Monday, August 15, 2016

Stover's Good Engine

As opposed to one of Stover’s bad engines? This interesting little engine was exhibited at the Foothills Antique Power Association’s 12th annual show in 2015.

During the 19th and early 20th Centuries it seems like everyone wanted to cash in on the manufacturing bubble and Daniel C. Stover ( 1839 - 1908 ) was no exception. In 1879 he established Stover Manufacturing Co. located in Freeport Illinois. The firm produced a variety of items that included agricultural machinery, water tanks, saw mills, the Ideal brand windmill for well pumps and the line of gasoline engines. Stover also made bicycles and in 1889 was issued a patent for improvements to bicycles  that included the coaster brake that is still used today on what’s called “cruiser bicycles”. Stover’s products were widely distributed through Sears, Roebuck & Co. If you fly on over to you can find a nice “ Aeroplane view of the big Stover plant “ as it appeared on postcards of the period. Stover Manufacturing continued in business until 1942.

A point of interest is the Wico Electric Co. type EK Magneto that was widely used on single cylinder gas engines of the period. A reciprocating armature induction magneto, the only moving parts were the armature and contact points. It was  renowned for it’s simplicity and reliability. Printed on the Magneto is an amazing warranty. “Guaranteed for all time against defects in material and workmanship.”  Wow! Where can you get a product like that these days? Presumably one day billions and billions of years in the future, just before the universe stops expanding and collapses back into an infinitely dense point, if your engine stops working due to one of those defects; you could get your money back. That is of course provided you could find a Wico Company representative.

Sources:  The remarkable Wico Model EK Magneto by Bud Motry May / June 1977
Illinois Digital Archives

Monday, August 1, 2016

McCormick - Deering 10-20

The 10-20 rated by International Harvester as a 2 plow general purpose tractor was one of the best sellers IHC ever produced. A list of serial numbers posted at runs from KC 501 in 1923 to KC 214886 in 1939 for a total of well over 200,000 units. This nicely restored 1937 model was exhibited at the Tri-State 2016 Show by Gordon Mawhiney who brought it all the way from New York.

Conservatively rated in company literature  as providing 10hp on the drawbar and 20hp on the belt, the results from Nebraska Test # 95 in 1923 gave the tractor 15.54 at the drawbar and 21.84 on the belt.

The following information and quotations are from an International Harvester catalogue of the period. “ McCormick-Deering tractors are equipped with vertical 4 cylinder valve in head engines. These engines operate economically and satisfactorily on kerosene (coal oil) and other low priced fuels.”

International Harvester used do it yourself maintenance as a selling point. That may be why you see so many of these tractors still sitting in fields today.
“Each cylinder is cast separately and fitted into the engine block. These cylinders may be easily replaced in case they become scored or worn.”

America didn’t run on batteries back in the day. “ High tension magnetos supply current for the jump spark ignition. The magnetos are equipped with impulse starters and the engines start and run on the magnetos. No batteries are needed.”

“Selective type of transmissions are used and all gears run in an oil bath. The transmission may be removed as a unit.” “ The power is transmitted to the drive wheels through large steel spur gears which run in an oil bath and are carefully protected from dust and dirt.” Three forward speeds; 2-3-4 mph were available plus one reverse speed of 2 ¾ mph. “The two mile speed for heavy pulling, three mile for plowing and four mile for hauling.”

The 15-30 was rated as a 3 plow tractor and was somewhat larger than the 10-20 although a casual observer would have a hard time telling them apart. The 15-30 had a bore of 4 ½ “ and stroke of 6” as opposed to 4 ¼ “ x 5” on the 10-20 that gave it the advantage in horsepower.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has done an exemplary job of making valuable resources from their collection available online at . This is a must visit for anyone with an interest in antique International Harvester products. Although the website has plenty more to offer; you could spend days just browsing the McCormick - International Harvester Collection. No doubt there are thousands of similar treasure troves buried in the vaults of museums that never see the light of day because no one has made the effort to make them available. If you have a likely suspect where you live, ask them what they are doing to make their collections available online; you just might get the ball rolling and do a lot of good. Thanks also to exhibits at the 2014 WNC Fall Harvest Days show and the Woodfin Collection.