1 / 12
2 / 12
3 / 12
Courtesy of M. B. Martinson, Box 196, Ashby, Minnesota 56309.
4 / 12
5 / 12
6 / 12
Courtesy of Harold Slagell, Route 3, St. Johns, Michigan 48879.
7 / 12
8 / 12
Courtesy of Jerome W. Weldele, Buffalo, Minnesota 55313.
9 / 12
1919 Twin City 12/20
10 / 12
Courtesy of William Rees, Franklin, Illinois 62638.
11 / 12
12 / 12

Hi! Time for school bells, late summer engine shows, early
Christmas shopping, new winter clothes, old memories to ponder and
some new happenings to add to the memory section of our brains.
Wasn’t it fun renewing friendships at the engine meetings and
discovering some new pals?-with interests exactly like
yours-isn’t this hobby great? Weren’t you fortunate to find
that engine you had been hoping all year to run across? And
wasn’t it lucky to discover that bit of information you have
been so earnestly seeking-and when you were least expecting
it?-that’s the rewards of the get-togethers, and the
inspiration to pursue this hobby into another year-and now on to
the many letters of requests and of information and gratitude:

HARRY RITTER, Box 127, Route 5, Fulton, New York 13069 would
like to know some data regarding some tired old iron-‘Does
anyone have information in regard to the Ward engine, serial 4032,
Type GE, 2 HP, 600 RPM? If so, I am all ears. Also is there a
repair for cracked flywheel hub? It is cracked from key-way out
toward spoke.

During the winter I got started two B/S Models (B), both
different from each other, 1 B/S (PB). I now have Gray, Ottawa (2)
and an Empire to get going. There is also a friend’s Rotoette,
and early Troy built rototiller; along with other odds and ends. I
look forward to a busy time.

I have a small engine same as Ernie Goddard, G.E.M. March-April
1980 issue, page 14. I have had my engine running. It is complete.
I keep it in the house as an ornament. My wife likes it there too
(smart wife, I’d say). I would like to hear from or receive any
knowledge from owners of this type engine.’

Get your pens ready and see if you can answer FRED YUTZY, R.R.
2, Jamesport, Missouri 64648 as he writes: ‘I need some
information on a 4 HP vertical Fairfield engine I am restoring.
Serial number 1779, 600 R.P.M. manufactured in Fairfield, Iowa.
What kind of ignition does it have and what is the original color?
I would like to hear from anyone owning a Fairfield or having any
data on one, as I have never seen another engine of this kind. Also
need original color for 3 HP Sattley. Thanks for any help!’

JIM FOX, Route 3, Mitchell, Indiana 47446 is a subscriber to
G.E.M. and a collector of old tools. He writes: ‘I wonder if
anyone out there can give me some information on a couple of old
hand-cranked drill presses. One of them is a top-mounted flywheel
and it reads (Foos Mfg. Co. No. 1, Springfield, Ohio) and the other
one is a side-mounted flywheel and self-feeding and it reads
(Canedy Otto No. 0). Any help as to date of manufacture, value,
etc. will be greatly appreciated.’

Some talk and some help wanted, comes from DALE BOSS, 7195
Colony Road, La Mesa, California 92041: ‘I hope this reaches
you in time for the Gas Bible. That is what Smoke Rings is! It is
gospel to those good Samaritans who are putting the spirit into the
souls of those tired and sometimes forgotten hunks of Old Iron. I
am trying to do my share and love it. I have always felt that
equipment, especially engines, had feeling. It sort a hurts to see
someone abuse or mistreat machinery. Some may think that is a
little strange but that is the way I feel. You treat machines right
and they will do right by you. Sure, I like to see them work. There
is no thrill in seeing an engine sitting idly banging away. That is
why they encourage us to have our engines at the shows, doing
something. I don t mean you must have one of those expensive
engines that turn in excess of 8 or 10 thousand R’s and surpass
previous speed and power records. That is for the younger folks.
Don’t get me wrong, I marvel at some of the performances of
some of those machines. But just an Old One Lunger, with steam
coming out of the hopper, barking away, doing its Thing-that’s
music-maybe it is only pumping water on a closed circuit, but it is
working! That’s what they were made for.

This is a two flywheel upright air-cooled Fuller & Johnson
engine, model JAB #150141, HP 1?. A rare engine, I believe. Very
similar to the F & J farm pump engine, except two spoke
flywheels and no gear reduction hardware, etc. to drive a pump. I
know of only two others like this. Owned by Herb Lutes, 300 West
Broadway, Winchester, Kentucky 40391.

