The Fall of the Cornelius Aultman Companies

Let's Talk Rusty Iron: Aultman firms fade into history in this third installment of Sam Moore's exploration of Cornelius Aultman and Lewis Miller's implement companies.

| May 2002

  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-1.jpg
    The original Buckeye Banner Binder had design flaws that damaged C. Aultman & Co.'s reputation with farmers in the 1880s.
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-2.jpg
    The Aultman-Taylor Dixie separator, said by the company to be the original "Starved Rooster" separator.
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-4.jpg
    This 30-60 Aultman-Taylor tractor, photographed at the 1999 National Thresher's Show in Wauseon, Ohio.
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-3.jpg
    The Aultman-Taylor Woolf compound steam traction engine.

  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-1.jpg
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-2.jpg
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-4.jpg
  • FC_V4_I10_May_2002_05-3.jpg

Editor's note: This is the final article in Sam Moore's three-part series on the 19th-century Aultman companies of Ohio. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Cornelius Aultman firms fade into history

The1880s left C. Aultman & Co. of Canton, Ohio, reeling from the repercussions of an inadequate machinery design associated with the Buckeye Binder, and growing labor problems. During the same period, Aultman, Miller & Co. in Akron maintained a steady stream of business and Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company in Mansfield prospered even more vigorously. Both outlasted their Canton counterpart, but not by many years.

To meet the competition of the 1880s harvester wars, C. Aultman & Co. in Canton introduced the Buckeye Banner Binder, a low machine that eliminated elevating canvases. Unfortunately, the design had not been adequately tested before introduction and hundreds were judged defective by their purchasers and returned to the factory.

Also in the 1880s, the Canton company cut its workers' wages by 10 percent, claiming they were paid considerably more than competitors' employees. The firm also began closing down its factory from November to January each year, leaving workers unpaid for that period. Both actions placed a great hardship on the workers, their families and the city of Canton, where Cornelius Aultman was the largest employer.

In 1890, shortly after the binder fiasco, the manufacture of all mowers, reapers and binders was transferred from Canton to Aultman, Miller & Co. in Akron. The Canton company continued to build steam engines, threshers, horsepowers, straw stackers and saw mills.

In Akron, Aultman, Miller & Co. prospered in 1891 and 1892, offsetting some of the Canton losses, and prospects for 1893 were so promising that Lewis and Mary Miller set off on a second honeymoon, traveling into the South and West and stopping at the Chicago Exposition.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube