For the Reflector, 1985 has been a most interesting and
challenging year. The February, 1986 issue will mark our first full
year with the column, and it has been a delight. At times we must
admit total confusion and unbridled frustration while assembling
the column, but overall, it has been a rewarding experience.
A big plus is the addition of color illustrations within the
column. This enables us to pictorially a lot of material that
previously was unusable.
From a personal viewpoint, the Reflector is happy that the most
recent project, Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 is now
completed. Because of the immense amount of technical data, this
title was very difficult to compile, and even more difficult to
proofread. As we enter the beginning stages of a book covering the
history of Allis-Chalmers and Rumely, we look forward with great
anticipation. Allis-Chalmers remains in the Reflector’s eye,
one of the most innovative of the major U.S. manufacturers. Now we
are not saying they were the most innovative farm equipment company
necessarily, but from the huge array of products and services
offered by Allis-Chalmers during its long history, the company
stands among the leaders.
As an example, Allis-Chalmers built some of the world’s
largest internal combustion engines, some of the largest pumping
engines, largest hydraulic turbines, largest pumps, and many other
machines of interest. For the farm equipment historian,
Allis-Chalmers made a bold move with their purchase of
Advance-Rumely. This gave the company a nationwide dealer
organization, and almost overnight, the bright Persian orange
Allis-Chalmers tractors became a familiar sight.
The people at Allis-Chalmers have been most helpful in this
project, as have several individual collectors. However,
considering the diverse nature of the company, anyone wishing to
share historical information on the company is advised to write the
Reflector in care of Gas Engine Magazine.
This month’s queries begin with:
20/11/1 I am looking for someone with
information about an Oliver-Hart-Parr collectors club. Myself and
some fellow collectors are interested in starting one in our area.
Any information will be appreciated. Kevin Light, 9776 T. R. 32,
Arlington, OH 45814. Ph. (419) 365-5048.
20/11/2 John Beck, St. Anthony Rt., Box 12,
Mandan, ND 58554 send us two photos of an Adams No. 3 motor car
which he has recently put into operating order. The engine is of
the 2-cycle type and runs the car at 25 to 35 MPH. Although Mr.
Beck has asked-that Adams was bought by Woolery Machine Co. of
Minneapolis, MN about 1939, little other information has surfaced.
Anyone with further data on this unit should kindly contact Mr.
Beck and/or the Reflector.
20/11/3 Q. We are restoring a Fairfield 4 HP,
single cylinder engine, SN 1637. Need information on it, including
the color scheme. Les Whitaker, 912 Marissa Drive, Florissant, MO
A. Although the Fairfield engine is fairly
scarce, a few still exist. These engines were built at Fairfield,
Iowa by a firm trying to emulate the well-known Cushman design.
Although it is the Reflector’s opinion that the Fairfield
people actually improved the design somewhat, their developments
came at the tail end of the boom, so Fairfield stayed in business
for only a few years. See page 168 of American Gas
20/11/4 Paul Guarner, 406 Ocean Avenue,
Massapequa, NY 11758 sends some photos of an unidentified engine.
At first glance, Fairbanks-Morse appears to be the winner, but
closer inspection rules this out. Mr. Guarner notes that the engine
has a Lunkenheimer vaporizer, and the hopper cover appears to have
been a later addition. Photo 20/11/4a shows a side view. The
flywheels are 17′ diameter. 20/11/4b shows the head with spark
plug ignition, and 20/11/4c illustrates the clutch mechanism.
20/11/5 Q. I know that American Gas Engines
shows examples of the Flint & Walling engines on page 176.
However, I have recently acquired a smaller, and probably somewhat
later engine by the same manufacturer. It is a 1 horsepower model,
SN 3269K. It was painted a very dark green and used spark plug
ignition. Would like to hear from anyone with information on these
engines. John K. Kreider, RR 2, Box 5, Norton, PA 17555.
A. Looking through our catalog materials fails
to come up with anything on the later F & W engines. Anyone out
there that can help?
20/11/6 Q. Louis Barnes, 4865 N. Bearsdale Rd.,
Decatur, IL 62526 needs information on the spark timing mechanism
for an Olds 8 HP, Type A, No. 5 engine as built by Seager Engine
A. Except for an illustration of this engine,
the Reflector has no parts breakdown that illustrates this
mechanism. Perhaps one of our readers has this information, or has
an 8 HP Olds that might yield the desired data.
