Canton Monitor History FROM HISTORY OF STARK COUNTY, OHIO

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Lorin E. Bixler
Henry Vander Heida of Algona, Wis., by his Gaar-Scott before it was cleaned and painted. Pride seems to be written on his face before it is cleaned.

Published in 1881, Courtesy of LORIN E. BIXLER

‘The opening of this historical sketch takes us back to the
year 1848, when in the little rural borough of Greentown, a village
of some 300 souls, situated about nine miles north of Canton, Mr.
Cornelius Aultman, who had learned the machinist trade, made the
patterns and built on his own account five of the old Hussey
reapers the first machines of the kind ever made in Ohio, with the
exception of a few made at Martin’s Ferry, opposite Wheeling in
the year previous. Mr. Michael Dillman, a progressive farmer with
amp1e means, living near Greensburg, Summit County, had purchased
and used one of these machines during the season, and was so well
pleased with its work that he proposed joining Mr. Aultman in his
new undertaking, and accordingly they both moved to Plainfield,
Will County, Illinois, where they constructed these machines for
two seasons-some thirty-seven in all -and the neighboring farmers
came to their shop and bought them readily. The hussey was a
one-wheeled machine, adapted only for reaping purposes. In the
spring of 1850, Mr. Hussey, of Baltimore, Md., the inventor of the
machine, but who had done very little toward manufacturing and
introducing it, learning that it was being successfully produced in
the west, concluded that it was worth looking after, journeyed to
Illinois and informed the makers that he held patents on the
machine and claimed royalty on all that had been turned out. They
finally settled the matter by paying him $15 on each machine.’
pp. 321-322.

‘The needs of a thresherman for a better engine than had
ever been built had long been pressed upon the attention of, the
manufacturers of the Buckeye machines. Forced by these requirements
upon them, in the centennial year they commenced the construction
of the ‘Monitor’ engine. The best skilled advice; and the
ripest experience of the most practical threshers and mechanics
were brought into requisition to aid them in making the portable
engine which would be pronounced nearest perfect. After fully
consulting every plan presented, they made the choice of the
vertical engine and boiler of the model upon which the Monitor is
built. It was exactly adapted to a special field of operations, and
the satisfactions rendered by it has been so perfect that it cannot
be overstated, and its decided advantages over other engines are
attested by the emphatic and unsolicited approbation of all who
have used it. Every year, so far, the number required of them is in
excess of the manufacturing capacity of the works, and this has
compelled them to make a large addition to their shops, which will
double their facilities for turning out these universally approved
engines.

‘Parties who have experimentally tested the Canton
Monitor-Traction Engine, and those who have had it in use during
the last two years, speak in unqualified terms of its extraordinary
working qualities, pronouncing it a perfect success in all
respects. For propelling threshing and machinery operating purposes
it stands without rival. A farmer who has thoroughly tested it
says, ‘It has so far answered every call upon its resources,
and is always ready for use. I have a Taylor & Chandler muley
side-cut saw-mill and your 10-horse engine drives it and the thing
works like a charm. I am now running a full line of flax machinery,
consisting of a roller gang break, beater, picker, etc., and have
abundant power. The boiler being perpendicular, the action of the
fires comes directly upon the heating surface. It requires less
fuel and a shorter time to raise steam. The cylinder, placed
between the steam chest and the heater is protected from the cold
atmosphere therefore there is less condensing in the cylinder and
bilging; and being perpendicular it is not liable to become untrue
through wear of the weight of the machinery, as is the case in a
horizontal engine. As a traction or locomotive engine I consider it
superior.’ The compound or ‘jack-in-the box’ gear is a
very ingenious device, whereby one wheel may be made to revolve
independent of the other, so that in turning, the wheel going the
fastest receives the greater power, thus enabling the engine to be
headed in any desired direction with great facility. No other
portable engine has this admirable feature. The independent steam
pump for supplying and emptying the boiler, which can run with or
without the main engine, is also a most advantageous adjunct. A
massive sprocket chain running over sprocket wheels communicates
the power from the flywheel to the counter-shaft, which is much
stronger, more direct and more reliable than the bevel ordinarily
used. Among the latest improvements is the link motion, similar to
that of the locomotive whereby the engine can be propelled forward
or backward without stopping. The speed on the road is regulated by
a governor, while the starting and stopping, reversing and steering
are under perfect control of the engineer without leaving his seat.
It is fitted up with all necessary steam engine connections and the
gear is encased in order to exclude all dust and dirt. The whole
engine rests on rubber springs, preventing concussion, and all in
all it is the most complete traction engine ever invented.’ pp.
327-328.

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