By Staff
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Mr. Robert Gray
Courtesy of Mr. Robert Gray, Eldora, Iowa.

I have been in the engine inline for the past twenty-three
years, handling tractors, portable, stationary and marine engines.
I now own and operate a motor boat, stationary engine, natural gas
and steam tractor. 1 have never been held up very long without
being able to locate the trouble.

One time when I was traveling agent for a machinery company I
installed a 12-horse power engine and buhr mill near Olive Hill,
Kentucky. About six months afterwards I was called from
lluntington, West Virginia, by the local agent to come and see what
was the matter with the mill engine. When the engine was installed
1 put in a set of six large wet batteries, these being what the
company furnished at that time. On my arrival at Olive Hill the
agent said that the batteries were in good shape but I told him 1
wanted some dry batteries to take with me anyway. When 1 arrived I
asked the owner what he had done to the engine and ho said he had
done absolutely nothing. Upon examination I found that the spark
had a very weak red streak, as I call it. I examined the batteries
and lifting up one set of plates from the liquid was not surprised
to find that the zine had been entirely eaten off and had dropped
off into the cell. I put on  the dry batteries and thought all
the trouble would then be ended, but when I turned the engine over
I found that the compression was no good and that air passed out
past the piston as though there were no rings in the cylinder. By
questioning I found that the owner had ground the rings. He had
taken the advice of an old steam engineer and ground the rings so
they were of even thickness all the way around. The result of this
was a seven dollar expense for new rings. The yard was full of
teams bringing corn to mill and the man needed his power badly, so
he asked me if I would not try to make the engine run until he
could get new rings. I then tried a little experiment of my own. I
procured some flake graphite, Octagon soap and common axle grease.
I warmed these to a temperature where they would mix readily. I
then removed the piston and put as much of the mixture on it as
would stay. I removed the lubricator and substituted instead a hard
oil cup. I then started the engine up without any trouble and, as
the mill was not heavily loaded, it was able to go ahead and grind
corn. We forced the mixture into the cylinder at frequent

Here is a picture of the little John Deere pulling a little old
time iron wagon with an ear of corn on it.

23-36 McCormick-Deering Tractor

This is a picture of my 12-25 Avery.

Here is a picture of a Case tractor on a lowboy owned by Carl
Frerichs, Allen. Nebraska. The horsepower of the tractor is 25 x

My 8 H.P. Mule team gas engine made by the. Associated
Manufacturers Company, Waterloo, Iowa. The Serial No. is 801574.
This engine is in good working order and has never been

Here is a picture of my Huber Gas Tractor, 1920 model, serial
number 5685. I am standing on the tractor. I also have 21 other gas
engines of other makes. I am president of the Bradford County Old
Timer Assoc. Our next show is August 4, 5, 6, 7, 1966.


We have mislaid the article and picture of Mr. Ray Geisinger. It
was too late for the past issue and now we have mislaid it. To say
I’m sorry is putting it mildly. We hope to get caught up


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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines