VIBRATOR HISTORY

Events Leading to the Founding of the Aultman & Taylor Co.

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Route 1, Millersport, Ohio 43046

(This article is in regards to the picture and write-up on page 41 of March-April, 1968'issue of I.M.A.)

This information came in a later letter. Meredith had been hunting the history on the vibrator type thresher and this all turned up after he had mailed the previous material. Like Meredith says, 'That's the way it goes, you can hunt and hunt for material, then Bang! all at once it turns up.' So it is here, though a bit delayed.

Thanks for all your efforts, Meredith Anna Mae.

The Aultman & Taylor Co. was founded in 1867 to build the then new type vibrating thresher. The vibrator principle being a straw rack hanging on rods from frame of thresher behind the cylinder, being given a back and forth motion by pitmans and cranks. Then as the threshers were improved, the grain pan was fixed likewise only it was timed to move in opposite direction of straw rack; this tended to counter balance machine and make a much smoother operating machine.

In the early 1830's the Pitts were experimenting with a perforated board shaken longitudinally with the 'ground hog' thresher, this being before the adoption of the endless apron thresher. The first patent granted on the vibrating principle of separation was granted to a W. Pierpont of Salem N. J. on May 7, 1850. Cyrus Roberts of Belleville, Illinois was the first to invent and carry forward to successful completion devices necessary to the development of the modern vibrating type of thresher.

A company of Cox & Roberts started building 'ground hog' threshers in 1848. In 1850 they added a vibrating pan. This addition to the machine was set on legs loosely so as to vibrate back and forth by the action of a crank and pitman, thus separating the grain and chaff from the straw. The pan being of lumber, plain boards on bottom, bored full of holes, having side boards about a foot high, and being from 6' to 10' long and as wide as the cylinder. This giving partial separation only as there was no fan. Machine was being improved each year. On July 20, 1852 Cyrus Roberts was granted a patent on this type thresher. This thresher was known as the Cox & Roberts thresher.

The development of the Cox & Roberts machine was slow and no great headway was made in the establishment of the vibrating principle; the endless apron type was the thresher of the times then. Then in 1858 Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle Creek, Michigan, began to build threshers of the vibrating principle. John Nichols gave the machine the trade name 'Vibrator'.

In 1864, the Nichols & Shepard vibrating separator attracted the attention of H. H. Taylor of Chicago who was the largest jobber of threshing machinery in the United States. Mr. Taylor had just obtained an interest in the 'Marsh' harvester, then at the opening of its career, for the purpose of widening his business in that direction. After a careful investigation of the merits and prospects of the vibrating thresher, he was so favorably impressed with the vibrator type thresher that he sold his interest in the 'Marsh' harvester, and in 1865 he negotiated with the Nichols & Shepard Co. and obtained an interest in their patents and shops. Also in 1865 Mr. Taylor took on the general agency for C. Aultman & Co. of Canton, Ohio, manufacturers of the Buckeye mower, endless apron threshers known as the 'Sweepstakes' thresher, horsepowers and other lines of agricultural equipment.

Recognizing the elements of success in the new vibrating type threshers, Mr. Taylor succeeded in enlisting Mr. Aultman in the founding of the new concern.

Thus in 1867 at Mansfield, Ohio Cornelius Aultman and Henry Hobart Taylor founded the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. for the purpose of building the vibrator or modern type threshing machine.

The new machine soon became well known. Probably this company's early success with the vibrating type thresher hastened other thresher manufacturers to drop the endless apron or Pitts type and go to the vibrating type machine, which was used to the end in the thresher business and was carried on into the modern combine of today.

The business grew; of course new improved models were introduced regularly; the company was incorporated under the name Aultman and Taylor Company, and went on to become one of the largest in the threshing industry. I believe the Aultman & Taylor 'starved-rooster' trade mark spoke of the ability of the machine to separate (Fattened on an Aultman-Taylor straw pile). So in summary, I would say the vibrating type threshing machine was first furthered the most by the Nichols & Shepard Co., then with the founding of the Aultman & Taylor Co. to build the vibrating thresher, and with Mr. Taylor being the largest jobber of threshing machinery in the United States, it soon became the thresher of the times.