A Brief Word

| December/January 1999

  • Fairbanks-Morse
    Ed Ferguson
  • 1  HP Engine
    Robert Polk
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Gade Engines

    David Babcock

  • Fairbanks-Morse
  • 1  HP Engine
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Engine
  • Gade Engines

34/12/4 A Great Find!

Ed Ferguson, 605 Lake Placid Drive, Sequin, TX 78155 sends a photo of an engine on the Rogue River at Grants Pass, Oregon. He saw it on a jet boat excursion, and was told it was a Fairbanks-Morse installed in 1942 to pump water. Ed had no opportunity to make further inquiry about the engine, but sent along some information that may be of help in rescuing the engine:

Hellgate Jetboat Excursionss Grants Pass Jetboats Inc., 966 SW 6th Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526-3103 Phone: (800) 648-7204 email:

If anyone is able to acquire this engine, Ed would like the finder to keep him informed of its acquisition and restoration. (And so would we!)

34/12/5 Help Wanted!

Robert Polk, 603 E. Coronado Way, Payson, AZ 85541 sends a photo of a Wade Log Saw, Model SM-1. He has most of the hardware, but needs the dimensions of the wood parts for reconstruction.

Robert also needs to know the correct color for a Foos Model J, 1?  HP engine. If you can help on either of these queries, please contact him.

34/12/6 Shingle Mill Q. I have a shingle mill with a 36-inch horizontal blade. It is original and abused. I had it professionally hammered, plus in' stalled carbide tips. They are flat or chisel tips. It now cuts with little power, but cuts slow and smokes. It appears to me that the wood shaving is long and thin, it expands and rubs on both sides of the wood when it cuts and fills up the gullet during the cut. I would have a new blade made, but it is rather expensive. Can anyone offer suggestions?

A. There are likely some people out there who know more about this than ye olde Reflector, but we would suggest that you are correct about the gullets plugging with the chips. We would also suggest that the gullets are too small, and may have been that way originally. Also, there may not be enough side clearance. In other words, the bit may not be wide enough for the plate to which they are mounted.

34/12/7 Information Needed Q. What is the year built for a Witte engine, s/n B31594 Also I have a very nice original F-M Jack Junior engine. On the crank guard there is an outline of a decal similar to a United engine decal. Does anyone know of this design? I would be happy to hear from other Jack Junior owners. Zach Nagel, 9497 S 380 W, Rensselaer, IN 47978.

A. The Witte was built in 1925. We didn't know about the decal you mention on the Jack Junior. Can anyone help?

34/12/8 Fairbanks-Morse Chain Saw Q. I recently made inquiry to Fairbanks-Morse regarding an engine they manufactured a number of years ago. They were unable to answer my questions.

The engine is in a chain saw, s/n AH47, engine no. 2064605. The saw has a 10' inch x 4? inch high blade. Any help would be appreciated. Bill Cornish, 18821 N 17th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027.

A. Right after World War Two, Fairbanks-Morse made a major attempt to get into appliances and small tools, such as lawn mowers, chain saws, and various other items. Most of these items were not built by Fairbanks-Morse, but were built by outside vendors to F-M specs and with the F-M name cast on them. When we researched at Fairbanks-Morse in 1992, most of this information was already gone, regarding who manufactured what, and when it was built. Apparently there had been a major purge of obsolete information at some point, and this sort of information went to the nearest available dumpster. Is there anyone out there familiar with the Fairbanks-Morse chain saw, and can identify the original manufacturer?

34/12/9 McCormick-Deering Mower

V. T. Hunn, 5100 Rubidell Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76140-8042 would like to know the age of a McCormick Deering No. 7 mower; and we find it was built between 1929 and 1939.

34/12/10 Galloway Engine

Thos. Strangway, 717 Letts Road, Oakland, MI 48363 writes:

Having read the July GEM article on Wm. Galloway, we would like to get answers to the following questions:

1) What year made

2)  Paint scheme & color

3) Where to get muffler

4) What size was the gas tank

5)  Where to find copy of operator's manual

6) Where to find a clearer picture of the engine

7)  Is oil or grease used on fitting on end of rod

34/12/11 Information Needed

Rick Holder, 343 Hwy 11 South, Monroe GA 30655 would like operating information on a Fairbanks-Morse horizontal 45 horsepower diesel as well as on a 9 x 10 Frick traction engine. If you can be of help, please contact him.

