Family-Made Implements: Cornelius Aultman and Lewis Miller
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By the end of 1856, the Aultman-Miller machine had become the Buckeye mower with a host of Miller improvements. The cutter bar was connected to the frame at the front so the driver could easily watch its operation and so he would fall behind the bar if he was thrown. The connection was a double-hinged arrangement so the bar could float, and therefore follow the ground. The double hinge also allowed the cutter bar to be raised over any obstruction encountered in the field, and it could be folded back over the tongue into a safe position for transport. Most of Miller's ideas can still be found on today's sickle bar mowers.
In 1857, the Buckeye mower and Ball's Ohio mowers competed in a field trial at the fair in Syracuse, N.Y. The Buckeye proved superior and received the grand gold medal from the U.S. Agricultural Society. Possibly because of this competition, in early 1858, Bell sold out to his partners and left the firm, which then became C. Aultman & Co.
During its first year, the new firm built 1,500 Buckeye mowers and 150 Sweepstakes threshers. Soon, the Buckeye became the standard of the industry, and Aultman licensed other manufacturers to build the machine. One of the most important of these was Adriance, Platt & Co. of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which carried the Buckeye mower in its line long after the Aultman companies had disappeared. FC
Next: Buckeyes and Grain Seperators: Aultman Miller & Co. and Aultman &Taylor Machinery Co.
Part 3: The Fall of the Aultman Companies
Sam Moore became interested in agricultural machinery while growing up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. Now, he lives in Salem, Ohio, and collects antique tractors, implements and related items.
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