| September/October 1968

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

SPARK PLUG Fred Wise of Gates Mills, Ohio - Last year he got tired of hand-cranking the generator to furnish spark to run his toy town trolley so this year he decided to relegate his fine model of an Aultman-Taylor steam traction engine to generate electricity. The toy is a 1906 version of an old ting train listed for $3.50 in Carlisle-Fintch catalog which Fred still has. The generator is one that Fred built using close tolerance of armature and correctly wound copper wire to generate the required 5 to 6 volts at three-quarter amp.

Our eminent Spark Plug of the Month, devoted as he is to the generation of electric current the better to run his engines, is oftentimes by necessity a many faceted genus of the human species.

Disciple of old-time generators and dynamos from which he resurrects the 'spark of life' to run his gadgets and contraptions - the Rube Goldbergian brain-children he hatches in his backyard workshop incubator - ye Spark Plug is capable of emerging with multifarious and diverse forms of twentieth century anachronisms the likes of which may be both entertaining and confusing.

Though usually ensconced with the more narrow confines of spark-coils, electrode gaps, hit-and-miss governors and/or carburetor fuel mixtures, the ever-searching soul of the 'Plug of the Month' oft times wanders over into foreign fields to give vent to his particular wrath of invention and idea.

Take steam, for example - horrid thought for the gas-bug Spark Plug ever to venture far a field into once he has sworn the loyalty oath to internal combustion as the supreme power. But when we attend a steam threshermen's reunion, we have to take note of what s set before us.