A Brief Word

| September/October 1994

  • Application date

  • 6 HP Simplicity engine

  • Glass tube

  • Hot air engine
  • Atkinson Differential engine
  • Two-cylinder hot air engine
  • Hot air engine
  • Hot air engine
  • Building model gas engines
  • Hit-and-miss model
  • Identifying engine
  • Bulldog engine
  • Building model gas engines
  • Bulldog engine
  • Bovaird-Seyfang engines
  • Identifying engine
  • Identifying engine
  • 3 HP Ellis engine

  • Ames 50 HP motor

  • Application date
  • 6 HP Simplicity engine
  • Glass tube
  • Hot air engine
  • Atkinson Differential engine
  • Two-cylinder hot air engine
  • Hot air engine
  • Hot air engine
  • Building model gas engines
  • Hit-and-miss model
  • Identifying engine
  • Bulldog engine
  • Building model gas engines
  • Bulldog engine
  • Bovaird-Seyfang engines
  • Identifying engine
  • Identifying engine
  • 3 HP Ellis engine
  • Ames 50 HP motor

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.

A. P. J. Downes was one of many different companies that sold Waterloo Boy engines or clones thereof. We have DuPont 93-5316 Green listed for the later models, probably after about 1913 or 1914. The earlier ones were a dark red, similar to 93-2564-H from DuPont. Some may have been even darker than this. Chances are that this engine was green, except of course, unless the engines sold by Downes were a different color entirely, and that is a distinct possibility. Has anyone restored a W-B engine sold by Downes, and what was its original color?

29/9/2 Thanks!

To Dave Brazeau, 1125 Brookline Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54703 for sending photocopies of two Gardner Governor Co. catalogs and a Skinner Engine Co. catalog. Although these items relate specifically to steam power, they are nevertheless important additions to the technical library. Thank You!

29/9/3 Witte Information

Q. What is the year built of a Witte 4 HP engine, s/n 75251? What kind of magneto was used? I also have a Reo vertical shaft lawn mower, Model 1H18, Type 2, s/n 11H17209, and need more information, including the year built. Mike Scheiert, 270 Valleyview Rd., Zillah, WA 98953.

A. Your engine was built in 1930. Odds are that it used a Wico EK magneto, although some were equipped with a Webster high-tension style.

29/9/4 Bulldog Engine

Q. I have a Bulldog engine made by Bates & Edmonds Motor Co. for Fairbanks Co. of New York; see pages 48 and 157 of American Gas Engines. It is about 6 horsepower. I need to find a name tag and carburetor [mixer] for this engine, and would like to hear from anyone having one of these engines. See the photos of the engine, along with grandson Justin, who is wanting to crank the engine. Dean Barr, PO Box 186, Hiddenite, NC 28636.

29/9/5 Who Am I?

Q. See the photos of a one-cylinder engine; it has no nameplate nor any numbers. Any help in identifying this engine will be greatly appreciated. Bruce Byram, 9834 Comp-ton Blvd., Bellflower, CA 90706.

29/9/6 Bovaird-What?

Q. I recently bought a Bovaird-Seyfang hit-and-miss engine. It is a Class K, vertical, air-cooled. See the two photos. I would like to hear from other owners of Bovaird-Seyfang engines. I would be particularly interested in finding out about the original color of the engine, photographs of complete engines, literature, and any advice on how to successfully operate a Bovaird-Seyfang.

Can anyone at GEM or any of the readers tell me what the proper oil level in the crankcase should be, and the purpose of the lower exhaust port? There is a lot of oil and fumes coming out of the lower exhaust port, causing a low oil level. There also is a lot of crankcase pressure, so should the crankcase be vented? The engine has good compression and has spark plug/magneto ignition. Any information will be greatly appreciated. John C. Lehman, 23508 County Rd 190, LaRue, OH 43332-9105.

A. Can any of the Bovaird owners be of help?

29/9/7 Little Jumbo

Q.I have a Little jumbo 1 HP engine, s/n 17146, made by Nelson Bros. Company, Saginaw, Michigan. I would like to know the year and the original color. William L. Massie, 2562 Snouffer Pl., Columbus, OH 43235-2865.

A.We have DuPont 2015 Green listed as a comparable color for the Little Jumbo, but have no production information.

29/9/10 Ellis Engine

Q. See the photo of a 3 HP Ellis engine. I am looking for further information on this engine, such as year built, color scheme, etc. Dean Ailing, PO Box 10264, Bur-bank, CA 9/510.

A. The engine is comparable to Sherwin-Williams 9371 Green, with the flywheels and tank being Sherwin-Williams 4869 Red.

29/9/11 Economy Engine

Q. I have an Economy 7 HP engine, s/n 139081. It has a buzz saw mounted on the rear and is in exceptionally good condition. Can anyone give me an idea of the value of this engine? Jacob Thar, 4975 Red Arrow Hwy., Coloma, MI 49038.

A. Engine values vary widely across the United States; sometimes an engine that might bring $1000 on an auction might bring only $400-$500 at private treaty. Thus, we've never felt comfortable in suggesting a value, since what might be a very reasonable figure to one person might be sky high to another. We suggest watching the GEM ads to get some ideas, as well as attending some of the shows and swap meets to get a better idea of the market.

