C.H. Wendel’s Reflections
Over the next few months we’ll be compiling some articles on various subjects from within the library. For in stance, we’re now working on an article pertaining to pouring and fitting babbitt bearings. Ye olde Reflector has never been intimidated with this job, but as a youngster, I watched my dad pour bearings, along with my uncles, and even a couple of old blacksmiths. None of them had a gasoline or propane furnace to heat the kettle; all I ever saw them use was the forge. They would have an easy fire so as to melt the babbitt down slowly, and when they weren’t stirring or drossing the metal, they kept an old iron lid over the kettle. As a child, I couldn’t quite understand that, but later on I figured out that they didn’t want the smoke to contaminate the metal.
Unlike me, and some of you who are experienced at pouring bearings, the truth is that it is a dying art, partially because many folks are reluctant to get anywhere near that molten metal. We don’t blame you, because it can get real nasty if there’s even a tiny bit of moisture in the bearing housing. To prove the point we’ll relate an experience to you:
Many of you know that ye olde Reflector has been a devotee of letterpress printing for a long time now. Among our acquisitions was a Linotype ma chine. The Linotype mechanized printing, just like the gas engine and tractor mechanized agriculture. Anyway, the type metal, somewhat similar to babbitt metal, is melted into cast iron molds leaving a long pig of about 20 pounds. We’ve got an electric furnace to melt it down, and when all is ready, there’s nothing to do but open a spigot and run the metal into the molds.
One day we had several cardboard boxes full of scrap metal, and we melted this all down. Then there was a small plastic bucket containing some more scrap. Since the furnace has a big hop per, we proceeded to dump the scrap into the hopper. What we didn’t know was that due to humidity, the metal had picked up some moisture, perhaps only a few drops. However, this was more than enough to create a most interesting scenario. Instantly, this hot metal started popping and blowing up out of the furnace, sending a pattern of spattered metal for about ten feet in all directions. We made haste in our re treat, but still bear a scar on one arm where some of this stuff landed and at tempted to make a bond with my epidermis.
After things settled down, we discovered that our little plastic bucket was completely dry inside, leaving us to believe that the moisture came from condensation on the metal itself. The kettle in the furnace was almost completely empty, it had relieved itself of about ten pounds of metal when it burped. This ten pounds was splattered on the ceiling, on the walls, and on anything in the vicinity. In the process, the kettle pretty much cleaned itself too; there wasn’t anything left in there except for some bright and shiny metal.
Of course the point is that babbitt is entirely quiet when it is dry, but can get nasty when there’s some moisture about. The moral of the story is that here’s Wendel’s First Rule when melting babbitt or any other metal.. . make sure that there’s no moisture!
Our first query this month begins with:
31/7/1 Feed Mill Q. See the two photos of a restored feed mill. It is a ‘No. 1’ with ‘G’ casting numbers. There is no other identification. I would like to hear from anyone having a mill like this, or anyone who can tell me the make of this mill. James Priestley ,117 Lind St., McMinnville, TN 37110.
31/7/2 Information Needed Q. I just bought my first engine, a 1 HP McCormick-Deering Type M, s/n AW62308. When was it built? In the operator’s guide it says to use heavy cup grease to lubricate the bearings. Where can this be purchased? Any help will be appreciated. Bill Pursel, 15121 N CR700 E, Dunkirk, IN 47336.
A. Your engine was made in 1927. Originally, this meant to use something like No. 4 cup grease. However, it’s not readily available in many areas. Then too, lubricants of 1927 weren’t up to the standards of today. We like to use a high grade grease, as available at any oil bulk plant or at various stores. By going to your local bulk plant, you may find that they will be very helpful in getting you exactly what you need.
31/7/3 Bowsher Grinder Q. See the photos of a grinder made by N. P. Bowsher Co., South Bend, Indiana. It was patented Sept. 20, 1887 and June 21, 1892. I’d like to hear from anyone having one of these grinders or a brochure or picture of it so that I can rebuild it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Edward J. Carry Jr., 24396 Manzanita Dr., Descanso, CA 91916.
