F1 engine. Also would like to contact
the man from LaHarpe, Illinois that has B & S manuals. Bill
Aarup, RR7, Box g, Hermann Add., Quincy, IL 62301.
22/9/13 Q. Bud Kelso, PO Box 4460, Little Rock,
AR 72214 has a Maytag 1 HP upright with an aluminum gas tank, but
there is no serial number on the flywheel to date it. Can anyone
help me to date this engine?
A. We have almost nothing in Maytag literature,
but certainly the Maytag aficionados might be able to help.
Mr. John Levora, 62660 CR 380, Bangor, MI 49013 sends the
Quoting from the Dec. 21, 1911 issue of The Hartford Day Spring
newspaper they commented: ‘One machine which plays an important
part in the Day Spring shop is a Hartford product. It is a five
horsepower gasoline engine built by Floyd F. Leach, the Hartford
manufacturer. This engine drives the entire battery of Day Spring
presses, the folding machine and the type setting machine and
seldom if ever ‘balks on the job. This engine was installed
nearly two years ago, and during a greater portion of that time has
been in operation ten hours a day.’
Mr. Leach was driving one of the two home-built autos in
Hartford, Michigan by mid-1909. He also was manufacturing orchard
spray outfits by 1911. They also made ‘buzz’ outfits and
fruit grading equipment. Mr Leach is reported to have built and
operated his shop with a diesel-type engine, but it is not known
whether any of these were sold.
We are trying to locate anyone with a Leach engine made in
Hartford, Michigan or would be happy to hear from anyone with
information on Mr. Leach, his engines, or his company.
Since publishing the Webster magneto listing in GEM it would be
helpful if readers would include the Webster bracket number for
their restored engines when writing in to the magazine. This would
be especially helpful when the Webster bracket is not included in
the published list.
I am hopeful that someone will come out with a history book on
garden tractors, since there is almost nothing available now.
Mr. Levora also wrote some additional comments, and we thank him
for his letter. Back in 1979 when the Reflector finished
Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors there wasn’t a whole lot
of interest in vintage garden tractors, and in fact, we set up sort
of a rule that for us to qualify something as a tractor, it had to
have a seat. At that point in time we were trying to set some
parameters for the book lest it become completely unmanageable.
Perhaps ‘the tractor book’ will be revised sometime in the
future, and if it is, we certainly plan to add garden
tractors-perhaps as a stand-alone section.
22/9/15 Q. Can anyone tell me where to obtain
parts for the hydraulic lift system on a Massey-Harris 44 tractor?
R. P. Crowe, 3151 Old Hill Bridge Road, Enoree, SC 29335-9874.
A. We would first suggest some of the many
tractor salvage companies. Oftentimes they will have NOS parts or
rebuilt components. So far as the hydraulic pump is concerned, it
may even be necessary to substitute another pump, but there should
be something available with the same mounting flange and shaft size
to accommodate the drive gear. Regarding the cylinders and control
valves, many of these components can be rebuilt using new o-rings
22/9/16 Q. Can anyone supply information, year,
paint color, etc. on a Minneapolis-Moline BF tractor? The engine is
a Model IXB3SL, engine no. 2458185. Glen L. Miller, 10731 CR. 18,
Middlebury, IN 46540.
22/9/17 Q. Can anyone help me find information,
instructions, etc. on the Case SC series tractors? Need to know
when they were built, (mine is s/n 5412335), drawbar and belt HP,
etc. Any information will be appreciated. Frederick W. Adams, Route
285, RFD 1, Taberg, NY 13471.
A. Originally tested at Nebraska in April, 1941
the SC indicated 21.62 maximum brake horsepower and 16.18 rated
drawbar horses. The SC was tested in 1949. Test 496 indicates that
this new model used a 35/8 bore instead of 3?
inches, and the speed was raised from 1,550 to 1,600 RPM. Using
gasoline fuel, 22.41 rated drawbar horsepower was observed, along
with 29.68 belt horsepower. The same tractor tested under No. 497
but using ‘tractor fuel’ or distillate noted respective
drawbar and brake ratings of 18.54 and 23.67 horsepower.
Arnold Brandenburg, General Delivery, Fort Republic, MD 20676
would like information on a single cylinder Palmer engine, Model PW
27, s/n 46137-8. It is rated at 8HP @ 2800 RPM. Any information
will be appreciated.
22/9/19 Q. Can you supply the date built of the
Fairbanks-Morse water cooled air compressor (see photo -22/0/19)?
The number is 9079. It has a3 x 3? inch bore and stroke. Paul
Towne, 26 Richard Lane, Uncasville CT 06382.
A. Apparently this particular style was
originally built for air service in diesel engine installations,
although a great many were subsequently sold for general use as
well. Most likely this compressor appeared about 1915, coinciding
with the addition of air starting equipment for large engines. This
particular compressor was so well built that with even minimal care
it seems to be nearly indestructible. This probably accounts for
the fact that quite a number of them are still in operation in
existing diesel plants, while a great many more are in the hands of
collectors. Fairbanks-Morse also offered this unit complete with
their 3 HP ‘Z’ engine direct-connected to the compressor.
The entire unit was mounted on a heavy cast iron sub-base. Although
most diesel plants now depend on electric motor drives to operate
air compressors, a surprising number of these direct-connected
units are still in service for standby air duty.