Now, I need some help. I recently acquired a 2? HP HP Alamo
engine, horizontal, hopper-cooled, with Webster Tri-polar mag and
igniter, serial number 106509. I have seen conflicting information
about the HP rating of engines with specifications near to what
mine are. I figured the HP by the formula given in GEM Nov-Dec
1975, page 5. My specifications: 3-3/16′ bore, 5′ stroke,
600 RPM, 17?’ flywheels, 13/8‘ face,
crankshaft 1?’, piston had 3, 3/16′ rings.

I would like to correspond with other Alamo owners and perhaps
some of my mysteries can be solved. Or, if others who have info
would submit it to GEM then everyone would profit. What is the
relation between The Lindsey Alamo, The Alamo, and The Alamo Blue
Line? Also, does someone have a serial number list that might
suggest the date of manufacture of my engine?

I would also like to thank those who responded to my requests in
the May-June issue.’

MICHAEL OLIVER, 833 Carneal Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40505 has
an 8 HP Witte which runs away when the spark is advanced. If anyone
could help him with this problem, he would be most

Another man needs information on his 2 HP Fuller Johnson engine.
He’ll be waiting to hear from you. His address is G. F.
LADOUCEUR, 2359 Buckingham, Berkley, Michigan 48072.

GEORGE RANDALL, 20 Beverly Drive, Somers, Connecticut 06071 has
this to say: ‘I have recently purchased an antique outboard
engine, two cylinder, two stroke, water-cooled engine and exhaust.
Local (experts) seem to think it is from the 1900-1910 era. The
only identifying marking is the word (Koban) on each cylinder head.
Any information or leads for information on this engine would be
greatly appreciated.’

Seeking some help is ASHLEY W. DuPRAW, 3113 Elmhurst Avenue,
Royal Oak, Michigan 48073. Phone 313-288-3715. ‘I have a 1 HP
Root & Vandervoort engine and it is running quite well, but I
would like to put it in better running condition. This engine was
built in East Moline, Illinois. The patent date is 1901 or 1903.
Any information would be appreciated.’

After restoring several gas engines, I decided to build a small
tractor. I looked for a long time for something suitable and
finally found a wheel horse frame that looked like it might be a

The first job was to remove the gas tank, hook, and all other
unnecessary items. Then came the slow job of mounting my LB
International engine, working out the gearing, etc. The original
clutch and brake were used with some adjustments to the

My ‘hobby horse’ makes a neat little unit. I took it to
a steam engine, tractor and engine show in Ithaca, Michigan where
it received lots of attention as the smallest unit in the

JIM DOUGHTY, 63 Laurel Avenue, Bradford, Maine 01830 recently
purchased an engine-a Lockwood-Ash Motor Co., Inc., Model 41, 5 HP,
S.N. 1089 marine engine. He needs to know the year of manufacture
and the original color. He’ll be waiting to hear from you.

A letter from E. P. OLSON, 737 Greenridge Drive, Kalispell,
Montana 59901 sends this: ‘I have a Briggs & Stratton
engine I would like to restore. The Briggs & Stratton
Corporation informs me this is one of these models
F-FB-FC-FE-FG-FH. The engine I have is complete except for the
magneto coil assembly (see ad section). I could make one if someone
has such an engine and can give me the dimensions.

I have a suggestion on making a low tension coil for ignitors.
Most plans I have seen use too large of wire and draw too many
amps. By using 1lb. size 22 copper wire wound on a 1 inch diameter
soft steel core, approximately 4 to 6 inches long, the current will
be 3/4 amps at 6 V. and 1? amps at 12V. It is best to wind in even
layers as jumble wound takes more room and the wire will be farther
away from the steel core, which cuts efficiency. For best results,
the core should be laminated from silicon transformer steel. This
can be made from an old power transformer from a stack 1 inch high
riveted together and then turned round in the lathe. Ends can be
made from wood or micarta.

I look forward to each issue of the Gas Engine Magazine and
think you are doing a wonderful job for all of us collectors. (We
all thank you for the comment, makes us feel our jobs are

Any information will be appreciated says JOSH BARNES. 3715
Sykesville Road, Finksburg, Maryland 21048. ‘I have two hay
presses I would like to learn the years they were made. The first
one is an Ann Arbor model 40, serial number 41A46. The second one
is a Farquhar, Shop No. 723 and what color is the Farquhar painted?
I would also like to know the year of a 22 Cat. serial number

From Route 2, Elk Mound, Wisconsin 54739, DON SOKUP writes:
‘I am wondering if any of your readers can help me. Over the
Memorial Day weekend, I came across a gas engine made into a wood
splitter. I sure would like to find out about it.

I bought a McVicker automatic gas and gasoline engine,
manufactured by Alma Mfg. Co., Alma, Michigan U.S.A., revolutions
400, 2 HP. I would like to know if anyone has ever heard of one of
the engines and could give me some information about them.’
(Watch the mail, Don, you’ll most likely get some letters.)

