There are always some interesting and fascinating things
happening in this great hobby of ours. For instance, a year ago I
was attending a printer’s convention in St. Louis. At their
annual swap meet, someone had several different Fordson tractor
photographs. Some of these were rather ordinary, but then a few are
of some extraordinary models. We bought the photos, and have
waited, to these many months for the opportunity to use them. Photo
27/9/A illustrates a Fordson Industrial model pulling two large
loads of material. A placard is mounted over the hood of the
Fordson, but it is illegible. Photo 27/9/B shows a heavy duty crane
attached to a Fordson industrial model. Note the drive system
operated from the pulley output housing. The buzz saw outfit in
27/9/C sure wasn’t a Fordson original, but it does demonstrate
one of the practical uses for the Fordson. This outfit must have
been owned by a commercial sawyer… it is equipped with headlights
for night (or early morning) travel, and also carries a license
We have no idea of where these photos were taken of course, but
27/9/D illustrates the front of the Fordson Industrial model. The
hard rubber tires, especially the rears, show a lot of wear, and
the heavy-duty grille was probably essential in this particular
factory. The large cast iron rear wheels provided extra traction
for the Fordson Industrial model of 27/9/E, but the most mysterious
photo of the lot is the following one: 27/9/F. We would guess this
to be a special high-clearance model, as evidenced by the large
diameter rear wheels. Perhaps some of the Fordson tractor folks can
shed more light on this series.
Thirty years ago, all of us who were, then in the hobby thought
that within a few years, we’d have all the essential data
gathered, and there wouldn’t be a whole lot to write about. In
fact, when we completed our first book some twenty years back, it
seemed incredible to suppose that we would be writing books on
engines and tractors in 1992, much less having numerous projects
sitting on the back burner, awaiting their turn.
There’s no doubt that the computer age has been a catalyst
in the so-called information revolution, even as it applies to our
hobby. For instance, when it comes to indexing and similar duties
that once required many, many hours of work, it’s now as simple
as keying in the information and letting the computer do the work
of sorting and alphabetizing the information. All this works fine
until the computer hangs up. Like that favorite engine that runs
fine at home, and turns up balky at a show, so also with the
computer. Every so often they cough, and just like our vintage
engines and tractors, it takes some tender care to get things going
again. Thus it was, as we sat down to compile this particular
column in early July. For reasons unknown, some files got messed
up, and after spending several hours (days) at the machine, it was
a tiny problem that took about thirty seconds to cure.
We recently acquired another copy of the Road Builder’s
Directory … this one of 1927 vintage. These books are most
interesting, particularly in the early years. However, like most of
the older literature, the prices always seem to be sufficiently
high . ..
By the time this copy is in your hands, we’ll be at the peak
of the annual show season. We’re hoping to see you at a few of
them yet this year. And our final word … we’re working on the
possibilities of an ‘engine tour’ of England for 1993.
It’s too early to know yet what can be done, how much it will
cost, or even whether the tour will be limited to a certain number
of persons. However, if any of you would have a definite interest
in an ‘engine tour’ of England, we’ll be’ glad to
hear from you. Our questions this month begin with:
27/9/1 Magnet Chargers Q. Can anyone tell me
the number of turns, and the amperes required for a good magnet
charger, as well as the size of wire it takes? What are the Maytag
spark coils covered with? It looks like tar and cloth. Also, what
size wire is used, and how many turns on primary and secondary of
the two-cylinder and one-cylinder engines? Also, is there any way
to check old condensers? Charles A. Schott, 1202 Flippin Dr.,
Lafayette, Tennessee 37083.
A. The magnetic output of any electromagnet is
derived solely from the power going into it. Oftentimes, this is
referred to as ampere-turns. For instance, a 3,000 amp-turn charger
is designed so that if there are say, 3,000 total turns, then the
amperage would technically be 1 amp. If there were but two turns,
the current would technically be 1,500 amps. In other words, it
requires considerable calculation to determine the size of wire and
the number of turns required. Ye olde Reflector cut teeth in the
electrical business, and about thirty years ago, we got the
pregnant idea of building a magnet charger. It was just so-so, but
we found it was nothing at all compared to an Allen charger with a
good battery behind it. Then we came up with a big Weidenhoff
charger using the Tungar bulb rectifier, and eventually our
homemade outfit and the Allen ended up at a swap meet someplace or
other. We can’t advise you regarding the magneto coils or other
information on the Maytag questions. Makeshift condenser testers
are seldom adequate. Commercial testers are much better, and can
often be found at garage auctions and the like.
