American-Abell Engine and Thresher Co. Ltd.


| March/April 1987



Author Norbeck

NORBECK RESEARCH 117 Ruche Street Coplay, PA 18037

Author Norbeck and the Norbeck Research Library, which now contains over 550 binders of history and information from around the globe.

One of the most pictures que figures among pioneer Canadian manufacturers was born in England, September 17, 1822, and immigrated to Canada as a young man. In 1845, John Abell settled in the village of Woodbridge, 20 miles northwest of Toronto, Ontario. There he obtained employment in the wagon and stage coach factory operated by Wood and Ethridge.

Possessed with much inventive and mechanical ability, young John Abell was anxious to get into business for himself and in 1847 he built a small log shop and began the manufacture of mill iron and similar articles. Here he fashioned a lathe and other tools, which he constructed for his own use and built the first steam engine to be used in the district.

Assured of power to drive his machinery, he immediately made plans to increase his output and in January, 1862, moved into a larger building and began the manufacture of plows and other farm machinery.

Business increased rapidly and before many years John Abell was employing a hundred workmen and concentrating on the production of a threshing machine which he had developed and which had met with much favor. Abell's machine, which he named the Paragon, was of the apron type and geared for horsepower drive. Later, gang beaters and straw carriers were added and the separator enlarged and improved and adapted for steam power.