29/9/12 Ames Engine

Q. See the photo of an old Ames 50 HP motor, found along an Alaska river and used during the building of the Alaska Railroad, and also used in a sawmill. I've lived in Alaska for 53 years, sol guess you could say that I'm a real 'sourdough.' Any information you can provide on this Ames motor would be greatly appreciated. Roy B. Baldwin , 'Alaska's Willow Picker,' Post Office Box 327, Sterling, Alaska 99672.

A. This is an Ames steam engine, built by the Ames Iron Works, Oswego, New York.

29/9/13 Simplicity Engine

Q. See the photo of a 6 HP Simplicity engine, s/n AE6542. Most Simplicity engines I have seen are all hit-and-miss governing. However, this particular engine is throttle governed. As you can see in the photo, the mixer and linkage is missing, as is the igniter and bracket (Webster). Can anyone shed some light on this type of Simplicity and the missing parts? Thanks! Morrie Robinson, 1087 Potts Road - Day Creek, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284.

A. We've never seen a Simplicity engine that was throttle governed. Can anyone be of help?

29/9/14 Country Squire

Q. I have a Country Squire Garden Tractor, s/n 5681. It is equipped with a Wisconsin engine. Does anyone have information on this tractor, year built, and parts availability? Is it connected with the Economy tractor? Any help will be appreciated. Mark Petersen, Box 139, Kimballton, IA 51543.

A. Can anyone be of help?

29/9/15 United States Light Plant

Q. Does anyone have any information on a United States 32 volt light plant marketed by Vermont Farm Machinery Co., Bellows Falls, Vermont, about 1917? I will answer all letters. Will Cummings, 8710 Vickery Rd., Castalia, OH 44824-9777.

A. We've looked through our materials and find nothing on this particular light plant. Does anyone have information?

29/9/16 Excelsior Machines

Sometime ago we made mention of excelsior machines (to make the finely ribboned wood shavings formerly used for packaging). M. S. Eubank Jr., Route 2, Box 374, Gordonsville, VA 22942 writes that an excelsior machine is in operation at the show sponsored by the Somerset Steam & Gas Association, Somerset, VA. We also received a letter from Ralph T. Unterzuber, 3132 Brad-will Rd., Richmond, VA 23225 in this regard.

29/9/17 Magnet Charging

Q. Can anyone advise of how to make a magnet charger? Any information will be appreciated. Gayle Smith, Route 1, Box 1334, Read stown, WI 54652-9760.

A .Having information on a particular subject is one thing-finding it when wanted is sometimes another thing entirely! In the deeper recesses of memory, we have the entrenched idea that 4197 came across some instructions on how to build a magnet charger. At this point, it eludes us. We can tell you, though, that the charging ability depends on the number of ampere-turns in the charger. In other words, a 1200 ampere-turn unit would use 1200 amperes with just a single turn around the pole, but with 1200 turns of wire it would take but 1 ampere. Calculating the wire size and the number of turns required is the problem. We've seen everything from small units with perhaps a few hundred ampere turns up to a huge one with 3000 ampere turns. In our opinion, bigger is definitely better! If anyone has information on making a charger, please let us know!

(Editor's Note: You might want to check out an article in the January 1989 issue of GEM, page 22, by John D. Rex, P.O. Box P, Bedford, MA0 1730, entitled 'Building a Heavy Duty Magneto Charger.''

29/9/18 Continental Engine

Q. I have a Continental Model AU8, Spec. 27300, s/n 459696 engine. Can anyone supply information as to when built, the mounting, and size and shape of the fuel tank? I also have a Deco Grande, s/n 33008 that looks similar to the Continental. Can anyone advise to availability of parts? Larry Kastens, 9956 Deer Trail, Hereford, AZ 85615.

29/9/19 A Puzzle

Q. See the picture of a demonstration that I saw at a show last year. I have a puzzled hope someone can tell me about it. A ball bearing rolls down the glass tube, hits the points, and is returned back up the tube. All the man would say that he got it from a magazine. I figure if anyone knows, some of the GEM readers might. Hope to hear from someone. George Houston, 7541 -32nd NW, Seattle, WA 98117.

29/9/20 Woodin & Little

Q. Can anyone provide information on a Woodin & Little engine, 7EK horsepower, s/n 246081? It was sold by Woodin & Little, Pump House General Agents, 33 -41 Fremont St., San Francisco, California. Any help would be appreciated. Dennis Chaney, PO Box 502, Dayton, NV 89403.

Readers Write

Make 1995 Shows Easier to Find

Give Interstate number, large city on Interstate, and miles north or south. Just saying 'Raysville on Route 13' takes a long time to locate and many times it is not in the Atlas. Specify the location: Miles from large city on Interstate. This will tell people if you are 50 miles, just across the state line, or 300 miles on the far end of the state. Raymond L. Gray, 2135 Little Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN 37862.