Now we have a short letter from JOHN SPERO, Deer Foot Trail,
Harvard, Maine 01451: ‘I enjoy your magazine immensely and I
hope someone can help me identify my engine I just acquired. It is
a 5 HP, horizontal, 550 RPM. model 417.5 with serial number
TD-264979. These were from the obliterated engine tag, but no
manufacturer. Any help would be appreciated.’

Seeking information is DUANE L. McNABB, 4011 West Paget Avenue,
Phoenix, Arizona 85021: ‘In April of this year I acquired a 3
HP Witte, serial number B4023. It uses an American Bosch mag. with
the number FO-ED-2 VI. Perhaps one of your readers could give me
the approximate year of manufacture. I have a copy of a 1927
catalog which says all Witte engines come with Wico mags only.

Some help for your readers-I have been getting my books from
Jean Metcalf, 7924 Depot Road, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004. He stocks 79
different copies.’

DAVID HUNT, Mount Pleasant, Gunville Hill, Winterslow Salisbury,
Wiltshire SP5 1PR England writes: ‘I was interested to see the
photo of Jim Hickey’s Wico magneto-page 15 of May-June GEM. I
have one the same. It is a type L.I. and mine came off of a Wade
drag saw. I have also seen them fitted to a side shaft Domestic.
These magnetos are the predecessor to the type E.K.

Looking through my old photos I have found a picture I took some
years back and it shows a good comparison between the two magnetos.
The engine in the background is an early Associated Hired

MICHAEL GRONSKY, 152 West Main Street, High Bridge, New Jersey
08829 is trying to restore a one cylinder gasoline engine. The date
is unknown. On the crank cover is written-Self Contained, Size 5 x
7, Speed 450, Olds, Lansing, Michigan.

If your club has any information in regards to a battery magneto
connections and speed control for this engine-it would be greatly

The last time this engine had been run was about 30 years ago.
Other material pertaining to this motor would be helpful.’

We welcome a new member as ROBERT STERRETT, Route 1, Box 53,
Bridgewater, Virginia 22812 writes: ‘How much I enjoy Gas
Engine Magazine! I am a newcomer to this fascinating world of gas
engines and am hooked!

How’s this for a coincidence-a year ago, my father-in-law
was given a Briggs & Stratton Model Y (1934) and Model WMB
(500-95461), serial number 29. Three weeks ago I was given a Briggs
& Stratton Model Y (1936) and also a Model WMB (other
information not known).

What are the probabilities that a father-in-law and son-in-law
would be given identical engines?

I’m also interested in Maytags. Have two singles and one
twin. Do you know of any Maytag clubs?

Briggs & Stratton and Maytag have been most kind to supply
information about dates of manufacture and operating and
maintenance of my engines.

Officials and exhibitors of the Bridgewater, Virginia Volunteer
Fire Company and Gas Meet have been most helpful and encouraging
and I congratulate them on their annual activity, third weekend in

Thank you for a most interesting magazine!’

COLIN CABORN, head of creative design faculty of John Howard
Upper School, Biddenham Turn, Biddenham, Bedford MK404AZ, England
sends this note: ‘Thank you very much for publishing my request
for information about our Michigan 3? HP engine. I had a letter
recently from Mr. Calvin W. Brookover of Kansas City to say that he
had seen my article and that he owned a Michigan engine. He knows
of no other engine in the United States; and an article in the
Stationary Engine Magazine here has produced no other engines in
England. He has offered to help us all he can.

Here is a note from a man looking for someone with the same
interest in a motor: ‘I would like to hear from anyone that
has, or has information on Frisbie motors. They were made by the
Frisbie-Heft Motor Co. of Middletown, Connecticut. The engine I
have is a one cylinder marine engine with a 6 inch bore and stroke.
The serial number is C1390. Maybe someone could tell me the year
mine was made. I also need to know the correct color to paint the
engine and what type of carburetor it uses. Thanks for a great

If you would like to write GORDON SOLOMON and answer his
questions, he would be very appreciative. His address is Route 1,
Almena, Kansas 67622: ‘I just bought a Fairbanks Morse 3 HP Z,
Style C self-oiling engine, serial number 830925 and wonder if
anyone can give me information on it, such as what year it was
built. Also, the belt pulley on this motor looked like it had
fabric riveted to it, why? Any hints on fixing this motor up will
help. I also need to know the color for it.

This is my second motor. My first was my grandfather’s
International LB 1?-2? motor with a pump jack on it. Are these
common? The serial number is LBA 124,853. What year was this engine
built? My list says 1947, but my dad said that they bought it
during World War II.’

Another letter on F-M engine comes from JAMES F. VAN HOUTEN,
Clarence, Missouri 63437: ‘I just acquired a Fairbanks Morse 15
HP engine, with 8′ bore, 10′ stroke, 44?’ flywheel. It
doesn’t have any serial number nameplate, so I do not know what
model it is, although I think it might be a Model Z. It has a
throttle control governor.

I wonder if anyone out there could tell me what model it is.
(James lists some parts missing and once again I must tell you
folks, I cannot list parts, books or any items that can be bought.
The best advice I can give you folks is to run an ad in the
classified ad section; many times the ads bring the needed items.)
James would like to know where to get paint for this engine. If you
know, please let him hear from you.

One of our younger enthusiasts writes: ‘Dear Smoke Ringers;
I am 16 years old and have been collecting old stationary engines
for about the last four years. I have just recently purchased an
engine I don’t know too much about and maybe someone out there
can help me on it. It is a Root & Vandervoort 4 HP vertical,
serial number R7081.1 need to know how the cooling, system is set
up, how the ignition is set up, and the fuel system. I also need to
know the color, pin striping and year made.

This letter was from GREG BAUMGARTEN, 115 7th S.E., Minot, North
Dakota 58701.

My great uncle, George Weldele, is shown combining near Scobey,
Montana in 1925. The tractor is a cross engine Minneapolis 17 x 30.
Boy on tractor is my cousin, David Weldele, who is now a building
contractor at Whitefish, Montana.

Next notation comes from CURTISS W. RISER, Route 4, Box 252,
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801: ‘I want to thank G.E.M. for
having Smoke Rings. It is a very good way to get, and to pass on

I have an 8-16 Avery tractor 1915.1 am in the process of
restoring it and would like to have any data I can get to help me
on the tractor. I will be glad to write to anyone that owns one of
these 8-16 Avery tractors.’

Awaiting your reply is TIM MOORE, Route 2, Box 2468, Liberty,
Indiana 47353: ‘I have a Jackson engine, Type A-1? HP, No.
86728, water-cooled, twin flywheel, horizontal. I am restoring it
and would like any information anyone might have, such as original
color. I think it was a bright red, but I don’t know what shade
of red. Also what decals or pin striping? At one time, it was on a
cement mixer. I will appreciate any help you can give me.’

Perhaps you can help LON NINEMIRE, 211 South Pomeroy, Hill City,
Kansas 67642: ‘On page 12 of the Jan.-Feb. issue of GEM 1979, I
sent a picture concerning a Simple oil engine. The nameplate reads:
The Simple Oil Engine, Model B, No. 522, 6 HP, Speed 400,
Manufactured by the Hawkins and Barnett Machine Company, Trenidad,
Colorado. It also has a torch to heat the head with for

I would very much like to hear from someone about this engine. A
picture of a restored Simple oil engine would be great. I also seek
to know the color scheme and history of the engine.’

ALVA HOSTERMAN, Dunnegan, Missouri 65640 writes to tell us he
enjoys the letters in Smoke Rings about the Farmall F-20 Regulars,
10-20 F-12. He is wondering about the McCormick Deering Fairways
Tractor-what years it was made, motor size, etc. He thought maybe
someone might write to Smoke Rings about it.’

A note from ALBERT FLEEGER, 677 Bull Creek Road, Butler,
Pennsylvania 16001: ‘My boy and I are restoring a 1934 WC Allis
Chalmers now-see if your readers have any original color to paint
it, and any other information.’ (Help him out fellas!)

From N. BRADY-BROWNE, Gen. Del., Lazo, British Columbia VOR 2K0:
‘One of my present projects is to put together an Ottawa Log
Saw outfit, complete with all attachments including the Tree Limb
Saw (buzz saw). I find that there are a multiplicity of models and
sizes. So far I have seen a 2? HP, 4 HP, and 5 HP. Some have L. T.
igniters, some have H. T. Wico (square) magnetos.

Is there anyone who has collected literature on these or knows
about them?

I have a circular saw frame that is made out of pipe with cast
iron crosses cast together without threads, yet illustrations show
a completely cast iron frame.

The Ottawa Log Saw, #C21872 (no horsepower stamped on plate),
has two flywheels, Webster L.T. mag. The Ottawa TE 3658, 4 HP, Wico
H.T. mag. The Ottawa TE 26041, 5 HP, Wico H.T. mag and 4?’

A short letter seeking aid comes from ELMER SEEDORF, Perham,
Minnesota 56573: ‘I have rebuilt an engine that I think is a 6
HP Waterloo, built in or around 1900. It has some part numbers on
it as ALS, ALV, BBU, ALZ and 6 HP stamped on the connecting rod. Do
you have any information on an engine like this. (He will be most
happy to hear from you readers.)

