Whitman Agricultural Co. at the World’s Fair

Advertisements for the Whitman Agricultural Co. show its diverse line of agricultural machinery.

| October 2013

  • Whitman Ag Ad
    Whitman Agricultural trade card.
    Photo Courtesy David Schnakenberg
  • Whitman Agricultural
    Whitman Agricultural Co. display at the St. Louis World's Fair.
    Photo Courtesy David Schnakenberg
  • Floral Clock
    Floral clock and north end of Palace of Agriculture, from Ceylon Building, St. Louis World's Fair.
    Photo Courtesy Farm Collector

  • Whitman Ag Ad
  • Whitman Agricultural
  • Floral Clock

Whitman Agricultural Co. was established in 1870 by Charles E. Whitman in St. Louis, Mo. The company’s three-story factory was located at 8th and 9th streets. Whitman’s initial product was a hay press marketed as “Whitman’s New Rebound Plunger Press.” It was powered by horses harnessed to a sweep that powered a series of gears that moved the plunger back and forth.

The Whitman hay press took honors when it was exhibited at many major fairs in the early 1880s. The company expanded its line of agricultural machinery in the late 1880s to include “St. Louis” corn shellers with a single horsepower, seed sowers, feed cutters, cultivators, harrows, cider mills, saw mill machinery and more. In the late 1890s, Whitman added the Sultan line of gasoline engines, hoisting machinery, power and air compressors. By the early 1900s, Whitman was producing larger belt-driven hay balers.

Whitman Agricultural Co. exhibited its line of machinery at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and issued full line catalogs as late as 1911. FC 

Grateful acknowledgement is given to David Schnakenberg, who contributed the trade card below 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  


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