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Supportive Letters From Gas Engine Magazine Readers

Author Photo
By Staff

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Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of A. L. Rennewanz, Decatur, Illinois.
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Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of A. L. Rennewanz, Decatur, Illinois.
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Photo courtesy of Joe Priesgen, Hubertus, Wisconsin.
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Photo courtesy of Albert Fleeger, Butler, Pennsylvania.
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Photo courtesy of Clarence O. Myers, South Bend, Indiana.
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Photo courtesy of Albert Fleeger, Butler, Pennsylvania.
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Photo courtesy of John P. Wilcox, Columbus, Ohio.
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Photo courtesy of William Gayer, Rock Valley, Iowa.

A letter expressing thanks from one of our Gas Engine Magazine readers.

Thanks to our Gas Engine Magazine readers, here’s one of our recent letters.

We have just returned from a trip to Southern Delaware where we
visited our three sons and two grandsons. While there, had made
plans for an outing in your state-visit at Kinzers, and my old
friend Leroy Ebersol up at Leola, then swing over to Enola, visit
the Ritzman Museum, and perhaps get acquainted with the staff of
the Album, and G. E. M. However, our friend the weatherman had other
ideas so it rained both days we had made plans to come — but maybe
next year! On our way home, we went by way of Washington D.C. and
spent a very pleasant two hours with Mr. Frank McGuffin and his
good wife. We traveled north from D.C. and, in spite of the
weatherman, we did enjoy the beautiful colors of the foliage on the
Maryland and Pennsylvania hills.

I enjoyed very much Mr. R. F. Somerville’s article on the
Fordson Tractor (September-October G.E.M.) as it brought back many
memories. Some, however, I would rather forget. But the fact
remains, the old Fordson did for the farmer and the tractor
industry what the Model T Ford did for the automobile industry.
Namely make available a low cost piece of equipment to the average
man and the small farm; and in its day was as economical and as
dependable as any on the market. At the time the Fordson first made
its appearance on the scene most of the oil tractor manufacturers
were still holding to the big heavy plow engines, designed mostly
for the same type of work which had formerly been done by the steam
tractor engine. Some had experimented with various types of smaller
engines most of which had proved unsuccessful; and it wasn’t
until the Fordson appeared on the farm that power farming really
caught on and the Farmer said “This is it. Old Dobbin must
go!” And here is where the industry took over and concentrated
on building more efficient, dependable, smaller engines that could
readily be applied to most any job on the farm from going after the
mail to gathering the eggs.

A 30-60 Aultman-Taylor, nice shape, (see letter.)

Pioneer Tractor. I am standing by the front wheel. I’m
5 foot 7 inches. The rear wheels are 98 feet diameter, 4 cylinder opposed,
bore 7 foot stroke 8 foot. When it misses a fire you save a quart
of gas.

An old Hart Parr gas tractor with Mr. Fleeger sitting on the
back holding part of his watch fob collection. Picture was taken at
Charles Burgh’s Agriculture Implement on U.S. Route 19 in
Middle Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

This picture was taken by the photographer of the Menomonee
Falls Newspaper. This is my scale Rumely Oil Pull known as
Joe’s Little Bang, riding in the October Festival Parade of
Germantown, Wisconsin.

I spent 7 years working on a farm in Bottineau County, Northern
North Dakota. We had always done all our work with horses. Then in
the spring of 1927 my boss purchased a new Fordson Tractor and it
was my job and also delight to run the tractor. So for three
years-from early April until November — I was on this tractor every
day when weather permitted from putting in the crop through summer
then harvest and fall plowing. As a comparison, in this section of
the country we would us 8 horses on a triple gang plow and would
plan normally to plow eight acres per day, while the Fordson would
pull a 2 bottom plow and turn over 10 acres per day. Naturally the
tractor spent more time in the field but work day really was not
any longer considering time spent caring for horses.

Due to some circumstances which I won’t mention at this time
we harvested 840 acres of crop in 1927 with the Fordson tractor and
one 8 foot cut John Deere binder. Many old timers will no doubt
question this statement so I will mention a few reasons why we were
able to accomplish this. First, long hours . 7 days a week. Second,
a variety of crops-rye, wheat, oats, barley, and flax. All these
grains ripening at different times made it possible to harvest the
crop with one outfit.

This 3 hp McCormick-Deering engine with Dodge car rear axle, clutch
and transmission. Clutch is hand operated. It was built by C. O.
Myers, Besides the 3 hp. McDeering engine on the home-made,
tractor, I also have 2 -1 1/2 hp McCormick Deering engines and a
1912 Jackson V/t hp H. & M. with M. & B. ignition.

Albert with his watch fob collection sitting on an Allis
Chalmers tractor.

Foos Model S electric lighting engine #40380, 8 hp., 6 by 10,
330 rpm, 48 foot wheels. Engines for electric lighting service were
furnished with extra large flywheels to avoid a pulsation of the
lights as the engine compresses and fires. The rims were widened
and machined with a crown to permit running the belt right on the
flywheel in order to get the generator up to speed. This engine
runs on natural gas and is governed by a balanced spool throttle
valve. Ignition is by low tension rotary mag and a continuously
rotating wiper type igniter. A vane on the rotating igniter shaft
comes in contact with the end of a long leaf spring inside the
cylinder, cocks it, and then slips off the end. The are is drawn
between these two parts, the wiping action serving to keep the
contant area clean and bright. This one has a disk crank and was
built by the Fans Gas Engine Co., Springfield, Ohio, about 1915.
Collection of John P. Wilcox, Columbus,
Ohio.

This picture of me with my model corn picker was taken at the
1963 Flandreau, South Dakota Threshing Meet.

I could relate many experiences — some amusing, some not, some we
would like to relive, some not. So, in closing, I would like to
make one more observation. Had it not been for the Fordson tractor,
power farming might have been retarded 5 to 10 years.

Am enclosing snaps of a couple of large old engines. The 30-60
Aultman Taylor which was a popular engine and is still seen at most
every show in the Midwest. The other is a Pioneer 30-60 which is
quite rare; built about 1910. It has a totally enclosed cab with
red plush upholstered seat and back rest rear wheels 98 foot
diameter 4 cylinder horizontally opposed engine 7 foot bore, 8 foot
stroke, 600 RPM, 3 speed transmission with high about 6 miles per
hour.

Published on Jan 1, 1967

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines