Well, almost: This 8 HP International Harvester is 99 percent
As far as I know, this 8 HP International Famous was in New York, possibly in a farm museum for some time, until around 1970. I do not know who owned it in New York, but through the Internet I met a man who had seen it there. It was then taken to Alabama by Nick Hauser of Livingston, and later to Arizona in the early 2000s by Joe Hardin of Holbrook. To my knowledge, the engine was not used much, but taken to shows. It was in Arizona until last year when I bought it and brought it to Texas.
In International Harvester Company of America, this engine is shown running at 310 RPM with a shipping weight (with the cart) of 3,492 pounds. The serial no. is B997 and the tank has no. 107, so from these numbers I know it was built in 1907. It is hit-and-miss with low-tension coil ignition. The engine was made to include the hot tube ignition as well as battery and a Motsinger generator. The batteries were used to get it started as you could not get enough RPMs by hand to start the engine with the generator. It was then switched to the generator to conserve the batteries.
Serial number: B997
Tank number: 107
Weight: 3,648 pounds (with cart)
Flywheel width: 3 inches
Flywheel diameter: 45 inches
Ignition: low-tension coil Governing: hit-and-miss
It does run on gasoline and not kerosene and has 99 percent original parts, which include the battery box, switch, seat, etc. In 1908 International engines changed from the generator on the igniter side to the other side as it was a finger-pincher, and they changed the tank to a screen-cooled system not tank-cooled. Also, the company added a speed-changing device and a plunger-type water pump, which this engine does not have. It has an original belt-driven water pump; to change the speed you have to stop the engine and put more tension on the governor springs. Some information I found stated the engine sold for $410.50 new in 1907.
When I purchased the engine it needed new rings, new mica on the igniter and new electrical wire, which I replaced. Other than that it required no other major maintenance. I have been asked if I will repaint the engine, and I will not. The engine needs to stay just the way it was when it finished its work.
I have restored and collected engines since 1965 and have been a member of engine clubs in California, Oregon and now Texas. My first article in Gas Engine Magazine was in the September/October 1971 issue about an Alpa engine I restored. I have enjoyed these engines and always figure when they run they will not go to the junk pile as someone will know they have value.
As for my uses for the IHC, I am looking for a saw to power with the engine and have been thinking about making a pencil sharpener about 7 feet tall and putting a belt to it for a nice, unusual display. The reaction at shows has been great, as many folks have not seen an engine this old or in such original condition. It gets as much or more attention than engines that are painted up pretty. I have painted many engines in the past, but not this one. It will be shown mostly in Texas and I did take it to a show in Oklahoma last year, but traveling is expensive.
Gene Fisher is located in Pilot Point, Texas. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org