34/12/12 IHC Type M Q. Henry Linton, 406 N 18th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 has an IHC Type M, sin W-15338 and would like to know the year built and the correct color.

A. The engine was made in 1926. The color is Adirondack Green, comparable to DuPont 84155 or Ditzler 40496

34/12/13 Unidentified Engine

Wilfred Ronellenfitch, 53070 Bell Ave., Kenai, AK 99611 sends several photos of an unidentified engine. It has no nameplate and no casting numbers. It appears to have been painted blue, and is not in American Gas Engines. Can anyone be of help in identifying this engine?

34/12/14 Hot Weather Beverages

In response to a query about old-fashioned summer refreshers (October GEM) Coles Roberts, New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, PO Box 7788, N. Brunswick, NJ 08902-7788 writes that there was one called 'Switchell' and it consisted of one third each of vinegar, molasses (or honey) and water.

34/12/15 R & V engine

Steven R. Dawes, 1031 Division Road E., Fort Shaw, MT 59443 needs information on an R & V Type D Triumph Line engine, s/n CL43734, 4 HP, 400 rpm. It has a 4? inch bore. Please contact him if you can be of help.

34/12/16 Novo Engine Q. I have a Novo engine, Model R U58A, s/n 14867- Would like to know when it was built, rated horsepower, and correct paint color. Patrick Nyre, 45 Symonds Rd./, Hillsboro, NH 03244.

A. Your engine was built in 1925; it was rated at 7 to 9 horsepower. We are not sure of the correct color for this model. Can anyone be of help?

A Closing Word

With this issue we close out 34 years of Gas Engine Magazine, and beginning next month we open with our 35th Anniversary Issue. Ye olde Reflector is one of those persons who has received every single issue of GEM since the late Elmer Ritzman founded the magazine. In fact, we would suppose it was at the constant urging of people like myself, that GEM had its birth. In the mid 1960s gas engine collecting was really in its infancy, and there are many of us who must humbly confess that we stumbled over those 1?  HP John Deere engines for $5 or even a rare Maytag model for a couple of dollars. It was fairly easy to buy a magneto for five bucks or less . . . sometimes a whole box of magnetos and/or parts would fetch $5 or less at an auction. This writer once bought out the magneto department of a defunct repair shop; parts, equipment, a heavy press, and all for $ 150. We sold NOS magneto parts for five years! Things have changed since then!

Next year, 2000, also marks thirty years since ye olde Reflector first began serious research work on this history of engines and tractors. We had been collecting this material for several years, but finally decided to begin our first book, Power in the Past: A History of Gas Engine & Tractor Builders in Iowa. Much of the encouragement came from longtime friends, including Andy Kruse, Lester Roos, Wilfred Abels, Harold Ottaway, Verne Kindschi, and Preston Foster. In fact, Preston Foster was a great help on that first book, and for compensation he asked for and got the very first copy of that first book!

We also recall giving great thought in those early days of whether we should part with $5 for a beautiful Rumely OilPull catalog. We finally parted with the $5. Then there was the fellow that came to a show in the late 1960s with a rickety old station wagon, the back of which was loaded with hundreds of steam and gas catalogs, along with a great many Gas Review and Gas Power magazines. We finally ended up with all these, 120 total, for $60, or 50? an issue! We would dearly have loved buying the whole schmear, but after spending $60 there was barely enough gas money with which to drive home!

As we go into the winter (engine rebuilding) season, we are reminded of a few tools we would like to add to the shop. Ironically, we were spending some time one evening reading through a German book of proverbs and sayings back in the 1840s. As we flipped through the pages, the saying, 'Schlechtes Zeug macht schlechte Arbeit.' Loosely translated it means, 'Poor tools make for poor work.' We would guess that applies to almost any kind of work, but it sure is nice to work with nice tools! Perhaps some nice new ones might come in your Christmas stocking this year. We sure hope so!



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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