Early Ignition Systems
There appear to have been at least two different types of ignition systems that have been used for make and break ignition on farm gasoline engines in years gone by.
1. Those used with the rotary low tension magneto (John Deere) where the points are in contact (or resting together) all of the time except a brief interval when opening to make a spark. I believe the set up on the Webster Tri-Polar works about the same. Contact is continuous while engine is coasting with hit and miss governing.
2. Those for battery and single winding coil, where the points are brought into contact only for a brief interval (15 degrees or so of a flywheel revolution) before separating to make a spark. These points remain open while the engine is coasting with hit and miss governing. Battery life should be long with this type and no overheating of coil should result. If battery and coil were substituted for magneto with point arrangement mentioned in No. 1, battery life would be very short and coil would no doubt overheat.
Rotary magneto is in reality an alternating current generator.
Keeping the Doodlebug Project Alive
Farmers from the 30s to the 50s built makeshift tractors called doodlebugs from available parts and pieces found on the farm.
Custom Built Cub Cadet Buggy
Check out Forest Spaulding’s custom-built buggy pieced together using several parts from a cub cadet and various other tractors.
Maytag Tractor, 29 Years Later
The son of the builder of a Maytag tractor featured in a 1989 article gives us an update.