20 Years Ago

By Staff
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The February 1986 cover shot: Scale model, resembling an Amanco engine, crafted by George Hall.
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1913 Judson, serial no. 50794
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8 HP Otto.

Reminiscing Gas Engine Magazine

The February 1986 issue of GEM featured some beautiful engines. On the cover was an amazing little scale engine, which apparently was based on an Amanco, much like the one in our current Amanco series by Peter Rooke.

Builder George Hall, then a 72-year-old tool and die maker, spent six months fabricating parts, fitting pieces and assembling his engine. The article, on page 12, said George remembered waking up in the middle of the night thinking about newer and better ways to fabricate the various moving parts. The next day, he would find himself in his shop surrounded by a milling machine, drill press and an old Atlas 10-inch lathe.

Page 11 featured a 1913 Judson with serial no. 50794. The engine was 4-1/2 HP and had a 5-inch bore and 7-inch stroke. Owner Bob Elliot of Canada, wrote that the engine was “dragged out of a pile of scrap in an orchard in the interior of British Columbia, where it was used to pump water for their irrigation system.” The article also said, “According to Elliot, C.S. Judson Co. was established in 1912 by Charles Judson and F.W. Roberts. It was a mail order firm, which bought engines from Stover in Freeport, Ill. They upped the horsepower rating, put on their tags and shipped them out. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, firm sold their engines mostly in western Canada, and apparently sold thousands of the Stover-built engines during their years in business.”

Another great engine appeared on page 14. It was an Otto 8 HP 6-inch bore, 14-inch stroke. The article said that manufacturing of the Otto engine in the U.S. began in 1878 in Philadelphia. Like the Judson, this engine was found in a field. It had serial no. 15251.

In all, the issue is packed full of wonderful engines and even has a very informative, 10-page feature titled, “The Real Fordson Story,” which is worth the read. See you next month for more reminiscing and more fun.

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