Hail the Champion!

This chromolithograph from harvesting machinery manufacturer Champion Machine Works advertised “The Champion” combined reaper and mower.

| May 2016

  • This advertisement showed the Champion Mowing Machine, a combined reaper and mower invented by William N. Whiteley, at work.
    Illustration courtesy David Schnakenberg

Born in 1824 in Philadelphia, Benjamin H. Warder moved to Springfield, Ohio, with his family at age 6. In 1850, Warder co-founded Warder, Brokaw & Child Co. and paid $30,000 for patent rights to “The Champion,” a combined reaper and mower invented by William N. Whiteley.

By 1860, Brokaw had departed the Springfield firm. In 1866, it was reorganized as Warder, Mitchell & Co., with John J. Glessner and Asa S. Bushnell as junior partners. Senior partner Ross Mitchell retired in 1880, and the firm regrouped as Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Co.

 The company manufactured harvesting machinery – reapers, binders, mowers and hay rakes – under the Champion brand name. By 1886, Warder, Bushnell & Glessner employed more than 1,000, and was exporting goods to foreign countries. In 1908, the company marked a major milestone: sale of its 2,000,000th Champion machine.

That proud heritage lives on in Springfield, Ohio, long nicknamed, “The Champion City,” for a line of farm equipment manufactured there more than a century ago.  FC

Grateful acknowledgement is given to David Schnakenberg, who contributed this image from his collection of pre-1910 chromolithographs of farm machinery advertising. For more information, contact him at 10108 Tamarack Dr., Vienna, VA 22182; (703) 938-8606; dschnakenberg@verizon.net; view the Schnakenberg Collection.

To submit a vintage advertisement for publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital images by email: editor@farmcollector.com.


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