Reflections

AN OPENING WORD


| April/May 1988



Eclipse engine

23/4/38

Pete Kubala

23/4/36Q. I have an engine with the following nameplate: Independent Harvester Company; 'The Farmer's Company'; Piano, Illinois; Ser. #1443 Model C 1? HP 550 rpm. Can anyone tell me more about this engine, when it was built, etc. Greg Dubay, 207 Legion Hall Rd., Dunlap, IL 61525.

A. Although we can't tell you much about the engine, we can tell you that Independent Harvester arose from the terrific fuss created by the merger of McCormick, Deering, Milwaukee, and others to form International Harvester Co. That whole deal stayed in the courts for about two decades with the U.S. Government coming after International under the Sherman Antitrust Act. Arguments pro and con often became 'heated', to use an old expression. The slogan of Independent being 'The Farmer's Company' together with their own title of 'Independent' probably was intended to put as much distance between themselves and the 'big machinery trusts' as possible.

23/4/37Q. Martin S. McKnight, RR 1, Mason, TN 38049 is a member of the Mid-South Flywheelers, and would like to hear from other clubs in regard to the pitfalls, etc., of organizing an engine show. He suggests that perhaps someone might wish to write an article or series regarding this subject-everything from the advantages and disadvantages of having a show to things like insurance, food, etc.

A. We can tell you for sure that there are good and bad points about having an engine show. As has been mentioned from time to time in GEM, the liability insurance problem is probably one of the biggest drawbacks, and probably will remain so unless and until state or federal laws limit some of the gigantic damage awards in liability cases. We doubt it to be an exaggeration to suggest that if your parking lot was as smooth as a billiard table, yet the night before the show, a big badger carved a most obvious hold in the earth, and the next day, someone steps in the hole and sprains an ankle, skins their knee, and suffers all manner of bruises, bumps, abrasions, and contusions, if it ends up in court, there is probably a good chance that your club, and perhaps your membership, might have to fork over some big bucks just because of that hole the badger dug the night before.

Beyond such things come the matters of food, water, restrooms, and many other little things one would normally not think about. For many of the larger shows, filling these needs evolved over several years, or even several decades, so they have a distinct advantage in knowing the needs and requirements. Perhaps one of our readers can compile some ideas for potential show organizers.

23/4/38Q. Enclosed is a picture of my 1918 FBM Eclipse on a 1918 Galloway cart. This engine runs well, does not jump, and does not sling oil either. My question is: What is the difference between the # 1 and # 1 - A Eclipse engines? Also the #2 and #2-A Eclipse engines. I have seen both with one or two flywheels. I also understand that these engines were not horsepower rated. Both the early and the late models were marked the same. Pete Kubala, 3901 Heavenly Way, Valley Station, KY 40272.