20/11/7 Q. John Wood, 400 Dundas St. W.,
Napanee, Ont K7R 2B7 Canada sends two photos of a Green Bone
A. The Reflector has seen these units
occasionally at the shows. They were primarily intended to cut
green (fresh) bones into tiny pieces for later use as a supplement
to chicken feed. As is well known, oyster shells or some similar
material is necessary for chickens to properly digest their food.
In an age when this material was not readily available, the green
bone cutter enabled the farmer to provide his chicken flock with
the necessary materials on a homemade basis.
20/11/8 Bert Dado, 544 Chestnut Lane, Box 621,
Beecher, IL 60401 needs information on a small Alpha DeLaval
separator engine, Type J 310; H.P., L.W.: SN 471.
20/11/9 Q. Ray Champion, RR 2, Box 320A, Troy,
MO 63379 needs information and paint colors on a 25-45 crossmount
Case tractor like the one pictured on the back cover of the March/
A. This column has gone into the Case
crossmount colors somewhat during the past couple of issues, and
hopefully, the entire matter of paint colors can be compiled within
the next few months.
20/11/10 Q. We are restoring an engine with the
following nameplate data: Lansing Company, Lansing, Michigan. H.P.
B. No. 108577. Speed 600. This engine is identical to the 1 HP
Alamo except that it has a water cooled head, and the cylinder bore
is 3 3/8 inches in diameter. We guess it to
be about 2 HP. Would like to know the original color, striping,
etc., also approximate year. Also need some parts (see Wanted
Section, December issue, page 61). Did Alamo or Empire ever build
an engine of this size with a 3 3/8 inch bore
and water cooled head? This engine is nothing like the Lansing
engines that are the same as or similar to the Lauson. Ralph J.
Boodey, Canaan Back Road, Star Route, Barrington, NH 03825.
A. As is often the case, a photograph would be
most helpful in trying to identify this engine. However, from the
above data, someone might be able to help Mr. Boodey in this
20/11/11 We are trying to get information on a
one-wheel garden tractor built by American Farm Machinery Company,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. This model is the Surburbanite, SN N58493.
The two-cycle engine is mounted inside of the wheel similar to the
Kinkade one-wheel garden tractor. Will gladly pay for any pictures,
or other information on this machine. Paul D. Miller, 332 Edge-wood
Drive, Denham Spring, LA 70726.
20/11/12 Q. We would like to know whether the
clubs that put on these shows are paying any of the expense that we
people that restore these old engines and bring them to these shows
and have to pay to show our engines and make these shows a big
success, as it is getting quite costly as I have my engines on a
trailer and the closest show for me is about 85 miles. Ray Fleming,
Box 13, Cohasset, MN 55721.
A. The arrangement varies from one show to
another, but a great many of them pay for fuel, oil, and grease.
For many shows, the gate admission constitutes the yearly
membership in the organization, since there are primarily
non-profit entities. We will concede that restoring an engine and
bringing it to a show can be a personal expense, but we also know
that many unseen expenses are involved for a club in putting on a
show. For instance, the liability insurance alone is a big, big
item, yet nowadays, no one would even think of being without it.
Perhaps some of the show chairmen from around the country might
wish to share their views on this subject.
20/11/13 Q. We need some information on a
Pacific Pumper engine built at Seattle, Washington. It is of
two-cylinder design, two-cycle, and carries SN 32212. We also would
like to know when Maytag Race Car No. 494 was made between their
1934-1941 production; likewise when was No. 800 built? Glen Rupert,
1833 Norwood Blvd., Peoria, IL 61604.
A. See the above photo of the Pacific Pumper.
We can’t shed any light on this one, nor do we have any
production figures on the Maytag Race Car.
20/11/14 Q. We need the proper color for an
Emerson-Brantingham 3-bottom, 14-inch tractor plow. Edwin
Bredemeier, Steinauer, NE 68441.
A. This one was dark red, slightly darker than
the current IH red. The wheels were green, similar to Oliver green,
with the springs, rolling coulter shanks, and similar items being
20/11/15 Q. Our 1 HP Root & Vandervoort
engine shown in the adjacent photo bears SN AL13103. It was built
for Deere & Webber Co. The old decal appears to be all gold,
but the new one which I purchased through an ad in GEM has four
colors. Is this the correct size and shape? American Gasoline
Engines states that these were painted comparable to DuPont 93-5316
green with black and gold pinstriping. Would this be correct for my
engine? Earl Sprague, 925 West 5th St., Redfield, SD 57469.
A. We believe the green color as mentioned
above to be correct, and also believe the striping scheme to be
correct. Likewise, the decal is of the correct style we believe the
colors were derived from an original decal in excellent condition.
Possibly the color scheme might have varied from the original, but
due to the high cost of artwork, the 4-color model is probably the
only one that will be marketed for some time.