31/7/4 Witte Engine Q. I have a 5 HP Witte for which I would like the original color (s). At present it is an off-white with green about like McCormick-Deering Green. Your help will be appreciated. Wm. R. Breitkreutz, 600 Church St., Hartford, WI 53027.
A. It is a dark green, comparable to DuPont 5204 Forest Green. So far as we know, there were no decals or striping.
31/7/5 Briggs & Stratton Q. What is the year built of a Briggs & Stratton Model FI engine, s/n 3188? (See the photos.) It was sold in Japan as a Fullpower Engine by Chuo Boeki Goshi Gaisha (Central Trading Company Limited) of Osaka and Tokyo. Chris Madeley, 208 Park Heim Yoga ltchome, 1-19-19 Yoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo-to 158, Japan.
A. The only information we have is that the FI was built from December 1927 to January of 1933. Perhaps there is some one who can positively come up with the year built.
31/7/6 Witte Engine Q. I have a Witte 2 HP engine, s/n 26021. When was it built? What type of coil is used, and what is the correct color? Billy Dobbs, 2484 Sayner Ave., Mobile, AL 36605-2536.
A. Your engine was made in 1916. A Ford Model T coil will fire the plug, or for that matter, any high tension coil. See 31/7/4 above in reference to paint colors. Your letter also mentions the ‘headless’ design. Many different engines cast the head in place, since from an engineering standpoint, this eliminated the problems with leaky head gaskets. Technically at least, these really weren’t headless engines, they just had the cylinder head cast as a part of the entire cylinder assembly. In engine jargon, a ‘headless’ engine is one that doesn’t have a separate cylinder head secured by bolts.
31/7/7 Universal Motor Q. See the photo of a small Universal Motor I recently secured. It was made by Universal Motor Co., Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The generator is coupled to a small water cooled engine, a 1 HP Universal. The model is M732-MS, s/n91662, 2600 rpm, 19 amps, 32-40 VDC. It is complete except for the carburetor. Any information on this unit, the type of carburetor it used, when it was built, and the correct color scheme would be greatly appreciated. Ted O’Donnell, 1415 Hamilton Road, Victoria, BC V8R 2Y2 Canada.
31/7/8 Watson-Jack & Co. Q. See the photo of a Light Twin Pumper, Supplied by Watson-Jack & Co., Mont real & Vancouver. Made in Canada. It uses a Zenith carburetor. I am looking for any information on this engine and thank anyone in advance who can help. Wouter van Gulik, Trompweg 1, 7441HN Nijverdal, Holland, Europe.
31/7/9 Our Cushman Engine Regarding the article on page 42 of the May 1996 GEM, Herb Eltz, 4265 S. Bladen Ave., Juniata, NE 68955 writes:
It must not have been as wet in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1928 as it was in Nebraska in 1915. Dad bought a binder with a mounted Cushman, but it didn’t work out. The cooling water tank held about 30 gallons, or a total of about 240 pounds, plus the weight of the Cushman. It only added to the trouble. So instead, it was removed and mounted, running the shop line shaft. It is still there, but has not been used in almost 50 years. Cushman is one of the lightest 4 HP engines of its time, and was well built.
31/7/10 Unidentified Engine Q. See the three photos of an unidentified engine. It has a 4 x 5 inch bore and stroke, and has a Webster bracket 303K62. Any information would be appreciated. Howard Barrup, 275 Union St., Newport, VT 05855.
A. According to the Webster magneto bracket listings, the 303K62 was made only for the engines from Warner Mfg. Co., Ottawa, Kansas.
31/7/11 Unidentified Engine Q. See the two photos of an engine my dad and I recently purchased. The water hopper has ‘DAS’ on it, the head has DB24, and the base number is 2DA125. The flywheels are about 26 inches and the engine has a 4 x 8 inch bore and stroke. Any information would be appreciated. Charley and Art Nelson, 1545 Hupp Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401.
31/7/12 Ace Rust Stop EnamelKen Hollenbeck, PO Box 238, Ellison Bay, WI 54210 writes: I don’t know how many GEM readers are aware of the availability of Rust Stop Enamel from Ace Hardware in eight farm equipment colors. Perhaps this will be helpful.