CONRAD HALBERG, Health Stage, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
01370 would appreciate hearing from the GEM readers regarding a (he
has written WHITE drag saw, but I’m wondering if he means
Witte drag saw.) He recently purchased one and it is in
rough shape, but appears nearly complete. He would also appreciate

Here comes some help from DAVID W. EDGINGTON, Editor of The
Stationary Engine, Lodgewood Farm, Hawkeridge, Westbury, Wiltshire,
England: ‘May I help you by identifying the very interesting
engine of George Govel, which appeared on page 62 of the
July-August issue of GEM.

The engine was made by the well-known firm of T. & C.G.
Bolinder of Stockholm, Sweden. It is known as the BETA Lightweight
and would be rated at 6/7 B.H.P. It was designed mainly for marine
use. It is a surface ignition/hot bulb engine, hence a blow lamp is
required for starting purposes-the lamp carrier can be seen in the
photograph. These engines were manufactured from about 1925.

This style of engine (surface ignition, hot-bulb, crankcase
scavenge two-stroke) actually originated from Sweden with Bolinders
being the first company to market such an engine in 1903. The
demand for surface ignition engines soon became very great and most
other countries soon joined this up and coming market with some
little variance in design between the different makes.’

A letter of recognition of our magazine comes from GEORGE H.
HEISE, 1313 Kingsway Drive, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701: ‘I
want to thank all the collectors who have given me help in starting
my 3 HP Thermoil gas engine which was pictured in Smoke Rings in
your May-June 1980 issue.

I have received letters, some containing reprints of Sears
Roebuck catalog which advertised this engine back in 1918, and
other information-also phone calls giving me much information about
this engine.

I think the Gas Engine Magazine is a great magazine for us
‘engine nuts’ and I really appreciate all the information I
received. I feel that I know the people who have written and called
me since we share this common interest.

Thank you again for printing my letter. I look forward to
receiving your magazine.’

Pictured is a lineup of my tractors. I have collected these over
a period of 20 years or so. Most companies are represented.

A letter dealing with Farm Women and Tractors comes from H. F.
STEINER, 307 Bluebird Lane, Folsom, California 95630: ‘I
enjoyed very much the article by Arthur Dahl, because it brought
back memories of 1912 when the problems of changing from horses to
tractor were discussed with the whole family! Certainly, mother was
involved and her arguments carefully considered. I am sure these
discussions have been told many times, and it is not necessary to
repeat them. After we did get a tractor, mother very rarely was
permitted to steer it while father walked along some wheel truck he
wanted for a guide line. But mother and my sister did ride a grain
binder during harvest, and sis also helped me crank the engine!

There was another statement in that article that brought back
memories of another day-at the top of page 11, ‘the
YUBA and Holt in California.’ Because I am a new
subscriber to GEM, it is very possible that articles have been
published about the YUBA tractor, but I have not seen any pictures
or the name mentioned about this company and tractor. It so
happened that I was a serviceman and salesman with a Best and
Caterpillar dealer, working in the close proximity of the Yuba
factory-Benecia, California. I was involved with several Yuba’s
as trade-ins that had to be overhauled and then sold. These
tractors were particularly liked by orchardists. If there has been
little written about Yuba, and if there is interest enough, I could
perhaps run down some history because I am quite close to libraries
which should have pictures and data.

(I have no way of knowing just how many stories might have been
on the Yuba, but we would welcome your article on this subject. We
would print it whenever possible. I’m sure it is not real
common and I’m sure the readers would welcome a history on it.
I know I’ve heard of it and I believe we may have had some
pictures, etc. on it. But, send your material, we’ll be glad
for it.)

We really like to hear from our younger enthusiasts as that
brings us great hopes of the hobby continuing for many years. One
of our young readers sends this letter: ‘I’m 16 years old
and lived on a farm all my life. I got my first gas engine about 8
months ago, from a good friend. The engine is a Waterloo gas engine
with a 3?’ bore and has about a 6′ stroke. The brass
nameplate says-The Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., No. 28377 H.P. 1?,
Waterloo, Iowa Patented Aug. 7, 1900 No. 655289; Dec. 3, 1901, No.
687808; Oct. 7, 1902, No. 710647; Aug. 6, 1907, No. 862599; Oct. 5,
1909, No. 935718, Other Pending.

I would like any information on this engine including the gas
tank and carburetor system.

So far, I have only gotten three of your newest magazines and
enjoy them very much.’

As most of you realize, we have enthusiasts in our hobby from
all walks of life. This letter comes from Lt. Col. Ralph L. Knapp,
USA (RET), 188 West Rosemary Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36109-
Welcome aboard Sir!: ‘Recently, I’ve gotten my first old
engine running and I’ve received three copies of the GEM (just
like the young lad in paragraph above-isn’t it nice that this
hobby includes all ages?). When the engine fired up the first time,
I soon had a yard full of neighbors, blue smoke and dogs.