27/9/2 Reo Information Needed Q. Can anyone
help me with information on a Reo reel-type push mower? I would
like to know the correct factory colors of paint for the mower and
the engine. I would also like to know the year in which this mower
was made. I am including model and serial numbers of both mower and
engine. Any information would be helpful, as would be info on the
availability-of restoration decals. The mower is Model WE21, s/n
46801; the motor is Model 211, Type El, s/n 47142. Linus Grathwohl,
RR 4, Box 98A, New Ulm, Minnesota 56073.
A. Would some of the Reo enthusiasts please
contact this reader?
27/9/3 Pickering Governor Co.? Q. Is the
Pickering Governor Company, Portland, Connecticut still in
existence? Duane Caldwell, 512 W. Madison, Owensville, Missouri
A. Does anyone know? If so, please share it
27/9/4 Novo Diaphragm Pump Q. See the two
photos of a Novo diaphragm pump. The only nameplate says: ‘This
Diaphragm pump complies with A. G.C. (Associated General
Contractors) standards. Any information will be greatly
appreciated. Jim Bush, 8127 Incline Rd., Russellville, Ohio
A. We would suggest that this is actually a
Novo-built unit, since Novo made a big business of pumping engines.
It may have been painted the usual Novo green, or it may have been
finished in bright yellow, orange, or some of the other industrial
27/9/5 Restoration Methods Q. I would like to
see more in GEM regarding restoration methods. It would be helpful
for me and other would-be restorers. Some areas that could be
covered are: freeing up seized engines, testing and adjusting
magnetos, painting, including preparation and finishing, rebuilding
parts and possible ideas on making missing parts.
Also, what is the year built of a 2 HP Witte engine, s/n 50248?
G. D. Arbeider, 2716 E. 49th Ave., Vancouver, B. C. , V5S 1Kl,
A. GEM welcomes any and all articles pertaining
to the various aspects of engine and tractor restorations, and we
encourage you to send them over to us. The Witte engine was built
October 29, 1920.
27/9/6 IHC Type M Question Q. I have an IHC 6
HP Type M engine of 1919 vintage, It was red when I got it, and I
would like to know whether it should be painted red or green.
Francis Kurds ,618 Anderson Rd., Niles, Michigan 49120.
A. First, we suggest getting under the red to
see if it has been repainted. Down under the cylinder and other
hidden spots are a good place to look. There’s also the
possibility that this engine might have been used as OEM equipment
and that it actually came from the factory with red paint. More and
more, we find that not all the IHC Type M engines were green,
although this still remains the exception to the rule. If some of
our continuing research works out, perhaps we’ll have some
better answers to questions on the IHC engines.
27/9/7 John Deere Crawler Tractors Q. Does
anyone know where I can purchase books or literature on the John
Deere crawlers, such as the MC, 40, and 420-C? Also, are there any
parts books available for these tractors? Any information will be
appreciated. John Bergman, 412 E. McMillan Ave., Newberry, Michigan
A. Can anyone help Mr. Bergman?
27/9/8 Cleveland Farmgrader Q. These two photos
are of a Cleveland Farm grader that I recently located. It has a
six-cylinder Hercules engine. The left rear wheel does the pulling
by means of an open gear inside the wheel, like the older steam
tractors used. And instead of a grader blade underneath, it has an
auger that is driven by the right axles. The right wheel is not a
pulling wheel. Any information such as when these were made,
original colors, etc., would be appreciated. James H. Osborn, Route
2, Box 65-I, Yazoo City, Mississippi 39194.
A. Now here’s an interesting piece … can
anyone be of help?