20/11/16 Q. Delbert Bush, RR 2, Consecon,
Ontario K0K 1T0 Canada inquries what make of engine was used in the
Massey-Harris four-wheel-drive tractor, and whether this engine was
used in any other tractors or equipment.
A. ‘Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 shows
that this four-wheel-drive tractor was tested in 1930 under No.
177. The data sheets indicate that a Hercules four-cylinder, 4 x 4
inch engine was used. However, this was an L-head model, probably a
Model OOC Hercules motor. Your letter indicated this to be a
valve-in-head style. Either Massey-Harris equipped some of these
with a different style engine sometime during production, or this
tractor has been retrofitted with something other than the original
20/11/17 Mark L. Rembis, 2190 Buford-Bardwell
Road, Mt. Orab, OH 45154 notes that Rust-O-Leum makes (or at least
did make) an H-15 International Green enamel. He has used this
color for Hercules engines. Also, for Witte engines he has used
DuPont Dulux 7666D green.
The Reflector is still working on the paint color index and
hopes to have something ready for publication this winter.
Here’s another time that instead of a small bite we took a
large chunk! Amassing this information, and making some compromises
between various suggestions has been a tedious job. Despite this,
once completed, we believe this will be a most worthwhile
20/11/18 Q. We have a Samsco Type S engine, 1
HP, 500 rpm, s/n TA11430. Specifically, we would like to know the
proper dimensions for the fuel tanksize, shape and dimensions. We
would also be interested in knowing the approximate age of the
engine. Monty Adair, 130 Canyon Creek Drive, San Antonio, TX
A. Aside from the fact that the Samsco appears
to have been built by San Antonio Machine & Supply Co., Corpus
Christi, Texas, we have no further data, but perhaps one of our
readers might have something.
20/11/19 Robert Mayeux, 2204 Comanche St.,
Sulphur, LA 70663 writes that he has acquired a heretofore unheard
of engine this one being a Pivert marine model. This one was built
by Pivert Motor Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. The engine he has
located is 4 HP, single cylinder, and of 4-cycle design. Oliver J.
Pivert built these engine approximately from 1922 to
1924.(Perhaps Mr. Mayeux will favor us with a photograph of
this recent find.)
20/11/20 Q. We would like to have further
information on the following Lister diesel engines: Lister-Dursley,
England, No. 197, FR-12. 8 HP, 1500 rpm. This engine has one
flywheel. Also have: Lister-Blackstock In., Type CD engine, No.
5164. 8 HP, 12300 rpm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both have one flywheel
and both have a precombustion chamber separated by a lever
connected to the one under the injector. We would like to know the
approximate age of these engines, the purpose of the additional
chamber, and other information. Hector Thomson, 4925 S. 107th St.,
Seattle, WA 98178.
A. Regarding the age of these engines, the
Lister CD was introduced about 1933, but we have no data on the
other model. Without a photograph of your engines, we would guess
that the ‘extra’ chamber you mention was designed for
starting purposes. By closing this chamber, the head end clearance
is slightly reduced, thus raising the compression ratio
temporarily. This in turn, substantially raises the air temperature
and facilitates starting directly on diesel fuel. After starting,
this passage is again opened, thus returning the compression ratio
to its normal value. A further advantage of this system is that
when operating at high altitudes, the valve may be closed to raise
the compression and offset the loss otherwise incurred.
20/11/21 Gary Harwood, 215-5 Brook Village
Road, Nashua, NH 03062 would like to have further information on
the and 1 HP Idea air-cooled engines, including instructions and
20/11/22 Q. Stanley Byerly, New Salisbury, IN
47161 asks the difference between the Massey-Harris Colt, Mustang
and ’22’ tractors.
A. Nebraska Tractor Tests Since 1920 indicates
the ’22’ under Test No. 403 of 1948. This tricycle style
was equipped with a Continental Red Seal F-140 engine with four
cylinders of 3 3/16 x 4 inch bore and stroke. Rates speed was 1,800
rpm on the belt and 1,500 rpm on the drawbar. The Pacer carried a
Continental Y-91 engine rated at 1,800 rpm and using a
27/8 x 3 inch bore and stroke for a 91 CID. A
slightly larger 124 cubic inch engine was used in the Colt. Also by
Continental, the F-124 engine was rated at 1,800 rpm and carried a
3 x 43/8 inch bore and stroke. Neither the
Colt nor the Mustang was tested at Nebraska.
20/3/48 United States Motors Corp. Wayne S.
LeCompte, 19 Forest Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701 writes that he has a
Falcon 5 engine, s/n 13570 just like the one pictured in 20/3/48,
but his is missing the flywheel. Mr. LeCompte would like to
correspond with the person who submitted the original question on
United States Motors. (Note: We cannot locate the original
letter ocnceming this matter, so anyone having any information on
U. S. Motors, please write Mr. LeCompte.)
20/2/30Fairbanks-Morse paint color.
Roger Cooper, 3675 E. 260th St., Webster, MN 55088 notes that in
the above mentioned entry we gave DuPont Dulux 93-5316 as the
correct color for both the R & V and Fairbanks-Morse engines,
and inquires whether this is correct.
This is definitely not correct! Fairbanks-Morse engines
approximate 93-72001 green, or perhaps even darker!
20/5/12Cummins/Thermoil engines Bruce
Patterson, 3945 W. Blundell Road, Ludington, MI 49431 sends some
catalog data on the 1921 Thermoil line as sold by Sears, Roebuck
& Co. This antedates Clessie L. Cummins’ effort to make a
reliable engine out of the Thermoil. Actually, it was in this way
that Cummins Engine Company had its beginings. Hopefully, we can
detail the development of this most interesting company in the
20/7/2T. L. Smith Company A letter
from Wyon Arendsen, 3278 N. Maple Is. Rd., Hesperia, MI 49421
indicates that his Smith mixer has a Fuller & Johnson engine,
with the engine being sold to T. L. Smith on August 27, 1924. The
mixer was bought by the City of Grand Rapids in 1926.
20/2/48 & 20/4/20Frisbie Motor
Co. Nora G. Frisbie, 630 W. Bonita Ave., Apt. 11-H, Claremont,
CA 91711 sends an extensive letter concerning the Frisbie family
and their involvement with engines:
The engine (referred to above) was probably one of those
designed and manufactured by Russell Abner Frisbie (1874-1968) of
Russell Abner came from a family of inventors. His grandfather
Russell Frisbie (1822-1896) designed and patented several of the
cast iron mechanical toy banks which were popular in the late
1800’s and are now treasured collectors’ items. He also
designed and patented two miniature steam engines which ran on
alcohol; two of these exquisite little engines are still known to
Russell’s son Henry Edward Frisbie (1844-1911) invented a
trolley that powered the trolley cars of the early 1900’s and
had a number of other patents to his credit.
Russell Abner Frisbie started out his business career with a
bicycle shop in the carriage house of the family home. He soon
became interested in automobiles, and in 1901 designed and built a
two-cylinder car of his own. The car never went into production,
but the prototype is in a private collection in Indiana.
His interest then turned to gasoline-fired marine engines and he
built the first Frisbie engine in this backyard shop. By 1902 they
were going so well that he sold his bicycle business and formed the
Frisbie Motors Co. of Cromwell. The motors. . .began to win
speedboat races all over the nation.
At the beginning of World War I, Russell Abner converted his
plant to the manufacture of precision parts for aircraft, but he
soon afterwards sold it and retired.
In the early 1930’s he was coaxed out of retirement to
design toy cap pistols for J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell.
Before his final retirement he served as president and general
manager of the Stevens Company.
THE FINAL WORD
Although the Reflector was born and raised on a farm, (and still
maintains an active interest in farming), a 25-year stint in the
electrical trade evoked a special interest in magnetos and other
electrical equipment. In this connection, we illustrate an early
Wico igniter of 1914, as built by Witherbee Igniter Company.
Whether the Type L igniter was a booming success is unknown, but
this unit certainly must have displayed enough potential to lead to
the Wico A.X. unit of 1920, also shown here. From these beginnings
came the famous Wico EK magneto the unit that put an end to the
low-tension oscillating types of earlier times.
It seems ironic that magneto ignition was followed by the
familiar distributor systems, all of which could be adjusted and
tuned by anyone familiar with this work the backyard mechanic, so
to speak. Nowadays we see electronic ignition, electronic
monitoring, and all sorts of miracle devices. The problem is that
in cases of trouble, today’s motor doctor needs a computer
costing megabucks and the poor soul having the trouble needs to
beat a hasty retreat to the local banker for a loan, just to
replace the $700 computer card that went awry.
The Reflector’s first car was a 1950 Ford. Almost impossible
to wear out (or rust out), we believe it and others of its vintage
stand out in sharp contrast to many of today’s $15,000, 50,000
mile throwaway cars. Likewise, how many of today’s small
engines will still be in existence, much less restorable, in
another fifty years. After all, that 1915 International engine in
the shed is already 70 years old, and with a little care will be
around another 70 years from now.