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
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: