Courtesy of Roger L. Eshelman, Box 63, College Springs, Iowa 51637
1615 San Francisco St. San Antonio, Texas 78201
One thing I've always liked about GEM, and the IRON-MEN ALBUM, is that Editor-Publisher Elmer L. Ritzman, and his fine staff, use a few worth-while words of praise for Jesus Christ, Christianity, and Christmas. First, let me state my entire story, refers to the Jan.-Feb. 1970 issue of GEM. So, in that issue, on page 2, in the SMOKE RINGS Column, by Anna Mae, I'll quote a portion that Anna Mae wrote: '. . .so one thing I'll say -- its' as usual -- harried, bustling, busy, and a BEAUTIFUL time of the year. Just think -- what else is as important as the birth of JESUS?' Yes, TODAY is the time to accept Jesus whole-heartedly; tomorrow may be too late! Anna Mae is right, with those words of wisdom! And, as a Christian-nation, we should not be quality of saying, 'glad THAT'S over (Christmas)'!, we're to live close to our Savior all throughout the year, not just Christmas-day.
A good portion of GEM readers, I feel, realize there are now many, many young boys (and some girls, too) and also some of the more mature men (and women, too), who have had only little gas & oil engine and tractor experience previously, who are now eagerly reading GEM and trying to gain as much engine & tractor knowledge as fast as they now can; thus getting started in this do-it-their self hobby, trying to catch up with many of us older, more experienced, fellows and many are doing a real job, too. That's as I see it, and I do believe some do get confused at times, at the differing reports they hear or read about on one specific unit of early-day equipment, now and then. I might note errors at a glance, while the younger and less-experienced may begin to wonder when two or three different versions are given on that particular machine, come to their attention. That's why I like to correct, or help correct, some of the instances that come up; if they are a little off-color, especially if I know something about it. Remember, I only know a small percentage of the business; the greater percentage of the business, the hardest part, I wish I could still learn. In this light, I am not reflecting on anyone's inexperience; so just keep on expressing yourselves in the pages of GEM. From your contributions written in your own words, is where I usually learn a little more, too.
Let's look at the picture on page 12, It is not an I.H.C. engine; rather it is a FAIRBANKS-MORSE, type 'Z', style 'B', either a 5 hp. or a 7-? hp. If a 7-? hp., which I surely believe it is, it will weigh about 900 lbs. The trailer and engine, together, would hardly weigh a ton, unless the trailer is extra-heavily-built. Anyway, as the wording goes (page 12) the weight applies to the engine, as I see it. This F-M engine has 5-3/4 x 8 inch cylinder, and rated at 550 rpm.
The lower right-hand picture, on page 26, shows an engine with the bluted-cooler. The engine's name should be corrected to AERMOTOR. It was built by the AERMOTOR CO., Chicago, builders of the famous AERMOTOR wind-mills.
On this 1? hp. Sandwich engine, the block, water hopper, crankcase and crank-case cover are all cast in one piece. I found this one in a barn. It is missing the cranking handle in the flywheel. It runs good.
A tractor that definitely needs a name-changing is the tractor Andy Michels refers to. But, it is not Andy's error. Find Andy's story near the bottom of the first column, page 30, which is the continuation of Anna Mae's SMOKE RINGS. That tractor is by no means a McCormick-Deering; it is the 8-16 hp. 4-cylinder INTERNATIONAL, year about 1921-22. Andy's #3 item, that of the I.H.C. 10 hp. type 'M' kero, engine -this size engine came out in 1920; these engines were factory-equipped with roller in the exhaust rocker-arm from 1920 to 1933. Therefore, it is likely newer than 1920; anyway, if I had its serial number, I could tell you when it was built. I'd like to hear from the owner on that.