Hydraulic Rams

Several folks wrote concerning a recent entry in this column on hydraulic rams. In particular, Bob DeBurn, 11316 Hwy 67, Lakeside, CA 92040 wrote of his interest in this unique piece of equipment. He would like to hear from those having hydraulic rams or having further information on same.

29/7/5 Clinton Engines

I've always found it difficult to get an exact date on mass produced engines. On Clinton engines there are a few methods that can be used to get an approximation. On the 703ABR6, the base model is the 700A. The production of this engine began in 1946 as one of the first Clinton models produced. Clinton began building engines just after the close of World War Two. The production [of the above model] ended in 1949 when it was replaced by the B-700 model. To distinguish a closer date, pull the base of the engine and note if the lubrication method is splash or oil pump. The very early 700A models used oil pumps; the later ones were splash lubricated. For other models, a method of approximation is looking at the place of manufacture. Clinton moved from Clinton, Michigan, to Maquoketa, Iowa, in September 1951. According to Clinton Corporation, the move was done in just 48 hours and the Maquoketa plant was 'recognized as the world's finest small-gasoline-engine plant... modern, fireproof, well-lighted and excellently situated for transportation facilities.' With this in mind, a nameplate that has the Iowa address on it was made after September 1951. Finally, Clinton Corporation computerized its manufacturing data in 1963 and all the model numbers were changed from the random alphanumeric, model-type number to a numeric ten-digit model and type. Clinton was bought out and ceased production in 1983.

As to the Model RSC591, this is a motor that was built by Lauson. Lauson produced this type of engine from the 1940s into the 1950s. All the cast iron models were discontinued after they were bought out by Power Products/Tecumseh and replaced by aluminum alloy type engine models. Cris Nystrom, PO Box 3278, Lacey, WA 98503.

29/6/9 Planet Jr./Toro

The Toro air-cooled engine was possibly developed in the 'Teens, and was put into use sometime in the 1920s. It was originally designed to power Toro lawn mowers and Toro equipment. The first design had a 2? x 3 inch bore and stroke, and was called the Model M.E. engine. The second design was still the same model but had an 'O' placed in front of the serial number. In the late 1920s or early 1930s this became known as the Model O Industrial engine. The latter had an increased bore of 2 inches, with a redesigned cylinder and head. It was rated at 3 HP @ 2,400 rpm.

In the late 1930s the model designation was changed again to Model M.F. Industrial and Model M.H. lawn mower duty. Both engines still carried the 'O' prefix on the serial number. About 1940 there was an internal engine change composing of the connecting rod, wrist, pin, a deeper oil sump, and a higher compression ratio. This now became the Model M.H., carrying an 'H' prefix on the serial number, and was now rated at 4 horsepower. The M.F. remained in production also.

The Toro engine died at the end of 1948 as it became too expensive to manufacture any longer. The service record and reliability did not go unnoticed, and the Toro engine was indeed used on Planet Jr. large garden tractors for many years, until its death in 1948.

All Toro engines were crank start off of the 6:1 reduction camshaft, which also served as the accessory drive. The changes made to make this heavy duty engine adaptable to the Planet Jr. and similar garden tractors included a flat belt pulley with the provision for a rope start (in emergency), development of a tin cover over the pulley, and turning the Tillotson Model YC-1A carburetor around so the air cleaner and intake were pointed forward. This became known as the 'Allen Engine' made for the S. L. Allen Co. that produced the Planet Jr.

The power takeoff consisted of a No. 50 chain sprocket and starting crank provided by Planet Jr. All were 3 horsepower models except for the January 1948 model, which was when Toro dropped the 3 HP size and made only the 4 HP model. In April 1948 the M.F. 'O' was dropped and all were Model MH until the end of 1948 when all production ended.

I have this parting theory that on Planet Jr. tractors the Model HB stood for Briggs 6k Stratton; Model HJ stood for Toro. I own four vintage Toro mowers, all with Toro engines, and also have other Toro engines. Would appreciate hearing from others interested in the Toro line. Stuart Hall, 1701 NW 114th St., Vancouver, WA 98685-3741.

Modelmakers Corner

Mr. Galen Bengston, PO Box 507, Quinter, KS 67752-0507 sends a number of photos 'to let people know what people in western Kansas are doing' on the model scene. MM1 is a two-cylinder hot air engine following the Dave Gingery designs, and built from scratch. MM2 is an Atkinson Differential engine. MM3 is a walking beam hot air engine built from scratch. In MM4 we have a hot air engine following the T. E. Haynes design, and built from scratch. MM5 shows a tin can hot air engine following the Charles Jones design. MM6 is a hit-and-miss model using the Harold Depenbusch design. It was built from scratch, using no castings.

Dave Hense, 2027 NE 135th PL, Seattle, WA 98125 sends along MM7 and MM8 of 'my first attempt at building model gas engines.' It is from a kit supplied by Cole's Power Models.

A Closing Word

Although we're writing this copy right after the Independence Day Holiday, it probably won't be in your hands for at least another month. By then, the show season will be approaching its climax for the year. We can't figure out where the summer is going. . . the days are indeed too short, and this despite Daylight Savings Time!

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 17608-0328.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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