31/7/13 More than EnginesEdwin Bredemeier, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441 writes: Do the Hercules and Economy engine collectors know that Sears & Roebuck at one time sold pre-cut houses and barns? They sold over 100,000 buildings from the 1890s to the 1930s, with about 450 different styles and types. It is interesting to still find barns and houses with the Sears assembly marker. They even sold round barns. For a time during the 1920s, they even had a finance plan for their pre-cut buildings.
31/7/14 Schramm Engine Q. I have a 2 HP Schramm engine, s/n 20141, mounted on a cement mixer. I would like to know more about it, especially when it was made, and the proper colors. Harold Stier, 623 North 8th St., Petersburg, IL 62675.
A. There are some Schramm engines in existence, and we know of a few that are restored. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide the needed information.
31/7/15 Little Steam Engine Q. See the photo of a little steam engine I recently acquired. It is 16 inches long and 8 inches high. Any information on it would be greatly appreciated. Gerald E. Schmader, Box757, Lucinda, PA 16235.
31/7/16 McCormick 10-20 Q. I recently bought a McCormick-Deering 10-20. When I bought it, the tractor was red, and since I know that all the 10-20 tractors I’ve seen were gray, I thought someone had painted it red. But now I find bright red paint under the radiator, behind the decals, under the gas tank padding, and behind the oil filter mounting. Can anyone be of help? Brian Turney, 15 Carey Rd., Succasunna, NJ 07876.
A. Your letter notes that the s/n plate is gone, but in any event, the 10-20 was built into 1939. IHC changed over to red in 1936, so your tractor might well have been painted red originally. How ever, there appear to have been some tractors painted red prior to that time, perhaps on special order, or for some other reason.
31/7/17 Witte Engine Q. See the photos of a Witte engine given to me by my late father-in-law. It had been stored in the back of the garage for years, but now has a new coat of paint and runs pretty good. I’d like to know more about this engine, but the s/n plate is missing, and I’d also like to find a decal for it. Any information would be appreciated. Jim Ricker, 9337 Pt. Charity Dr., Pigeon, MI 48755-9767.
A. Sometimes on the edge of the fly wheel rim, sometimes on the top of the cylinder, next to the head, and some times on the frame, the s/n for your engine should be found. That’s not a guarantee, but sometimes a s/n can even be found on the end of the crankshaft. With that information we can tell you more about your engine. To our knowledge the Witte engines had no decals.
31/7/18 Bacon & Donovan Co. Q.Gary J. Oechsner, 39 Reid Terrace, Apt 14, Fond du Lac, WI 54935 writes that he came across an article concerning Bacon & Donovan Engine Company at Springfield, Massachusetts, noting that he had never heard of this company before.
A. Bacon & Donovan was a supply house that handled many different items, including a wide range of engines, windmills, pumps, and other farm-related items. To our knowledge this company did not actually manufacture engines, although their nameplate may have been attached to those they sold.
31/7/19 Samson Gas EnginesLester Bowman, 2440 Thomas St., Ceres, CA 95307 writes a detailed letter concerning his research into the Sam son Iron Works at Stockton, California. His research has taken him many different places, but he’s convinced there’s more information out there on the Sam son engines. On reading his query, you’ll be compelled to contact Lester if you can supply additional information:
I have almost exhausted local re sources concerning Samson Iron Works. I send this plea hoping that someone might have additional information. I’m especially interested in the early stationary engines. It seems as if every engine is unique, in that it is hard to find two Samson engines that are identical.
In the early part of 1978 The Haggin Historical Museum featured ‘Samson Iron Works’ and had seven engines on display, plus other Samson artifacts. The museum is located in Stockton.
I would very much like to contact the persons who loaned photographs of the Iron Works. Any paper items advertising the engines, or catalogs showing their engines would help tremendously toward understanding their development. There’s just got to be more out there than I’ve been able to find. I would gladly pay any cost for photo copying etc.
Anybody still alive who may have worked at the foundry would be very old by now, but perhaps their children may recall something about it, or stories they were told.
