Smoke Rings


| November/December 1969



Wagon load of engines

Courtesy of John M. Hamilton, 2015 Arthur, Charleston, Illinois 61920.

John M. Hamilton

It's such a busy time around here, what with school off to a flying start and then too Dana and Hubby found a small house to rent near us and it has been quite a busy time fixing up and moving -- little Ryan keeps the grandparents pretty busy while Mommie and Daddy are busy. He's on the way to five months now but is so extremely active and alert -- seems much older. And of course our little Tommie is in Kindergarten, that is, he was until one day he decided not to go. But with the 'hand to the rear area' and a lot of psychology talk, Mother drove him to school that day (as he had missed the bus) and since then, things are going pretty well -- hope he doesn't see my fingers crossed behind my back each day. All this and Halloween's coming up too!

I have quite a few letters I know you folks are interested in so I'll get on to them. Paul M. Coleman of Belvue, Kansas 66407 writes: 'Anna Mae, we enjoy your magazines very much. I've farmed with tractors and power machinery all of my grown life. I've ridden the stub tongue on a grain binder behind four horses many hours when a youngster. I've seen tractors develop from headaches to the excellent ones we have today. I miss the old steam engines though. I've worked in the 'hole' pitching to a thresher many long hours. In fact, my last check earned in the season of 1926 the amount of $96.32. I Bought a new suit, etc., bought a license and got married! I've never lost my love for machinery. I own a full set of corn, wheat and bean equipment and run a welding shop on the side, so I'm busy.' (Just thought that was a nice letter to print for all you friends.)

A request from James P. Riley, New Bridge Road, Rising Sun, Maryland 21911 --'I was just wondering Anna Mae, if you would do us old engine nuts a favor? Several of us would like to get authentic decals for Hercules engines. Maybe if someone knew of this interest they would have them to sell to us.' -- Well, how about it fellows, can you answer these men's request?

Donald McVittie, Box 508, Alliston, Ontario, Canada tells us: 'In July-Aug. issue on Page 10 is pictured a buggy and horse. The buggy has a very unusual set of wheels. Now in our local museum is a set of wheels very similar in appearance to those in GEM. On speaking to the curator, he says years ago some fast talking salesman sold stock in a 'Spring wheel buggy' company and those who invested, lost all their investment. On the local set of wheels is written 'Patented 1910, Toronto, Canada.' Would be interested in hearing from someone familiar with picture in GEM or owner of same picture. Any assistance along this line will be sincerely appreciated.' So -- there's another call for Help-Gang.

John D. Benner, Jr. 313 Ruby St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603 wrote a short letter along with his renewal to GEM. 'I thought I'd like to tell you that thanks to you nice people, I got a couple of real nice letters in the mail concerning Oil Pulls. Thank the boys for me. I should have been more accurate as to what I wanted to know -- as to what makes them run, type of fuel, etc. ignition, all that kind of stuff. I guess some thought I meant power ratings, serial numbers, etc. Oh well, if at first you don't succeed, try try again! Only one complaint -- not enough information on really restoring these engines in detail. They are for the most part, so old, rare and different that most of us new guys are really up a tree when it comes to getting some of this stuff to run; carb settings, point gap and timing of valves and igniters, etc. Well, that's all I have to complain about. I think you have a very good little magazine. In closing, did anyone ever hear of an old power mower called the 'DAVIS' (the engine)? I have not seen the mower but heard about it from a friend who has it. And Thanks again to all.'

Pictured is an unusual 3 hp. Witte, serial number 21669. It is kept running by horseshoe nails driven in place of broken cogs in the timing gear. It is owned by John Tichenor, Charleston, Illinois.