Good morning. I have a letter from a Mr. Vernon Dick, 2200 E. Forest Hill Avenue, Oak Creek, Wisconsin who would like to hear from anyone who has or knows about a Taylor Vacuum Engine. A gasoline engine and vacuum pump in one unit. Can be used as an engine alone or vacuum pump alone. Speed 450 R.P.M. – 2 H.P. – Type C, no. 11300 Taylor Engine Company, Elgin, Illinois.
Ron Magnuson tells us that the ‘What Is It’ on page 15 of the July-August Issue is a Coldwell. It was used on Cold-well Lawn Mowers. He doesn’t know the manufacturers address but says that perhaps Lester Roos of 328 N. State St., Geneseo, Illinois can. Lester has two of these engines. At least one of these was on a lawn mower when he got it. They were made in 1 and 2 cylinder. Mr. Magnuson also has a word of encouragement for Mel Cameron’s project which was described in that issue. He would like to see pictures too, if possible
A letter from Louis Chapo, 2530 lone St., Sacramento, California. ‘Editor, Sir: I’ve just seen a copy of your magazine for the first time. Put me down as a new subscriber. Couldn’t believe my eyes.
Was overwhelmed that such a magazine existed. I am in the need for some parts on a Model Z Fairbanks Morse Gas Engine 2? H.P. 1926 Vintage. Need rocker arm, springs, valves and springs, carburetor (has two sections) and rocker arm support. Forward particulars to Louis
Chapo, 2530 lone St., Sacramento, California 95821. I have two engines which I am trying to put into running condition. I just had the heads welded up. One engine is complete. Also while on my search for parts, I was taken to a farmer in Iowa who I believe his name to be Schorn-heimer (may not be spelled right but can get his correct name and address) located near Marshalltown, Iowa who has barns full of old gas engines and one Monitor. Some old Model T autos and other aged items that should be in a museum. Even a horse tread mill to run a line shaft. The sights you see there are unbelieveable. As I have rambled on and on, I will close now. Thanks for your time. Yours truly. Louis Chapo.’
From Jack Williams, 1121 Hilltop Lane, Modesto, California. ‘I wish to say again that the Gas Engine Magazine fills a long-needed place in the history of power on the farm. I only wish it came out every month. Most of my experience, such as it is, has been around the gas tractor and small gas engine. We had a small 1? hp Dempster gas engine and a pump jack when I was about 3-5 years of age-it sat in storage for a number of years, than a neighbor bought it got it running and used it for some time to pump water with and run the washing machine in their old ‘wash house’. These buildings usually stood close to the well, so as to be close to the water supply on wash day, the engine either ran the belt one way to the washing machine, the other way out of a small door to the pump jack on the well, or else was belted to a line shaft, which with a number of pulleys were belted to the pump jack, washing machine, perhaps a small grinder on a stand and maybe even a cream separator-truly a ‘farm factory’. In the old wash house too, would be found a cast-off kitchen range or a small stove to heat the water with, tubs, boiler to heat wash water in, miscellaneous tools, and other household articles that were not kept in the house, ‘back porch’ or other places and still had to be kept inside. One of our neighbors who lived on a farm back in Nebraska had a wash house, with the engine pulling it, and a rather unusual pump jack coupling method for operation. The shaft went through the wall, to a crank. Upon this was connected a vertical rod that went up to a hell crank mounted upon a frame work and directly across on the other side of the building at the same height above the roof, was another small tower, not unlike a windmill tower, with another bell crank, coupled to the stroker rod on the pump. These two bell cranks were connected by cables and the crank gave them a jerking motion which worked the stroker rod up and down through the cable connection– quite an ingenious arrangement and only wish I had a picture of it to send in. I don’t believe such a similar arrangement existed at that time. There was always a number of gas engines around the place of from 1?-6 hp, the larger ones mounted on a 4-wheel horse-drawn wagon for belt work and the older boys always kept them in shape. They also were continually tearing down and rebuilding an old. Model T Ford and installing a number of bodies on it and then using an old one-tonner Model T truck. Truly a great place for small boys. We also Mad an old Ford-son tractor, which my father and uncle purchased in 1920 or thereabouts, new. It was used to plow, pulling a 2-14 inch bottom Oliver plow, 7 foot McCormiek grain binder, saw wood, shell corn with a 2-hole spring shelter and grind feed with an 8-inch IHC burr grinder. The Fordson ran, but it took a lot of doing to keep it up and it had very difficult starting problems, especially in cold weather. Seems the standard procedure on a cold winters morn when the tractor was going to be used for work was to build a good, hot fire under the entire tractor of corn cobs and fiarly boil crankcase and transmission at same time-then, fill with warm water, couple on the hotshot battery and have at it with the crank-not forgetting to have a good man with a strong cranking arm standing a-round for help-might add a good way to get exercise on a cold morning. If the tractor choose to start-it may, sooner or later. I never could figure why Ford didn’t put a high-tension impulse magneto on this tractor. It’s no wonder the McCormick-Deering 10-20 and others ran it off the market until 1939-40! After the tractor burned out a rod, it was parked and a 15 hp 1-cylinder Cushman gas engine, mounted on a 4-wheel wagon was purchased at a neighbor’s farm sale-this had plenty of power for sawing wood and pulling the 8 or 10 inch burr grinder. For starting power, 2 or 3 men would lay hold of the drive belt, and together with one helping out on the engine flywheel, it started easily on batteries, then switched over to magneto ignition, regardless of the weather. It was the best belt power we ever had. I dont’t know why the farmers didn’t overhaul their old gas engines–I can remember the time when some of the farmers had 3 or 4 engines setting ‘back in the grove’, rusting away and simply bought a new one-of course, perhaps the new one had more and better features on it.’
To those of you who received a Gas Engine Magazine expiration notice fn your last Iron Men Alburn, please excuse us. We ran short. If you would just mark it for Iron Men Album, we’ll get it credit-ed properly.