Someone told me that John M. Kroyer and Mr. Sterling were related. Sterling also built engines at Stockton, and I’m curious if there was really a connection.
Samson engine #122 was built in March 1902. Do any other Samson owners know the purchase date of their engines? This information would also be very helpful.
Does anyone have details of the early cooling system used on the vertical flyball Samson? Were they thermosyphon?
Did the irrigation engine/pump use water from the pump to cool the engine?
I have some information that I will share with anyone who wants it, however I hope to obtain enough additional technical information to share with GEM and its readers. I will answer every letter and postcard. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
31/7/20 Harrisburg Engine Q. See the photos of a 2 HP engine I recently acquired. It was built by Harris’ burg Engineering Co., Harrisburg, Pa. I believe this engine is rather rare, and would like to hear from any other owners of Harrisburg engines. I have been unable to find literature or advertising material on this engine and would like to learn something of its history. Any help would be greatly appreciated. G. David Deardorff, 160 Walnut Springs Rd., York, PA 17406.
A. We would estimate that this is in deed a scarce engine, and we hope someone can be of help in supplying further information.
31/7/21 Galloway Handy Andy Q. I am in the process of restoring a Galloway Handy Andy engine that has been in the family for a number of years. The ignition system is not completely original and I do not know what it should be; can anyone help? It uses a spark plug and coil, but what is the mechanism to complete the circuit? I would also like to know the exact color of the engine and the location of the battery box, if it had one. Steve B. Stratman, 2204 – 23rd Avenue, Longmont, CO 80501.
A. There is (was?) a timer on the side of the engine, driven from the cam gear. We have 8554 DuPont Red listed as a comparable match. Perhaps another owner of a Handy Andy might send you a Polaroid of the timer mechanism.
31/7/22 Red River Special Q. My wife and I are in the process of acquiring a Red River Special thresher. We are in need of much information, and hope that someone might be able to help us. Any help will be appreciated. Sean M. Leahy, Rt.1, Box 123-C, Lampasas, TX 76555.
A. Ye olde Reflector tended a Red River Special for many years, and we still have it in the shed. Unfortunately, we never had any books for it. Hopefully, yours is in good shape, and hopefully you have all the belts for it.
31/7/23 Centaur Tractor Q. I have a Centaur 2-G tractor made by Central Tractor Co. It uses a two-cylinder LeRoi engine. On page 71 of your Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, you list a Centaur 6-10G, using a four-cylinder LeRoi engine. The picture is identical to my tractor. I would like to know if it is a typo about the four-cylinder, or is my tractor different than the one shown? Also I would like to hear from anyone having more information, such as the available models, the color scheme, and so forth.
I also have a Fay & Bowen four-cylinder marine engine, and I’m looking for information on it. Terry Christner, 302 Stowers Lane, Molalla, OR 97038.
A. There were several different models, although our files have only scant information on the Centaur line. The larger ones used a small four-cylinder engine. Hopefully someone will have the additional information you need.
31/7/24 Oil Engines Q. We received a nice letter from Pierre J. Cattell, 2814 Urbana Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20906. A couple of questions pique his interest:
In the terminology of ‘oil’ engines, how does the ‘oil’ of that time compare to today’s products? Also, a Fairbanks-Morse instruction book (2417D) notes that they describe the water spray valve for 6 HP engines only, although my 3 HP engine is thus equipped.
A. In olden days, oil engines could have meant two different things. Initially at least, an oil engine was essentially a kerosene engine using spark ignition. Kerosene was relatively cheap as com pared to gasoline, so it was favored by some users. The problem was, and is, that kerosene can be vaporized, but it cannot be atomized as can gasoline. Thus, there were all kinds of preheating devices to help vaporize the fuel. Kerosene was also subject to preignition, especially on heavy loads. Thus, a tiny amount of water was introduced into the air stream to retard preignition. Generally, this was not a big problem in engines under 6 HP, but the attachment was available for smaller engines, especially those from Fairbanks-Morse and International Harvester. When shut ting down, it is imperative to shut off the fuel supply and let the engine use up all the fuel in the carburetor or mixer. It is virtually impossible to start a gas engine directly on kerosene.