22/9/20 Q. We have an Ingersoll-Rand
‘POV’ four-cycle diesel engine air compressor. It is rated
at 55 horsepower. Can anyone supply us with further information on
this unit, and can anyone tell us where there might be another
‘POV’ still in existence? We hope to hear from you- all
letters will be answered. Ernest H. Durham, RR 2. Box 4, Pendleton,
22/9/21 Q. I have an unusual front steel wheel,
28 x 6 inches, straps, 1 x 5/16′, and hubcap no. N-253. Does
anyone know what it fits? Martin D. Hoekstra, Route 2, Box 95,
Sheldon, IA 51201.
22/7/19 Steel Wheels
The wheels could be from a pull-type Gleaner combine. Skid rings
were used on a number of combine fronts.
Also, paint colors as used in dealer catalogs were not always
the actual machine color, as sometimes dark colors would not print
well, so a different shade was used that would do a better job of
illustrating the details. Many of the old pictures were hand-drawn
by an artist and hand colored, as they did not have color film.
Sometimes the artist had his name on pictures. When you see a
picture, but no shadows, you can be sure it’s not from a
The book, 150 Years of International Harvester shows a
self-propelled sickle mower with a gas engine. I believe I have a
similar picture somewhere with this mower using a steam engine. Is
this IHC’s first and last steam engine? Herbert H. Eltz, RFD 1,
Box 109, Juniata, NE 68955.
Illustrations with no shadows (as in photographs) could well be
started from a photograph and subsequently retouched so as to
remove all the shadow details plus the addition or enhancement of
other details. This so-called retouching is and has been used
extensively for years. Graphic arts professionals also make clever
use of overlays and other processes to get some of the unique
Regarding IHC and steam engines-the IH book referred to above
also illustrates their brief hiatus into a ‘steam tractor’
about 1920. This outfit never hit the market, although research
work probably cost IH an awful lot of money.
22/6/11 Cleaning Brass
Harold V. Green, Route 1, Box 63, Avoca, Iowa 51521 writes:
Several years ago I was employed at the Avoca water treatment plant
and at that time we still used the old brass water meters. When
rebuilding them we took them apart and submerged them in a liquid
solution, and after only a few minutes they came out bright as a
new dollar. Immediately after we would thoroughly rinse them with
water, but if this stuff dried on (without rinsing) the brass
turned green and was then very hard to clean. After a week of
trying I was able to find a product called ‘Meter Cleaner’
by Century Laboratories, Inc. In Kansas the phone is 913/262/0227.
Outside Kansas the WATS is 1-800-255-6894.
On this subject, Jerry Larner, PO Box 88, Savage, MD 20763
writes that, ‘After degreasing, soak the parts in undiluted
household ammonia until clean, and then flush with water. This
seems to retard future tarnishing.’
22/6/7 Diesel Manufacturers
Any reader of GEM requiring information on British makes of
engines, engine transfers, parts, etc. please write or ring my
number (don’t forget the time difference). I am at present
restoring a Kohler light plant, Model D, 10884, and have received
from Kohler a super ‘Kohler Service Manual.’ At the moment
however I am looking for a generator end cover D730. Also my engine
is fitted with a Stewart vacuum system. Can anyone give me
information on this? Anyone intending visiting Southern England we
can offer Bed & Breakfast accommodation. Tony Hawkins, 15
Primrose Lane, Mudford, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 SS24, England.
Mr. Carl D. Vogt, 4210 Dempsey Road, Madison, WI 53716 sends a
photo (M-1) of his model Stover 2 HP ‘K’ engine. Built last
winter, it runs, as is obvious from the photo, but is a bit touchy.
The boreis 7/16′ and the stroke is 5/8. The hit-and-miss
governor works, as does the oiler. Flywheels are 2 inches in
diameter. One casting is used-it includes the base and the fuel
tank. Spark plug has a 6-40 thread and the nuts and bolts are 0-80
and 00-90. Ignition system is housed in the match box.
Mr. Vogt notes that ‘this engine should not be a threat to
the safety of the spectators except for the tot that might try to
Our compliments to Mr. Vogt on a fine piece of work. Anyone who
has even tried to do some model work knows just how tedious it can
be at times, and when working with only a 7/16 inch bore, this must
have indeed been a challenge!
A Closing Word
A California contributor recently wrote Ye Olde Reflector
regarding some errors and omissions on our part. His first letter
to us got sidetracked or pigeonholed-we’re not sure which, and
a second letter was somewhat abbreviated in the column.
We’re always regretful when these things happen, and
especially so when we compound one error with another! Our
apologies! In our own defense however, we get regular packets of
material forwarded from the people at GEM, plus other inquiries and
phone calls direct. Since we live a long way from Pennsylvania, all
of our communications with GEM are by mail or by phone, so under
these circumstances, the chances to goof something up are
One final item-now we don’t want to sound grumpy here, but
we’d sure appreciate it if you would refrain from calling us on
the phone at all hours of the day and night. We’ve had calls as
early as 5 AM (and the Reflector is almost always grouchy at that
wee hour) to as late as 11 PM (and that’s right in the middle
of Johnny Carson). We already spend 6? days a week at this sort of
work, so when evening comes, it’s nice to do almost anything,
so long as it isn’t connected with engines and tractors! And we
thank you for your support!
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. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17603