GEMS FROM GERDES


| July/August 1969



Minneapolis Gas Tractor

Courtesy of Old Time Thresher and Sawmill Operators, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Leo R. Clark

Route 4, Morrison, Illinois 61270

On page of the Mar-Apr. G.E.M. we see the picture sent in by Roger Eshelman of the Northome engine owned by W.F. Rieckens of Bellevue, Iowa. Roger states that he has seen a Monmouth just like the one pictured and would like to know who built these engines.

I have a 3 Hp. Montgomery Ward Sattley of the very same type except it has a Webster make and break igniter and magneto. So maybe Col. Herndon guessed right that his engine of this type had Sattley flywheels, even though mine has real heavy spoked type.

From what I have been able to learn, I feel these engines were built by Nelson Bros. The older type Monmouth and the Nelson, Jr. were identical and the late model Monmouth was like the Northome and the Sattley.

I have been rather puzzled as to why Montgomery Ward apparently sold both the Nelson and the Field type of engine at the same time. The Webster Magneto puts the Nelson at just about the same date as the other type. Maybe M & W inherited the Nelson with the purchase of the Humma Plow Works.

I have been quite interested in the data on the Happy Farmer Tractor in recent issue of G.E.M. One of my older brothers had both a three and four wheel type and I remember many experiences, both happy and otherwise. Their main fault was that the average farmer just couldn't stay on good speaking terms with the Atwater Kent dry cell battery ignition. Also, the one speed transmission was not too strong a selling point when plowing clay hills and the dust from the drive wheel would affect the fan belt in a bad way sometimes.