After reading the GEM, I couldn’t believe that such a large
number of shows are going on and that so many enthusiasts like
myself are restoring old engines. Our future generations will find
no difficulty in observing the engines that started us on our
industrial revolution.

I’m like many that write in your column. I’m anxious to
know everything about my engine. Instead of listing all the things
I want, let me ask that anyone that has an engine like mine, write
me and start up a discussion on common interests.

I have a Fairbanks Morse 4 HP upright, S.N. 108589, 350 RPM,
make and break, gasoline, 2 flywheel 28′ diameter, 2.5′
face, 5′ bore, 8′ stroke, piston brass fuel pump, with an
overflow carburetor. I will certainly relay any kind of data I
receive, to anyone that asks. Can’t wait for the letters!’
(See, he has faith that the fellow readers will respond.)

WILMER N. KING, 9888 Gans Avenue N.E., Canton, Ohio 44721 tells
us: ‘I have been getting your magazine for at least 10 years
already. I surely do enjoy it. The only thing wrong with it is that
it should come each month instead of every two months.

I need a little help on an engine that I have. The engine is
missing several parts, (sorry, I cannot list the parts- that would
have to go in the Classified ads section). On the side of the water
hopper in original lettering it reads: Sold by P. J. Downes Co.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. I believe the engine is a 1? HP. It is
painted a bluish green. I would like to hear from someone that has
one of these engines so I could make some parts for mine. Thanks a

JOHN W. HORNSEY, 1060 Waterloo Road, Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312
needs  some help on his recently acquired Fairmont railroad
track section car. ‘It has a two cycle gas engine and the
identification tag reads Fairmont (Fairmont?) Class M19, Series E,
Group 3.1 know very little about Fairmounts or R.R. section cars
for that matter and would like more information if anyone can help.
Is there a group which restores section cars? Is Fair-mount still
in business?’

This letter comes from MILDRED HUMMEL, 2726 E. Beersville Road,
Bath, Pennsylvania 18014, read on: ‘As I was about to throw
away the ’79 Almanac, I looked through it and found this ad
‘History of the Tractor.’ The picture looks a lot like
our’s that still is in use, McCormick. I am wondering if
anybody knows the year of the one we have. (If you can help her out
fellas, please do.)

Following is the history:

History Of the Tractor

Portable steam engines, predecessors of today’s
gasoline-powered tractor, were made for American farmers as early
as the mid-1800s.

One of the first was made by A. L. Archambault, in Philadelphia,
Pa., in 1849.

The self-propelled steam engine, or traction engine for farm
use, followed. Obed Hussey, of Baltimore, Md., invented a
‘steam plow’ in 1855, but J. W. Fawkes, of Christiana, Pa.,
produced a more successful steam plowing machine in 1858.

Half a dozen gasoline tractors were made by the Charter Gas
Engine Co. in 1889 and shipped to farms in the Northwest.

The word ‘tractor’ was first used in 1890 in a patent
issued to Geo. H. Edwards of Chicago. Popular establishment of the
term as a name for a farm engine is attributed to Chas. W. Hart and
Chas. H. Parr of Charles City, Iowa, who were credited with
building the first successful internal combustion engine and
founding the gasoline tractor industry, and W. H. Williams, their
sales manager, who first used it in an advertisement.

These and other ‘first’ facts in the history of the
tractor are related in The Agricultural Tractor,
1855-1950, compiled by R. B. Gray and published by American Society
of Agricultural Engineers. To order a copy, write to Stemgas
Publishing Co., Box 328A, Lancaster, Pa. 17604.

Stemgas publishes the Iron-Men Album bimonthly for
steam traction collectors: Gas Engine Magazine, for
stationary gas and gas tractor buffs and an annual directory of
steam and gas shows.

Mildred sent along this picture of their tractor-looks like
three generations are pictured here.

RICHARD D. CURTIS, 302 N. Ridge Street, Cambridge, Illinois
61238 writes: ‘I receive the Gas Engine Magazine and my boys
and I really enjoy them. My son, Wilbur, age 15, read The Sad
Little Tractor, as he bought and we restored a 1937 B this spring
and summer. As new collectors we have lots of questions that are
probably (old hat) to the veterans.

We now have two RC Cases, A CC Case, AC Case and AL Case,
besides Wilbur’s John Deere. All are on rubber and we enjoy
driving them around the streets of Cambridge. The question I have
is this: Is there anything to paint on the tires to preserve them
and fill up the weather checks? I tried tire paint, and although it
looks good, it doesn’t fill the cracks and is a doubtful
preservative. Any help will be appreciated.’

KENNETH W. SMITH, Crain Road, Surry, New Hampshire 03431 calls
to us-Help! ‘I would like to know if any readers have the year
my 5 HP Witte engine was made. Serial number B17406. Will greatly
appreciate any help!’

