How Your Hobby Started Part XXVI

| May/June 1973

  • Economy Engine
    Courtesy of Carleton M. Mull, 3904-47th Avenue S. Seattle, Washington 98118
    Carleton M. Mull
  • Gasoline Engine
    Courtesy of Carleton M. Mull 3904-47th Avenue S Seattle, Washington 98118
    Carleton M. Mull
  • Cutaway Engine
    Courtesy of Carle ton M. Mull, 3904 - 47th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 98118
    Carleton M. Mull
  • Annual Antique Gas Engine
    Courtesy of Paul Brightwell, West Burlington, Iowa 52655
    Paul Brightwell
  • Annual Antique Gas Engine

    Paul Brightwell

  • Economy Engine
  • Gasoline Engine
  • Cutaway Engine
  • Annual Antique Gas Engine
  • Annual Antique Gas Engine

3904-47th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 98118

Since writing the twenty-fifth chapter of this story reporting engineering specifications and historical data of gasoline engines, much time was spent this winter restoring my 'one and only' 1-1/2 HP Economy engine. It was in junk condition when my grandsons found it out in the woods, completely rusted inside and out. It was difficult to distinguish what it was until all of the pine needles and dirt was removed. It was complete, with exception of the Webster magneto and a crank. My good friend, Claude Knudson of Gully, Minnesota supplied me with a magneto and I am still looking for a starting crank.

It required great pressure and a lot of solvents to remove the stuck piston. Then it was found that the drain cock had been closed when the engine was last used, and the rains filled with hopper which froze and cracked the water jacket under the cylinder. Another good friend and neighbor, Allen Von Rueden, repaired the damage.

After several coats of Plastic-Kote 'Grease-Go' degreaser and Naval Jelly to remove the rust, it was ready for a priming coat of Sherwin Williams rust control paint. With engine completely disassembled, each part was painted.

Then the engine was assembled, checking each part to see that it fit, and making several small parts that were rusted so badly that they could not be used. New valve springs were made by Gordan Nelson of Gor-Nel Co. (see picture).

Such projects make retirement days and weeks pass very pleasantly during the winter. As soon as the days get warmer and the spring work is completed on the rose gardens, we will have the engine outside and get it running to make a little noise and excitement here in this otherwise quiet city neighborhood.

The steam engine modeling hobby also received plenty of attention this past winter. A Stuart vertical Model No. 10 engine with an electric generator direct connected has been assembled. This little outfit produces six volts and lights a couple of flashlight lamps in small miniature toy railroad street light standards which are located by the generating unit and controlled by a model switchboard.

This model will be operated from a small copper boiler. All of the brass fittings have been made. These include the safety valve, whistle and whistle valve, boiler feed pump and feed water tank, intake check valve, pressure gauge and water gauge fittings and boiler drain cock. All of these are made ony quarter inch with twenty eight threads per inch.

To heat the boiler, a butane burner has been made with connections to fit the samll butane torch tanks. Just received the March-April issue of G.E.M. and have written to those collectors having questions about Fairbanks-Morse engines to help them with their problems. We should be off to a good start for another successful and profitable season with this invigorating hobby.

From the Root and Van Dervoort Engineering Company, Catalog No. 8 of East Moline, Illinois which was furnished by Phil King of Granville, Massachusetts, the details of these fine old engines are available. The nameplate used by this company was a very original and artistic design. Their monogram was in a circle with the name of the company in the border of the circle. Each engine had this trademark on the water hopper and also on the water-cooling tank furnished with the engine.

In a well equipped manufacturing plant, with special machinery and jigs, a line of heavy duty engines were built. They were vertical single cylinder, four cycle, water-cooled machines. They were made in three ratings of 2-1/2, 4 and 6 HP.

My 'One and Only' 1-1/2 HP Economy engine.

The cast-iron base contained the fuel tank, and a simple cast-iron mixing valve was supplied by a plunger type fuel pump, which was operated from a cam on the timing gear. The pump maintained a constant level in the fuel reservoir, with an overflow back to the main tank. The enclosed crankcase provided splash lubrication for the movable parts within. The camshaft extended out of the case on which was the operating cam for the pushrod and fuel pump.

The mechanical exhaust valve and automatic intake valve was located in the water-cooled cylinder head. The ignitor was operated from a pawl on the valve pushrod. The exhaust piping connected to a muffler and water piping to the cooling tank was arranged from the engine as regular equipment, when shipped on skids or portable units.

The governor was a single arm type attached to the flywheel and spring loaded. It was the hit and miss method of speed control which was adjustable within certain limits to regulate the r.p.m. of the engine. A cranking handle was built into the rim of the flywheel.

Engines were painted dark red with white striping. The vertical round cooling tanks were supplied and a screen located over the tank provided atmospheric action for faster cooling.

Besides the regular skid-mounted units, a cast-iron radiator could be furnished for oil cooling for cold weather. Light refrigerating type of oil was used for the cooling medium in the iron radiator.

Portable outfits were assembled with the larger engine on a horsedrawn truck. The battery box was located under the driver's seat. This seat and the wagon tongue were painted dark red. The wheels were yellow and the steel frame was black with the company's name in yellow letters along the side of the steel frame.

The Root and Van Dervoort horizontal engines were four cycle, single cylinder, closed water jacket and built in 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 18 and 25 HP.

These heavy duty engines were designed with a cast-iron sub-base on which was fastened the open crankcase. The main bearings were cast with the lower half stationary and the upper half divided, so there was a heavy support in front of the bearing shell. The mains were oiled by a chain dipping into an oil reservoir and carrying the lubrication up over the crankshaft.

Picture of the cutaway engine of the Temple Pump Company engines, from the No. 1 Repair Parts book.

Specifications for the R and V vertical engines are as follows:

2-1/23602424 x 27675
43202828 x 341075
63003434 x 651600

The sideshaft was driven by a special gear off the crankshaft with a sideshaft bearing at the end of the cylinder, another near the crankshaft. An eccentric on the sideshaft drove the plunger fuel pump and the ignitor located in the center of the head, was tripped from a finger off the sideshaft. The valves were vertical, poppet type, one on each side of the cylinder near the head, and actuated from rocker arms below the cylinder.

The flyball governor was located above the cylinder near the head and driven by a bevel gear. A throttling governor could be adapted for close speed regulation. The term used in their catalog for this governor was 'Volume Control'.

A cold weather starting device was designed to volatilize the fuel for easy starting. In their catalog, it was called a 'Volatilizer'.

The specifications covering the Root and Van Dervoort horizontal engines are as follows:


No type designations were given on another style or design of the horizontal construction of R & V engines that were built. In this series the flyball governor was located near the timing gear and driven off the crankshaft by bevel gears. It was a hit and miss speed control. Instead of a sideshaft engine, this model used a slide or pushrod to the exhaust valve. The valves were in removable cages and the intake was automatic.

A plunger fuel pump was operated by the pushrod and supplied the mixing valve. An air intake pipe was arranged to take warm air from under the engine sub-base. On these engines, the ignitor was located on the side of the cylinder and tripped by the exhaust valve pushrod.

Various combinations of equipment was offered including double and single drum hoisting outfits in 4, 6 and 8 HP and single drum in 6 and 8 HP. Specifications of this type Root and Van Dervoort engines were as follows:


On later models the ratings were changed and engines were built in the following sizes: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 25 HP.

The Wizard engine was a smaller modification built in two cycle, single cylinder, vertical upside down style and could be had in either water or air-cooled. The air-cooled units were two thirds the rating of the water-cooled machines. These were made in 1-1/2 HP and weighed 225 lbs. and 2 HP at 240 lbs.

Another model listed in their catalog and known as their 'celebrated 5-1/2 HP single cylinder' -- 'The Pace Maker', was a water-cooled unit with a cast-iron bax along the back side of the vertical cylinder which was the cooling water hopper. Attached to the hopper was a rectangular fuel tank.

