GEMS FROM GERDES

By Staff
article image
Leo R. Clark
Courtesy of Old Time Thresher and Sawmill Operators, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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.

The motor was a very reliable old lugger and I am quite sure it
was built by the Associated Co. of Waterloo, Iowa.

The Happy Farmer four wheel tractor with its large drive wheels,
spade lugs, wide tread and steering brakes was far ahead of its
competitors when it came to performance on hillsides.

‘The Monster and its shadow’ – The tractor in the
foreground is a 35-70 Minneapolis Gas Tractor owned by Sherald
Bonnell of Winamac, Indiana and is being followed by a 22-44
Minneapolis owned by Harold Gay and John Brite of Decatur, Indiana.
These two tractors are seen each year at the ‘Old Time Thresher
Show. (Photo by Leo R. Clark, 105 Harvey St., Washington, Illinois
61571)

There has been some questions and answers as to the oiling
system in the Fuller & Johnson upright air-cooled pump jack
engine, but so far no one has mentioned the cylinder lubrication
system on this little job. There is a circular trough built or
pressed into the top of the crank case below the cylinder. This
trough fills with oil and the lower edge of the piston dips into it
on each revolution. Some of this splash would likely help to oil
the wrist pin. Many of these little pumpers were used as pump jacks
run by electric motors after the piston, rod and head were removed.
So, some have turned up minus all or some of these parts. The
piston from a John Deere 1? Hp. can be used and a Model T Ford rod
can be used on the lower end of a built up rod. The Model T Ford
rod is not long enough and must be lengthened with another
part.

Some years ago, I ran across a letter in either one of the
engine magazines, or an old car publication, where a man and his
son had discovered a way to loosen stuck pistons.

Every so often, I read in E & E or GEM, where someone is
about to give up on an engine that is badly fused in the cylinder.
Fill the water jacket with hot water, the hotter-the better. Then
cool the piston with L. P. or Butane gas. This gas is extremely
cold, so don’t get your hand in front of the nozzle or
don’t drop the hose. The gas freezes anything the instant it
makes contact.

I have a question I hope someone can answer for me. Our first
Fordson was in the 17,000 bracket, which was 1918. On the underside
of the top radiator tank were four holes. The holes were threaded
for about a ? inch capscrew and the surface around the holes was
machined. Do you think it must have been that either a water pump
or a governor was used on some of the first experimental jobs and
the radiator was not changed for a few years? The only other
Fordson I ever saw with this provision was Tractor No. 1 which the
Ford Motor Company shows at the State Fairs and other machinery
displays.

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