A FLUKE DISCOVERY:

Vaporizing Water and Fuel


| September/October 1984



1904 Hart-Parr as it appeared in August

1904 Hart-Parr as it appeared in August

Frank Hamata

820 West Third Anaconda, Montana

The fuel-ignition principle of mixing water and hydrocarbons in vapor form called atomizing to produce engine power boosts and to reduce engine heat and pre-ignition is believed to have been discovered accidentally in about 1904 or 1905 by Fred J. Schneider and his son John of Weston, Illinois.

Except for occasional bits, the Schneider story has gone mostly unchronicled for three quarters of a century. The Illinois family achieved neither fame nor fortune with their chance discovery, but it never sought them either. Through the years, the Schneiders revealed their secret only to select friends. It is hoped, in time, that more details surface.

The 1904 Hart-Parr tractor (model 22-40) supposedly involved in this historic discovery is restored, and owned by the Peterson family members Barbara, Dan, Bill and Elizabeth of Lowell, Indiana. The Petersons are first and second-generation descendants of the Schneiders who reside in a small farming community south of Lake Michigan.

If these revelations whet the appetites of antique tractor buffs, their hearts surely will pound over what's coming next.

The 1904 Peterson tractor now is documented as the second-oldest existing Hart-Parr in the world, next to the 1903 model preserved at the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C.