By about 1912, the term ‘oil engine’ took on a new meaning with the introduction of compression ignition engines such as the Fairbanks-Morse Type Y, and others of its class.
31/7/25 Acme/Madison Q. On page 10 of American Gas Engines there is a picture of the Acme from Acme Engine Co., Lansing, Michigan. I have a 2 HP engine with no tag, but Acme appears in script on the side of the water hopper.
Now, on page 289 of American Gas Engines, there is a picture and a summary of the Madison Gas Engine Co., Madison, Wisconsin. This picture seems to be only a blowup of the picture on page 10. How can the two be so much alike?
I would also like to know what type of rotary magneto was used, and would like to correspond with anyone having one of these engines to find out about the magneto and ignition system. Any help will be appreciated. Don Peterson, 19318 Erhart Rd., Medina, OH 44256.
A. We would likely have never noticed the comparison between the Madison and the Acme, but that’s certainly not the only time the same engine, and even the identical engraving, appear for engines from two different companies. In most cases, all this resulted when one company bought out the other.
31/7/26 Fairbanks-Morse Q. See the photo of a Fairbanks-Morse Type T engine, 12 HP, and s/n 99289. It looks as if the (missing) mixer has the same bolt pattern as the 10 HP Type N horizontal. Also, could the flywheel possibly be interchangeable with some other model? It is 44 x 3 inches, with a 3 inch bore.
I don’t even try to repair flywheels, and so far I am discovering that this series of engine is somewhat scarce, as parts are very hard to find. Also, it is a match start, and probably had an air pump on it at one time. Any help will be appreciated. Robert Hensarling, 4326 Hwy 90 E, Uvalde, TX 78801.
A. Our F-M parts books show the diagram numbers for specific engines or a specific series, but these numbers do not correlate with other parts books. As an example, the same igniter might have been used on several different engines, and could well have carried a common part number, or a master number, but that is not the case. Thus, we can’t tell you with certainty about the inter changeability of various parts. The 12 HP Type T is indeed a scarce engine.
31/7/27 J. I. Case Q. I have a two bottom Case plow. The man I got it from bought it along with a new Case tractor in 1938. I would like to know the paint scheme for the plow, and would also like to know the gray paint used on the 1938 Case RC tractor. Lloyd E. Scare, 7943 Eby Rd., Ft. Wayne, IN 46835.
A. We don’t have the color scheme for the plow, but we have DuPont Lite Grey 27877 listed for the unstyled Case RC tractor.
31/7/28 Tractor Rims Q. A large number of steel-wheeled tractors were ‘cut down’ for rubber tires, especially in the 1940s and 1950s. Quite often, fluid was put in the tires, and we all know what happened. The slightest bit of leakage, and that was the beginning of the end for the rims. We often get queries about where to find rims, and in fact, we ourselves have a tractor with 11.25-24 rears that desperately need new rims. Can anyone name a source of supply for plain rims that can be welded onto an existing set of rear spokes? If so, address: Reflector, Gas Engine Magazine, Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17608. We’ll be happy to publish information we receive, and we’ll be happy to know for ourselves where we might obtain a pair for the tractor in question.
Tecumseh Engines In response to the question on Tecumseh engines, the company is still in business as Tecumseh Products Co., 1604 Michigan Ave., New Holstein, WI 53061. Unfortunately they have very little information, although I believe they have a collector they use for a source, so some information is out there. Also I have a report of a:
Stolen Engine I live in the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, area, and had a Model N, 1 HP Fuller Johnson engine stolen from my bam in Calumet Township. The engine is s/n 81058 and was on a cart with a small army-issued flour mill. Any information on this engine, please call or write: John S. Freund, N10327 St. Paul’s Rd., Malone, WI 53049, (414) 745-4223.
