Courtesy of Lyle Dumont, 3016 Raven Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240.
2008 Summit Ave., Muscatine, Iowa 52761.
In the Jan-Feb 72 'Gem' Carleton Mull described the Fairbanks-Morse lighting plants, including the Type A, one of which I finished restoring this last year, so am sending the following which some of your readers might find of interest. During WW II I helped move one of these little units but didn't get to see it in operation, so had been looking for one since, curious to see how it would compare to the other plants in that size.
Well several years ago mentioned to Roger Eshelman that I had a D style engine and wished could find the parts to make a light plant out of it. Roger came back that he had the parts and would part with them. Then came the biggest problem, being at opposite ends of the state, didn't look too promising. Then came a card, Roger was coming over to the Mount Pleasant show and bringing the pieces. Another problem, had to work that day. Lester Roos kindly solved our dilemma, by taking charge of the parts till I could pick them up.
During the winter the generator was stripped and rebuilt. Enie Pagel turned out a set of valves, Fred Coyner rebuilt the condensing radiator and Carleton Mull supplied advice and encouragement. Finally the day came, the engine was assembled and running. Then the condenser and base were clamped on the top of the hopper with a bolt and cross bar, much like the handhole plate on a boiler. Then the generator was pivoted atop the plate, the switch box bolted to the side, the wires connected, and 'Oh Boy, she charges'.
Well, aside from the smoke coming past that worn piston, she runs just like the ads. Then came some serious thought about taking the plant to the Geneseo and Mount Pleasant shows. Due to the hot weather and some doubts about the not overly robust switchboard mounting bracket holding under the rigors of loading and unloading, the cart to show the engine on was never built. Well, if I can figure out the handling problem she just might make a show or two yet, but at the moment, Fairbanks Morse, Type A light plant, generator serial No. HC 689 sits quietly in the shed awaiting spring and more batteries to charge.
International Harvester 8-16. This tractor was a complete wreck when purchased. After two winters and a lot of work, it runs well. On display at the Pioneer Museum, Sigourney, Iowa.
At left the picture shows the engine assembled and running. Center shot is after the condenser and base were clamped on top of hopper. At right, the generator was pivoted atop the switch box bolted to the side and wires connected.