Famous Joseph Fleury Jr. Plows – Part II
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His personal journal, now on file in the Aurora Historical Museum, reveals his thorough and competent town management, including a systematic approach to town planning. It also includes a report of his single-handed organization of Queen Victoria's birthday celebration on May 24, 1875, in Aurora.
The Aurora Agricultural Works
A May 30, 1873 Banner report gives a detailed glimpse into Joseph Jr.'s business world, too. The piece reports on operations at the Works and some of the innovations Fleury's employees had at their disposal. The article describes the molding shop and a nearby building for complimentary tasks such as cleaning castings, the blacksmith shop, machine shop, iron finishing shop, planning room, wood and paint shops, finishing shop and other areas.
In the blacksmith shop, the newspaper reports, "The boy to blow the old-fashioned bellows is dispensed with. And the blast for the forge is supplied by one of Sturtevant's blowers, placed in the machine shop, and the wind carried in pipes laid underground to each forge, so that all the workman has to do is to pull a lever which opens a valve, and his forge is supplied with an excellent blast."
The piece also mentions the engine that powered the entire factory, "... is a new one put in by Sykes and Elviridge, of Newmarket (just north of Aurora). It is 30 hp and runs very free and true."
The Banner reported that the factory focused on building reapers and mowers. "Two kinds of reapers are made -the Johnson, and Wood's self rake. And are well known throughout the country for the satisfaction which they have given to all who have used them. The mowers are also made, the Cayuga Chief, Jr., and the Sprague. While passing through the factory we noticed that the best material is used, and great pains taken by the workmen to have all parts of the machines fit properly together."
The Banner concluded its piece by congratulating "proprietor Mr. Fleury, upon the success which has attended his efforts in building up a first-class agricultural implement manufactory, and we hope he will continue to increase his business, and thus add to the permanent interests of our village."
In late 1873, three events took place that might be of interest to collectors. First, Fleury investigated diversifying his business through the manufacture of treadle sewing machines. He built an addition to the Agricultural Works, and produced Fleury sewing machines using blueprints provided by the machine's inventor, J.C. Bond.
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