31/5/21 Jacques Mighty-Mite The most identifying feature of the Mighty-Mite tractors was the 3-inch U-channel frame. The early 1947 versions had this channel bent in a half circle for the front of the tractor. Soon they were using an iron casting for the circular front that included the bolster for the front axle and had the hole for the crank. The crank was used only for the little Hercules ZXB engine. This casting was welded to the 3-inch side rails. A few models had an outrigger on this casting to move the axle in front of the frame. About halfway back, another casting bridged across and was welded to the frame rails. This casting had the Warner T96 transmission bolted to it and included the bearing for the input shaft. Also a saddle was on this casting for the Ross steering gear. The transmission had a low gear of 2.6; the ring gear and pinion were 5:1, and the bull gears were 6:1 which totals an 80:1 reduction. With the Hercules the power was fed through the clutch directly into the transmission and this resulted in a low gear speed of 2 mph, assuming an engine speed of 1800 rpm and the usual 7.50-16 rear tires.
Most models were sold with the 23 ci Briggs & Stratton and this required an additional 2:1 reduction through a belt and pulley at the engine. The drum brakes and bands were inserted on the shaft between the differential and the bull gears which made them difficult to service. On most models the clutch and right and left hand brake pedals were also iron castings. The swinging draw bar pivoted from 1? inch pins welded on the inside of the bull gear housing. The lift lever quadrant was welded to the top of the right side rail on most models.
The most unusual Mighty-Mite was the 1948 Jacques-Frazer Model T that used a two-cycle, 23 ci Simar-Swiss-Frazer engine that was in current production on the Frazer Rototiller. A special gear case was created for this application that included a gear-up and gear-down that gave six forward speeds and included a pto to drive the optional rear-mounted Rototiller. Lowest speed was mph, and the highest speed was 4 mph. On this tractor appeared for the first time the ‘Funky Looking Hood.’ The normal Mighty-Mite had used at least three different hoods and the Hercules engine model used the ‘house’ that was furnished by Hercules.
When the Mighty-Mite became the middle-sized Ottawa in about 1950, a variation of the ‘Funky Hood’ was used on it. The Ottawa tractor shown in 31/5/23 is a larger Ottawa that does not have the transaxle or front axle of the Mighty-Mite. Several Mighty-Mite tractors still exist in Oklahoma, and I own one Kenneth Scales, 2601 Shadynook Way, Oklahoma City, OK 73141.
31/4/8A and 31/4/29 Lauson Engine Inquiries The Lauson engine in 8A is a Model RC of 1 to 1.5 HP. The water cooled Model RC was a companion to the air cooled Model RSC. The Model RC was built approximately from 1940 to 1951.
The 8 HP Lauson (Alpha) engine in 31/4/29 appears to have been built between 1916 and 1924. This is assuming that the engine is a Model CD, with a venturi-type of mixing valve. The letters CD should be found as casting letters on parts such as the cylinder and the main bearing caps. If the engine is a Model BC, it would have been made sometime after 1924.
An upcoming GEM article will provide comprehensive information on the Lauson engines from 1895 to 1956, as well as limited Lauson tractor production. Mac Sine, PO Box 518, Painted Post, NY 14870-0518.
31/4/7 Unidentified This engine is a 1 HP Wiscona Pep motor made by Termaat &. Monahan of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1921 the firm was sold to Wiscona Pep Motor & Parts Co. of the same city, which continued production of the two models, l & 3 HP until late 1939. There is no information on how many were built, but the original firm of T & M had an export department in New York City, and it is rumored that most of the engines were sold in Canada and Europe, and those in the United States today were re turned for one reason or another. This would explain their relative rarity.
(This response, and those following, all have come from R. D. Hamp, 1772 Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124.)
Collis Engines In the May 1996 issue under ‘A Brief Word’ you commented about Collis engines and their similarity to the Bean engines, and thought that E. B. Cushman was involved with both. On page 16 of Catalog 36 of the Bean Spray Pump Co., there is a photo showing E. B. Cushman kneeling behind a Bean engine. The caption notes that ‘we have been assured of correct design by the selection of Mr. E. B. Cushman as engineer and permanent head of our engineering department.’
31/5/31 Whizzer Motor The April 1996 issue of Hemings Motor News lists sources of parts and literature for these motors.
31/5/34 Unidentified I believe the engine pictured is either an Alpha or a Lauson.
