Two agents join forces to found Wagner-Langemo
Little is known about the roots of Wagner-Langemo and its Hooverizer. According to a short history penned by grandson Tom Langemo, Fingal, N.D., in 1906, Edward Langemo worked as a “salesman, repair consultant and office manager” for the Buffalo-Pitts Co. in Minneapolis. His associate, and agent for the Buffalo-Pitts Co., was Charles C. Wagner.
Both men had extensive agricultural machinery (including grain threshing machinery) training through Buffalo-Pitts in New York and Texas, so they decided to form their own company. In 1913 (one resource says 1910), their plans came together. The Wagner-Langemo Co. was incorporated on Feb. 15, 1913 in Minneapolis.
Even while maintaining ties with Buffalo-Pitts Co., the general purpose of the Wagner-Langemo Co. was, according to Tom Langemo, “buying, selling, manufacturing and dealing in all kinds of merchandise, farming implements and machinery.” They sold new and rebuilt steam engines, threshers, weighers, feeders, sieves and stackers. They had an extensive inventory of supplies and parts, and served the upper Midwest area.
Following introduction of the Fordson and other small tractors, markets for smaller machinery took off. Wagner-Langemo entered the fray with a small thresher, the Wagner-Langemo 24-41 Hooverizer thresher. It was advertised for use with the Fordson, in an ad proclaiming, “Hooverizer Steel Frame Thresher – The Biggest Threshing Capacity for the Fordson.”
“Hooverizer” was chosen as the name in a nod to Herbert Hoover, who had been sent to Europe to help the U.S. “clean up” after World War I. When Hoover became a candidate in the 1928 presidential election, the implement’s name was changed to “Grain Saver.”
In 1929, Deere & Co. purchased 23 Wagner-Langemo threshers, tooling fixtures and patents for $42,500 (roughly $558,977 today). Deere marketed “Grain Savers” that were little different from the Wagner-Langemo machines. FC