This letter comes from BILL BEEMAN, 2022 Bel Air Drive, Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada K2C OWA (or OW9)?: ‘Over the past weeks, while
going through a stack of a friend’s GEMs looking for sources of
parts for a number of engines, I have reached two
conclusions-first, that I should subscribe to GEM and second, that
I must trace down the history of the Beeman garden tractor. Most of
your readers will appreciate the logic of the first decision;
perhaps the second deserves the following explanation:

I have always had an interest in old engines, motorcycles, cars
and boats and have tried wherever possible to develop a detailed
story of the design, manufacture, sale and use of the product by
the successive owners until it reaches my hands and is restored to
the best of my ability. As many of your readers know, this poses a
challenge, wrapped in mystery and threatened my frustration!

In addition to this background, my father passed to me his
lifetime interest in family history and records leading back to
Captain Daniel Beeman who first landed in Massachusetts from the
ship (King) from England and took up residence in Norwich,
Connecticut in 1680. Somewhere, I believe there must be a link
between Captain David, the manufacturer of the tractor and myself.
What a challenge to find that link, locate a tractor and put it to

I would, through your column, seek help and guidance in this
task. Any information regarding the Beeman garden tractor,
memorabilia, pictures of the factory and original owners, designs,
etc. will be welcome. Also, somewhere there is a reasonably
complete sample of this little fellow with a bit of original paint
and an indication of lining and lettering just waiting for me. I
hope at least one of your many knowledgable readers will let me
know about it.

JOHN TRIEBE, 2409 Salisbury Road, West Bend, Wisconsin 53095
wants this letter forwarded to the readers: ‘I need some
information on Photo-voltic cells; how they are made, and how to
put a large electric-magnetic magnet about three feet open diameter
together. I am working on making a large generator but am green in
this area. If some of you have information, I would appreciate

For you fellow tinkers, I’m working with a small flywheel a
Nasa lad scaled down to about 18′ and rides on
magnetic-floatation bearings. I am working on electric, but it
would work great in place of old car engine. You can use regular
transmission and need no batteries, work well. Will look forward to
reading and enjoying our magazine together, see you all. Thanks Big
John the tree.

LEONARD SPOELMAN sends a letter with a lot of information:
‘Maybe I can help someone else out by passing along what
I’ve learned regarding use of battery ignition on gas engines.
Spark plug engines can be run off a Model T Ford buzz coil and car
or lantern battery. Connect the battery through points or timer to
the outer two contacts on the buzz coil. Sometimes you may have to
rig something on the push rod or cam gear to make points. The
center contact is your hot one for the spark plug.

On igniter engines, the points are normally closed if used with
a low tension mag. If used with a battery and coil (not buzz coil),
the points should be slightly open normally so that there is not a
continuous drain on the battery. Then when operating, the points
will be pushed closed, thus completing the circuit through the
battery and through the coil. Then when the points snap open, spark
jumps across due to the inductive force of the coil. No other
timing is necessary. A coil made for this purpose can be used, or
the two small contacts of an auto coil, disregarding the hot lead,
will also do. Hope this helps someone.

I am sending along a hobby card a friend made up for us. (Note
the family names on the engine.)’

JOHN W. REYNOLDS, RFD 10, Box 258, Hickory, North Carolina 28601
has this to say: ‘I am a relatively newcomer to the field of
engine collecting. My interest is constantly stimulated by your
excellent magazine and the friendly, courteous collectors who have
lots of patience.

At one of the few shows I have attended, I saw a replica of the
WICO E.K. magneto. It was a very good reproduction. Could any of
your readers tell me where this magneto can be purchased?’

This next picture and letter comes from PHILIP VAZZANA, 242 X.
Poplar Street, Greenville, Mississippi 38701. Phone

‘Discovered this item about a year ago, but I have not been
able to positively identify it. Maybe, your readers can help me. It
stands about 36′ high, the tank on the bottom is 11′ high,
10’ in diameter, has sight glass, valve which moves a piston up
and down inside of tank.

Thanks for previous favors!’ (What do you think fellas, can
you help him with this item?)

We have had inquiries in the past months inquiring about Gas
Engine Clubs in the California area. RICHARD D. HAMP, 1771 Conrad
Avenue, San Jose, California 95124 sends this: ‘A new engine
club was started in the Santa Cruz and San Francisco area in
January 1979. The club is Branch #3 of the Early Day Gas Engine and
Tractor Association. They have over 175 members. If anybody is
interested in joining the club, the dues are $3.00 per year. The
secretary is Ursula Greenwald, 528 Stagg Lane, Santa Cruz,
California 95062.

I need some help from my fellow engine collectors. A pal and I
both own 1 HP IHC Tom Thumb engines. Our engines are complete
except for battery boxes. We are wondering if anybody out there in
Engine Land has a Tom Thumb with an original battery box. If they
do, we would like a detailed sketch of it so we could build one for
our engines. We would appreciate this very much.’

KEN ROBISON, Editor, Branch 3 News Letter, 20531 Black Road, Los
Gatos, California 95030 sends us more information on California
shows. He mentions, of course, the one as listed above, Branch #3
E.D.G.E.&T.A. The president is Walt Simonds, 350 Ranchitos
Road, San Rafael, California 94903. Also there is a
E.D.G.E.&T.A. Branch #6 with Alton Rexin, President, 2461 Geer
Road, Hughson, California 95380. Another one is E.D.G.E &T.A.
Branch #13 with President Cliff Hardy, Route 4, Box 1230, Woodland,
California 95695.

Well, that’s great folks, for we only have two clubs listed
in the Directory-this will add to the list.

Letter and picture comes from ED. F. EDWARDS, Box 197, Big Bend,
California 96011: ‘Enclosed is a picture of an engine that I
recently acquired for my collection. It is an air-cooled, twin
opposed (2 cylinder) engine and is open crank. This engine has
several odd features which I will try to describe to you. The
air-cooled valve cage assembly; the intake valve is on top and the
exhaust valve is on the bottom (exactly opposite of each other);
the intake valve cage and exhaust valve cage are cast separately
and are connected together with a 2′ close nipple (short,
threaded pipe); once the exhaust valve and intake valve cages have
been screwed together, the entire valve cage assembly is attached
to the center of the end of the cylinder (this is a headless
engine) with a 2’ short nipple (no bolts used to attach the
valve cage, just the short nipple).

The spark plug screws into the intake valve cage and the muffler
screws into the exhaust valve cage directly below the spark plug on
each cylinder’s valve cage. One of the carburetors is missing,
but the one carburetor that is there is very odd looking, all brass
carburetor and I’m not sure if it is original or not. Both
cylinders are the same, that is to say they are interchangeable and
they bolt on to the frame or crankcase base with 6 bolts. The bore
is 6′ and the stroke 7′.

The only casting numbers on the engine are on each one of the
two main crankshaft bearing caps which is D10. The main bearing
caps have a round (wick) oil well (no threaded grease cups). Each
cylinder has its own fan with a flat belt pulley. The fan for one
cylinder is run off the face of the other flywheel. The flywheel
diameter and face is 26% x 2%’. There is a single governor
weight in each flywheel which (swings out) on centrifugal force and
(rides on) or (pushes against) a bolt which can be threaded in or
out to control the point of contact with the face of the
governor’s weight. On the other end of the arm that this bolt
is on, is the detent or exhaust rocker arm catch. The exhaust
rocker arm is the long (walking beam) type which is similar to the
type on the (headless) Witte engines. The gas tank is in the base
of the engine.

I have looked through all of the back issues of G.E.M. and have
not found any engine similar to this one. I don’t think this is
a Gade engine as I believe all of the air-cooled Gade engines had
two exhaust parts per cylinder and I know it is not a New Way
engine as those were closed crank and did not look anything like
this engine. I have never seen one like this and neither has anyone
I know.

35 HP Fairbanks-Morse torch ignition oil engine in the new
building for large stationary gas engines at Dalton, Minnesota.
Picture taken at Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association

I do, however, have a single cylinder 1? HP engine which has the
same type of governor set up and exhaust rocker arm and similar
base and it is made by The Air-cooled Motor Co., Lansing, Michigan.
And, according to old advertisements by this company they made
engines from 1? HP to 10 HP but none of the ads said anything about
whether the 10 HP model was a twin opposed or not and did not show
any pictures of a twin opposed.

If any other collectors would happen to have a catalog from the
Air-cooled Motor Co., Lansing, Michigan showing an engine similar
to this, I would really appreciate getting a copy of it. Or, if any
collector can positively identify this engine, I would appreciate
all the help I can get relating to approximate year of manufacture,
the manufacturer’s name, correct color, any pin striping

I have gotten some help in the past on a couple of other engines
which I sent in pictures of them. Possibly this engine will be more
of a challenge to identify correctly. I will answer all
correspondence, so let’s see what you guys out there can come
up with on this engine.’

And that is it for this time folks- hope you enjoy #11 the shows
that are going on this year-see you next issue-but may I leave you
with a few thoughts? Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when
he sticks his neck out (James Bryant Conant). Have the grace to
say, ‘I was WRONG and you were RIGHT.’- – -The PESSIMIST
says, ‘It can’t be done,’ The OPTIMIST says, ‘It
can be done,’ The PEPTIMIST says, ‘I just did it.’- –
-You will never FIND time for anything. If you want time, you must
MAKE it.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines