Smoke Rings


| September/October 1969



Smoke Rings

Hi Dear Friends out there all over the nation. Hope you are enjoying your summer. And while you are out there sniffing the gas and fumes from the engines and piling up memories for the long winter -- we back here had a harrowing experience with gasoline in another form. Our daughter Dana and hubby Bob and Baby Ryan live about 8 miles from us in a nice second floor apartment, but recently it has come out in the paper about a gasoline leakage underground in that area -- a very mysterious thing. It's been going on for a long while but just came to light last week and last Sunday evening when my daughter was drawing her bath water (which after a period of time made the water heater go on again) the gasoline fumes were in the basement and caused an explosion. (It has been raining every day for a long time in this way and they say the gasoline that was floating around underground was forced to the surface causing plenty of trouble.) They managed to get down through the smoke polluted hallway and were not harmed but as of now they are with us and their apartment is very messy as the firemen were tramping around the apartment and everything has a fine greasy film on it from the smell of gasoline and the fire that followed. The fire was brought under control, thank goodness and only damaged some things in the basement, but the smell -- ugh!

Several other families have now been evacuated from their homes and the State is conducting an investigation, but as yet everything is a mystery as to where this gasoline is coming from -- one businessman has brought up over 56,000 gallons on his properly, but no large company seems to be missing the gasoline and as I said it seems to be puzzling everyone. Anyhow, we are all very thankful as no one was hurt. It is depressing but one must look at the bright side -- they could have been blown 'sky high'. We're thankful their Guardian Angel was on duty.

I was typing a poem for the Gas Engine Magazine this week (it will be in this issue or a future one) but it was called 'Sniffing the Gasoline'. I did a lot of thinking on that one. The day after the explosion we were down at the apartment for some clothing and the basement had several inches of what I presume was water and gasoline mixed, but it certainly smelled like pure gasoline. The firemen have been busy pumping the cellars of these homes that have been affected.

Just thought you might be interested in the above, but you folks have a lot of fun with your little gas engines and I know when you 'sniff the odor' from those -- there are much happier thoughts to go with it.

On page 28 in Jan.-Feb. 1969 GEM in my column, there was a request for help in identifying an engine from J. Gordon Thomson of 1 Inlet Place, Huntington, New York 11743. T. H. Krueger, our faithful helper, wrote Mr. Thomson, but I thought some of you other folks might be interested in that information. Ted writes: 'I seem to recall quite strongly that I had some engine parts on which the part numbers were prefixed with 'A'. The uncertainty came from my said building project, where I had to move and pile up so much of my loose stuff, so I would have room to build. I just found those parts I referred to, because since his question was on my mind, I looked at every opportunity to see if 1 could locate something on it. Way back in 1961, I found an engine in a junk dealer's yard, badly broken up, rusted, deteriorated and beyond repair -- so I usually then buy some little parts if still there, as a keepsake; especially if the engine is a rare one. As far as I'm concerned, this one was rare to me. But those parts answer Mr. Thomson's question -- the engine is a Rawleigh made in Freeport, Illinois, a 1? hp. size, horizontal, hopper-cooled, 600 rpm. No. AA18686 and all part numbers on the engine begin with 'AA'. I didn't buy that engine, nor do I have one of my own. I have no catalog or parts book on Rawleigh engines -- only those parts I bought and seeing the engine and recording what few notes I took is what helped me now. Will add, this Rawleigh family of engines, all in Freeport, Illinois, the home of the W. T. Rawleigh medicines (Patented) goes by: 'Rawleigh, Rawleigh-Schryer and Ziegler-Schryer' but I don't know in what order those names became public nor do I know the years built. Those are fine engines, in sizes 1? to 25 hp. and as early as 1911 or earlier. I'll need to 'dig' more on these engines.'

From R. F. Somerville, 12498 14th Ave. N., Haney, British Columbia, Canada comes this request: 'Would you please help me? I would like to get information and some threshing pictures of the 12-25 hp., 2 cylinder opposed, chain drive Mogul tractor. It came out from 1914-1919. I saw several of them in England and France when I was overseas during World War I, but only saw one here in Canada. So -- fellows, if you have any info, or pictures you would like to share with Mr. Somerville, I'm sure he will appreciate it.