High Compression John Deeres
1408 N. Van Buren Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
In the 1940s or early 1950s, in the small town of Ollie in
southeastern Iowa, Raphael Hollingsworth and Guido Stempel designed
a device to increase the compression of John Deere model A, B and G
tractors, and other makes of tractors. This was a ring inserted in
the front or top of the cylinders.
Mr. Hollingsworth was issued two patents for these rings, No.
2,452,238 in 1948 and No. 2,676,580 in 1954. These rings were made
by the Six Foundry in Fairfield, Iowa, and most of the machine work
was done by the Martin Machine and Electric in Ottumwa, Iowa. Mr.
Hollingsworth also experimented with rings for other makes of
tractors. A set of rings were installed in his nephew, Warren
Bottorffs Farmall 'M.' Warren told me they increased the
power and reduced the fuel consumption.
Mr. Hollingsworth had two other patents, one for a turbulator
that was on a valve stem, the other for a ball hitch. Neither of
these were marketed.
Raphael Hollingsworth died in 1961, and Mrs. Hollingsworth lives
in Indianola, Iowa. She furnished me with copies of the patents
along with some other information.
Guido Stempel died in 1982. Mrs. Stempel lives in Ottumwa, and
she gave me some further information.
The inserts patented in 1948 were for the early John Deeres that
had an annular recess or cutaway in the cylinder wall as shown in
No. 14 in Fig. 1 of the early patent. These rings were machined to
fit this recess. The cylinder head held the ring in place.
The later rings patented in 1954 fit into the later John Deere
tractors with a straight bore, and other makes of tractors. This
was a compression ratio-increasing insert comprising a ring of
substantial thickness and a flange at one end of the ring and
extending latterly beyond the periphery of the ring. The flange had
a thickness of .035 to .065 thousandths of an inch. There was a
crescent-shaped well formed on the inside of the ring to allow
clearance for valves if they were too close to the side of the
cylinder wall. On the opposite side was a cutout for the spark
plug. A slot was machined the full length of the ring. The ring was
machined slightly larger than the bore of the cylinder. The slot
allowed the ring to be compressed and placed in the front or top of
the cylinder which helped hold the ring in place. The flange at the
front or top that extended out over the block allowed the cylinder
head to hold the ring in place. The cutout for the spark plug
prevented the ring from rotating in the cylinder.
In 1950 the business was moved from Ollie to Richland, Iowa, and
some of the machining was done there. The business was in Richland
from 1950 until 1959 when it was discontinued.
A cold manifold for John Deere, Allis-Chalmers, Ford and Farmall
tractors was also made. They were cast at the Six Foundry in
Fairfield and the machining was done by the Martin Machine and
Electric in Ottumwa. After 1950 the machining was done in
These items were marketed through dealers. Texas and the
southern states were the big buyers, also Canada. After they were
cast in Fairfield, and machined in Ottumwa or Richland, they were
trucked to Fairfield and shipped by rail to the various
After visiting with various people in Ollie and Richland it
seems Mr. Hollingsworth was a farmer, inventor and engineer. Mr.
Stempel handled most of the business until 1950, when Mr.
Hollingsworth moved to Richland.
A special thanks to Mrs. Mabel Hollingsworth and Mrs. Floribel
Stempel for furnishing much of the material for this article.