On page 32, in IRENE'S COLUMN, Mr. Bert Lehman, evidently, has a 1hp., I.H.C., 600 rpm. engine built in years 1911 to 1917. The prefixed letters in the serial-number could be VC; VD; VE; or VH; depending whether the factory shipped it out as a portable, stationary, sprayer-outfil, etc. Prior to 1914 it was called VICTOR; and, FAMOUS; since then it was called TITAN. Some points of identification other than those Bert has given, are: cylinder is bolted to the base; has water-cooled head; has a horizontal intake-valve in the head, set at 90 degrees to the cylinder-axis; two governor-weights in the flywheel; igniter in the head; had three different connecting rods, namely: Nos. G 6530, yr. '11-'13, $4.25; GA 6530, yr. '14-15, no price; and GB 6530, yr. '15-'17, $3.50; the kind of metal used is not given. As Bert says, his has a bronze-rod, so I'd guess the G 6530 rod for 1911-13 was his, because it is priced higher. I do not have one of these engines; nor have I ever seen one. I'll try to send you some little helps on it soon, Bert. If you will, go back to your May-June 1969 GEM, page 7, and you'll see a TITAN 1 hp. like I'm describing above, with 15-1/2 inch flywheels, water-cooled head, geared low-tension magneto, likely a SUMTER magneto. The engine shown on page 7 is NOT A TOM THUMB. The TOM THUMB is an air-cooled engine, with a belted-fan driven from the flywheel. See what I mean by off-key description? The same May-June 1969 issue, page 12, is shown as I.H.C. TITAN Jr., 1 hp., built 1915 to 1917; in this instance the description is correct. I might add, there is an interesting deviation from I.H.C. standards in this 1 hp. TITAN Jr., in that it has a single-weight governor attached to the cam-gear!
Back to the Jan.-Feb. 1970 GEM, page 23, regarding Gordon Warehime's question about the NELSON BROS, engines. I've written about them a few times, now and then, those portions on NELSON BROS. engines will be found in my stories that were published in GEM in the past. You will find a little on NELSON BROS. in Vol 1, No. 3 page 25; in Vol 3, No. 1, page 21; in Vol 4, No. 4, page 3; and, I guess that is about all I have to offer on them. If you will look up the above notes, and then look up the referred-to issues of GEM, you may gather some help. The engines you and Mr. Bochantin refer to are all NELSON BROS. built, but 1 can't tell you the years built. The little differences in design-details vary thru the years, because the Company does make changes from time to time. The engine shown in May-June 1969 GEM page 9 is an early design. The air-cooled engine (same issue) page 24 is one I never dreamt NELSON BROS. built, before I saw that picture and it could be a real early model or one of the more recent models offered around 1915-1920 era. I've never seen much of any literature on the NELSON BROS., thereby being able to supply a prime-mover to their customers, under their own 'Trade Name' as has been a lot in the past.
In GEM, Jan.-Feb. 1970, page 32, I'll offer Berton Blazek some helpful information on the BULL DOG engines, made by the BATES & EDMONDS MOTOR CO., if he will refer to the following back-issues of GEM: Mar.-Apr. 1969, pages 6,22, and page 26, the latter is by John Wilcox. Then, see the May-June 1969 issue, 4th cover (page 36) for a view of a 4 hp. size, where it is stated in error that the engine was made by the FAIRBANKS COMPANY. Lastly, see the Nov.-Dec. 1969 issue, page 27, for a view of the design of the valve-actuating-mechanism of the larger than 1-? hp. BULL DOG engines. This particular view is a close-up of the 8, 12, and 16 hp. horizontal, hopper-cooled, construction. Their vertical engines also employ this pull-type method of actuating the exhaust-valve and tripping the igniter. Back to the page 36 view, please note that the negative was placed wrong-side up while that print was made; but, at that, you can see that the engine is equipped with a WEBSTER OSCILLATOR.
This small size Rumely Oil Pull was built by Roland & Kevin Endelman of Charles City, Iowa. Almost a year was spent in building it. It is powered by a 3 to 5 hp. International gas engine.
Mr. Endelman also owns a 1926 Star and 1928 Moon automobile and an array of gas engines
Another little 'as I see it' joke, if any of you readers have the January, 1970 copy of WESTERN ENGINES, look at the bottom of page 19, there you will see a line-up of ('steam engines'), which the old-timers used to call 'STINK-POT' engines! How come such description gets by the all-seeing-eye of the Editors? I don't take WESTERN ENGINES, but Ted Worrall, Loma, Montana, a good pen-pal of mine, of long standing, was so kind and sent me the copy, the first one I ever saw; I sure was glad to get a copy, tho. Well, there was an issue of GEM one time, namely the Sept.-Oct. 1968 number, when the cover-photo on it got the mis-interpreted description given it. Reporting that I noticed it, was published in the Mar.-Apr. 1969 GEM, bottom of last column, page 3. Having just these two instances before us, I'd have to say, 'Where have all the steam-traction-engines gone?'