As a youngster, C. H. Wendel discovered some early steam engine
books in his grandfather’s attic. These books whetted what
became an insatiable interest in old engines and their history.
Beginning with the January/February 1985 issue, he will share some
of his considerable knowledge with the readers of Gas
Engine Magazine on a regular basis.
At the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in 1970, Mr. Wendel and
Harold Ottaway of Wichita, Kansas discussed the many different
engines built at Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. Wendel investigated the
subject and published the results in Power in the Past, Volume 1,
in 1971. Next came a history of the Fairbanks Morse & Co. in
Volume 2, followed by a history of Stover Engine Works in Volume
At the same reunion in 1976, Mr. Wendel met George Daumann of
Crestline Publishing Company. The meeting led to the 1979
publication of Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors, followed in
1981 by 150 Years of International Harvester. Crestline’s
largest book, American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 followed, and
provided the first definitive study of American and Canadian
gasoline engine development.
Today Mr. Wendel operates his Old Iron Book Company (formed to
sell his own titles and other selected items), along with several
writing and research projects. We feel certain that his column
Reflections will be of great value to the subscribers of
Shortly after Mr. Wendel’s column is added, Gas
Engine Magazine, which began publication twenty years ago,
will go monthly in May 1985.