The timing gear was driven from a pinion on the crankshaft and was located on the camshaft as on the larger model. The governor was of the flyball type and located on the camshaft near the timing gear. It operated a lever which held open the exhaust valve on the idle stroke of these hit and miss engines.

The exhaust and intake valves were built into the valve cage or air-cooled exhaust chest on the front of the engine. The electric ignitor was also built into this exhaust chest and operated from a tripper hole from the camshaft.

Portable outfits were assembled on horsedrawn trucks using the Master Workman engine in ratings of 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 HP.

The picture of the cutaway engine of the No. 1 Repair Parts will give a clear idea of the design of these Temple Pump Co. engines. Pictures appearing in G.E.M. can be seen in Vol. 2, No. 6, Page 15; Vol. 4, No. 2, Page 24 and Vol. 6, No. 5, Page 26. The catalog showed a cover over the rotating parts for safety.

Not to confuse the present Wisconsin air-cooled engines with a line of heavy duty engines that were built by the Lausen-Lawton Company of DePere, Wisconsin and sold under the name of Wisconsin Gasoline Engines, we are able to give the following description from their catalog No. 9, which again has been furnished by Roger Kriebel.

In a large manufacturing plant, on the Fox River, at the above location which is near Green Bay, this company built single cylinder, four cycle, horizontal, hopper-water-cooled gasoline engines in ratings from 1-1/2 to 24 HP. Special emphasis was devoted to portable power units mounted on trucks and in all sizes for different applications.

Type 'A' 6 HP gasoline engine sold by the Fairbanks Company and restored by George S. Clark, 254 Pond Point Avenue, Milford, Connecticut 06460. (This picture refers to last month's article on 'How Your Hobby Started'.)

Standard construction consisted of a cast-iron sub-base on which the open crankcase was fitted and the cylinder bolted to the crankcase by a flange around the open end. On the larger rated portable units, the cast-iron sub-base was omitted and the crankcase was fitted to the steel frame of the wagon truck. The smaller size portable outfits were mounted on skids and four wheel hand trucks. The battery box and fuel tank was mounted forward of the engine.

Main bearings shells were cast in place on the crank, crankshafts were forged from solid billets of mild open hearth steel, turned and ground to size. A safety cover over the crankshaft partly enclosed the crankcase. A layshaft on the left hand side of the engine, when facing the front, operated by helical gears off the crankshaft. A flyball governor, gear driven from the layshaft, controlled the hit and miss speed control system by holding open the exhaust valve on the idle stroke. The intake valve was automatic and was held closed and the energy of the battery was cut off by the governor.

The valves were mounted on the opposite side of the cylinder from the layshaft. The exhaust valve was in a vertical position and was operated by a rocker arm under the cylinder. The intake valve was located above the exhaust.

A battery and coil supplied; the electric current for ignition and a spark plug was used. The mixing valve was a simple needly valve type with an air check valve.

Various engine combinations with other equipment was assembled at the factory such as electric lighting plants, drum hoisting units, fruit sprayers and pump outfits.

This company made many sizes of engines, many more ratings than usually built by other manufacturers.

The specifications of the engines built by the Lausen-Lawton Company under the trade name of Wisconsin Engines were as follows:


Pictured above are two pictures of 'David and Goliath' engines. They are of different makes, but very similar in operation as they both burn gasoline, have two flywheels, are of the hit and miss, battery and spark coil ignition. These engines, while not exactly enemies, will vie with each other at the 7th Annual Antique Gas Engine and Hobby Show at Denmark, Iowa in June.

The smaller engine (David) is an Ideal engine, used back in, or about, 1919 for a power lawn mower operator. It is 1/2 to 3/4 HP. The larger engine (Goliath) is a Galloway, made in Waterloo, Iowa around 1910 and is a 1-3/4 HP. Both engines belong to Paul.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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