A Brief Word

| September/October 1994

During some recent research, we stumbled across one of the significant patents of International Harvester Company. Patent No. 2,028,310 was issued January 21, 1936 to William Otto Bechman. This patent covers the salient points of the IHC LA engines. The application was made on November 10, 1934. Of particular significance is the latter date, since this implies that point in time when the design was finalized. For the IHC engines, extensive serial number lists remain, but for many engines, in fact most makes, there are no such listings. Assigning a precise manufacturing date to the majority of engines is little more than an estimate of when a particular engine was built when there are no serial number listings. Occasionally, an engine has a traceable pedigree, such as a bill of sale tacked on a wall or stuck in a drawer, but generally, all clues are long gone that pertain to a specific engine.

In this regard then, the patent listings can be very helpful. By looking at the application date, it can be deduced that an engine was not likely to have been built prior to that time. Since there could be, and often was, a considerable lapse between application and actual issuance of a patent, the patent date itself is a much less reliable indicator of when production of a certain model began. In fact, there are numerous instances of engines and other items having already gone out of production by the time the patent was issued.

A special Thank You to Don &. Ginny Green, PO Box 618, Allyn, WA 98524-0618 for sending over a nice little set of ICS books on Stationary Gas Engines. They contain numerous points of reference and already have found a place on a normally cluttered desk.

Gas Engine Magazine and the Iron Men Album will again be represented this year at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Ye Olde Reflector will be on hand, and we look forward to having you stop by our stand. Just look for the large GEM and IMA banner in the gas engine area.

Our queries this month begin with:

29/9/1 P. J. Downes EngineQ. I have a Waterloo Boy 2 HP engine, s/n 88606. It has patent dates of August 7, 1900; December 3, 1901; October 7, 1902; and August 6, 1903. On the name-plate is the following: Sold by P. J. Downes Co., Agents for the Northwest, Minneapolis, Minnesota. What is the proper color for this engine? I would appreciate any help from you or any of the Waterloo Boy collectors. Joel Storstad, RR 1, Box 115, Marvel, ND 58256.


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