31/5/42 Ignition Regarding this question, an electromagnetic ignition system was designed by Charles E. Duryea which is similar to the device you mention. In the book, Gas, Gasoline & Oil Engines by Hiscox, is some information on Nash engines, but nothing on their ignition systems.
31/5/41 Pan Motor Company At one time in the past there was a Pan automobile in the Harrah collection at Reno, Nevada.
(Thanks to Dick for his comments on the above questions.)
This month we’re happy to report that we have some entries from some of our modelmakers. The first model we have this month is a scaled down version of the Gray 6 HP Big Six engine as advertised in the June 1994 GEM.
David Hense, 2641 Division NW, Olympia, WA 98502 writes:
I purchased the ‘Mechanics Kit’ from Cooper Tool & Machine Co., Oxford, Alabama. I finished painting, polishing, and making the base and gas tank. The castings and machine work were of very high quality.
I must give credit to Harry Cooper and his staff for the fine workmanship. The engine starts easily and runs good. The governor was set to fire about 36 40 times a minute.
Jon W. Hedrick, Box 61, Waco, NE 68460 sends along a photo (see MM-3) of a miniature blacksmith shop completed after five years of work. It consists of a coal forge, trip hammer from a casting kit, and everything else was made from scratch.
From right to left is trip hammer, forge, Monarch disc sharpener (one blade at a time) ring cones, the old grinder and buffer, power hack saw, and old Milwaukee drill press patterned from a picture, and all to scale; also a work bench. It is powered by a 12 volt motor so I can show it later on. Below is an Ajax steam engine from a kit. I have also finished three scale model hit-and-miss gas engines not shown. I would like to see more models in GEM!
A Closing Word
The great majority of the engines we now collect were thoroughly tested be fore leaving the factory. Larger engines, and a few of the smaller ones used an electric dynamometer, but the majority of them were tested with the rather simple Prony Brake. The specially de signed brake pulley was fitted to the crankshaft. Its large inside flanges held water, and this was fed to the inside of the pulley by the apparatus mounted on a floor stand.
The wooden brake blocks were secured to a chain going around the pulley. The long arm is connected to a simple balance to record the amount of downward pressure exerted. This could be varied simply by adjusting the large hand screw on top of the lever.
The Prony Brake is essentially an absorption dynamometer. The balance shown on a stand at the outer end of the arm is known as a Salter’s balance. The weight of the lever itself is counterbalanced by a small weight hung on the short arm. In operation, the speed in rpm’s is read by a speed indicator, and the pull by the spring balance. Then:
Horsepower = 2rnP
where r = the horizontal distance from the center of the balance to the center of the pulley shaft; n = engine rpm P = reading by Salter’s balance.
If using a platform scale or a spring balance, the formula may be simplified by standardizing the length of the arm at 5′-3′, in which case the formula is:
H.P. = NP
where N = the rpm of the engine, and,
where P = the pounds read on the scale.
For smaller engine a shorter arm is desirable, and in this case the length should 2′ 7′ and in this case the de nominator is changed from 1000 as above, to 2000.
In all cases, the length of the arm is measured from the center of the shaft to the point where it contacts the scale.
Without water cooling of the pulley, testing of any time period is virtually impossible due to the tremendous heat buildup at the brake pulley. A cold water supply and a warm water pickup line are essential. In practice, the engine was run for a short time at it rated power, and briefly taken up to its maximum power output.
Electric dynamometers were far more desirable, and are still used at the present time. Hydraulic dynamometers of various types are also used. Much of our information in this regard has come from the pages of Machinery Magazine and our ancient files of American Machinist. Other sources include Halsey’s Handbook and Henley’s Encyclopedia of Practical Engineering.
Patent Page: The Humble Spark Plug
Find out more about the spark plug which was invented by Edmond Berger in 1839 according to several different sources.
Waterloo Boy K Memories
Check out Emma Riese’s impressive restoration of her late father’s 1921 Waterloo Boy K 2hp water-cooled engine.
The Flint and Walling Engines, Updated and Corrected
In about 1910 Hoosier/ Flint and Walling adopt a smaller horizontal gas engine to their line and similar to Alamo engines.