In a classic romanticized view of farm life in the 1880s, a young lady and small boy admire a stylishly dressed farmer operating a Eureka mower. The only thing more unusual than a farmer in formal wear is this center-cut horse-drawn mower, a product of Eureka Mower Co., Utica, N.Y.
Levi J. Pierce, Forestville, N.Y., used this lithograph to promote sale of the Eureka. The caption presents an irresistible sales feature: “See! My father can do as much work with the new broad-cut Eureka as he used to with two side-cut machines.”
John Wilbur, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., won patents in 1863 for his famous and rather ornate center-cut Wilbur mower. Wilbur, Stevens & Co. was established in 1867 to manufacture the machine in Poughkeepsie. At some point, perhaps 1873, the operation was relocated to Towanda, Pa., and the company name was changed to Towanda Eureka Mower Co.
Wilbur’s Direct Draft Eureka mower won a gold medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. In 1879, the company was sold to Eureka Mower Co., also located in Towanda. In 1884, the again renamed Eureka Mower Co. moved to Utica, N.Y., and began to expand its line of farm machinery. Eureka continued to build Eureka draft center-cut mowers in Utica in 1- and 2-horse sizes until at least 1918. FC
Grateful acknowledgement is given to David Schnakenberg, who contributed this image from his collection of pre-1910 chromolithographs of farm machinery advertising.
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