Reflections

A BRIEF WORD


| September/October 1987



Ottawa engine

22/9/2

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, and parts.

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.