A Brief Word
This month it is our sad duty to report the passing of a great friend, Roland Porten. Many of you were acquainted with Roland, particularly if you accompanied me on various tours into Germany. Roland and his daughter Christine operated the Rebstock Hotel at Stuhlingen, Germany. However, the major attraction for engine and tractor collectors was Roland's phenomenal collection housed in his Alphof Museum, just outside of Stuhlingen. Roland had experienced health problems the past few years and died suddenly in June of a heart attack. At this point the future of the Alphof is uncertain.
We're moving forward on plans for a tour to Switzerland and Germany next July. Exact dates have not been set yet, as we are trying to schedule in a Rally or two and it might be necessary to juggle things a bit. However, we are planning on a 16-day tour, Chicago to Zurich and Frankfurt to Chicago. We've never thought it quite right when tour companies offer a 'two-week tour package' that includes one day on each end sealed up inside an engined aluminum tube. That leaves only 12 days on the ground, and we all know that the day of arrival is mostly spent on adjusting to the new surroundings. The final day is carefully planned to avoid missing flights or a 3 a.m. wakeup call to scurry to the airport and go through their usual and sometimes frustrating routines! Thus, the two-week tour really ends up with ten good days on the ground!
Contacts are being made in various places, and it looks like we'll be seeing some iron almost every day. Ladies, don't be frightened by this, because we'll also be including some very nice stops that include a bit of retail therapy. One small stop we are planning is to the birthplace of N.A. Otto, inventor of the four-cycle engine. We plan on this when in the neighborhood of our good friend Robert Geyer and his Bulldog Press. Robert has published a great many books at Bulldog, and is known throughout Europe and in other countries as well.
Within the next year we hope to retire from the construction business. Perhaps we'll then have the time to attack some of those dormant projects, moldering for some time now in forgotten recesses of the mind. Since we have most of our own printing equipment, we hope to do some of these from start to finish, thus cutting down on the costs, and keeping the retail price more palatable. We've kicked around in the publishing business for well nigh 40 years now, and we can assure you that all is not as it seems when you plunk down 15 or 20 samoleons for a book, or maybe much more than that! We'll allow that there are some publishers in this world who set their retails primarily on what they think the market will bear. By and large, though, most publishers are willing to sell at a reasonable profit, and to this no one but an abject cheapskate will object, and no one but a wiseacre will complain. 'Nuff said on that subject. We are planning several different books, and even hope to revive our Power in the Past Series with which we began publishing books back in 1971, or 30 years ago.
As is usual this time of year, we don't have many queries since everyone is busy with shows and restorations, but here goes:
36/10/1 Utilitor Information Needed Gene Corns, 3257 N. Charles St., Wichita, KS 67204-4159, has a 1935 Utilitor for which he needs information. It has a Bosch magneto and a Holly NH carburetor. In particular, Gene would like to have the proper settings for valve clearance, plug gap, etc. 'My father-in-law bought it new in 1935 and it was last run in 1948, starting it up again in July 2001. My wife rode on this tractor as a young girl.' Any information would be greatly appreciated.
36/10/2 Montgomery Ward Tractor See the photo of a Montgomery Ward Garden Mark Squire 9 HP garden tractor. It is Series 990309 and s/n 36X 505. Any information would be appreciated. Jerry Willis, 15758 Butte Mtn Rd., Jackson, CA 95642. Email: email@example.com.
36/10/3 Witte Replacement Parts Alan Killian, 24257 Beltrami Line Rd., Bemidji, MN 56601, has a Witte Diesel Engine. It is Model CDREA, 12.2 - 14 HP. He needs replacement sarts, and would like to find a parts source, particularly the main bearings. If you can be of help, please contact him at the above address.
36/10/4 Neward Engine Q. See the photos of a Neward engine and saw rig I am restoring. The engine may have been built by Waterloo (Gasoline Engine Co.) for Montgomery Ward. My grandpa bought this engine in 1972 from a man who had bought it new from Wards. It is about 4 HP, has a 5 x 9-inch bore and stroke, and s/n C4909. Any information on this engine would be appreciated, including the color scheme. Jason Williams, HC80, Box 480-25, Piedmont, SD 57769.
A. Your engine is no doubt a Waterloo Boy made at Waterloo, Iowa. For a time, Montgomery Ward sold these under the Neward trade-name. But then again, M-W sold several different engine makes over the years. We're not sure of the color, but it may have been similar to DuPont 2564 Dark Red.
36/10/5 Allen Tester See the photos of an Allen magneto, starter, and generator tester. It was made by Allen Electric & Equipment Co., Kalamazoo, Mich. It has a 1 HP, 120 volt motor with moveable brushes to operate in either direction at 0 to 3700 rpm. Some of the wiring on the back of the panel is missing, so any Information such as a wiring diagram would enable me to get it running again. Don Miller, 13697 NW 1700 Road, Westphalia, KS 66093.
36/10/6 Stover Q. I have a Stover 6 HP engine, s/n KC155001, and would like to know the year it was built. I have never seen another like it - the carburetor is unlike any other Stover engines I have seen. Any help would be appreciated. Greg Best, 901 Shallow Run, Sarasota, FL 34240.
A. Your engine was built in November 1924, but we have no further information.
36/10/7 Pulley Needed Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park has a spike making machine of 1860s vintage. They need a 72-inch pulley with at least a 10-inch face, preferably with s-spokes. It will fit on a 3-inch shaft. If you know of anything that will be of help for the Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama, please contact Vicki Gentry, the director. The address is 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla, AL 35111.
36/10/8 Harley-Davidson Stationary Engine? Recent references in the Harley Owners Group magazine indicate that Harley-Davidson began by selling 'stand-alone engines.' In fact, prior to 1907 they considered themselves to be an engine company! Does anyone have or know of a Harley 'stand-alone?' John L. Hamilton, 910 West Marvin Ave., Waxahachie, TX 75165.
A Closing Word
By now, most of you have heard of the Medina County (Ohio) fair tragedy. A steam traction engine exploded, killing five people and injuring numerous others. News reports have it that some people were seriously injured by 'flying shrapnel' in referring to the pieces of cast iron and steel sent off by the engine like bullets. Some news reports have it that water coming into contact with 'red hot metal' caused the explosion. We have no comments or judgments to make regarding this disaster. However, we hasten to point out that steam traction engines aren't the only thing that can cause a tragedy like this one.
We've seen gas engines at shows that should have been left at home. They were running far too fast, and should a flywheel rupture that, too, would send large-sized chunks of cast iron flying in all directions. Then we've seen engines with cracked flywheel spokes or even welded spokes! We've seen engines with flywheels that were sprung out of alignment.
Now, each of you has to dance to your own fiddle, but please be careful about such things. Likewise, don't walk off and leave your engines unattended. Suppose while you are gone some little kid breaks away from the parents, darts over to an engine and sticks a little mitt right into those moving parts.
Aside from the injuries, who is going to be the BIG loser? Aside from the engine owner for negligence, the whole hobby ends up the loser ... we all end up with a black eye.
Folks, we've preached about safety for years and years. All in all, the old iron fraternity has done pretty well.
Keep in mind, though, that many of our old engines are up toward the century mark. In some foreign countries, such as Australia, engines are enclosed in a virtually 'hog-tight' display area. An occasional gate is included, and spectators are not allowed inside except by invitation of the owner. Let's not hasten that scenario!
C.H. Wendel is a noted authority on antique engines and tractors. His books constitute a vital reference resource for collectors and hobbyists. If you have a query for C.H. Wendel, send it along to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, attention: Reflections.