History of Aultman & Taylor, Part VIII

Aultman & Taylor produced six distinct types of separators

| January/February 2002

The eighth installment of the late Dr. Bixler's history of the Aultman & Taylor Company appears below. The Album is serializing Dr. Bixler's book, which affords rare insights into the life and times of a major American manufacturing firm. For more than 20 years, Dr. Bixler's unpublished manuscript lay virtually forgotten in the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. Then, acting on a tip from George Richey, Dr. Robert T. Rhode found the book, edited it, and prepared it for publication in the Album. In this installment, Dr. Bixler highlights Aultman & Taylor's Separators.

Click here for part I of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part II of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part III of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part IV of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part V of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part VI of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part VII of the history of Aultman & Taylor.


The Separators 

Aultman & Taylor built six distinct types, or classes, of separators. They were the Vibrator, Mexican, Dixie, Globe, Columbia, and the New Century. Since a description of their Vibrator separator appeared in an earlier chapter, no mention will be made of it at this point. Following the initial success of the Vibrator, the company continued to experiment, making changes and improvements on their separators.

Many of the companies named their separators for the purpose of emphasizing the qualities peculiar to their machines. With the exception of the Vibrator the Aultman & Taylor Company did not follow that practice. The names that they chose for their separators did not reflect their qualities and neither were they descriptive of the mechanism of their machines. Rather, it appears that the names of their separators were chosen primarily on the basis of the popular appeal of a name at a given time.

Thus, the "Mexican" was due in part to the popularity of their machinery in Mexico. It also had an adventurous appeal, since Mexico was not too well known at the time. "Dixie" came partly as a result of a popular song entitled "Way Down South in Dixie," which was composed in 1859 by Daniel Decatur Emmett, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio. The name not only became popular in the South but also had a nostalgic appeal to the Civil War veterans, many of whom were patrons of the Aultman & Taylor Company. Above all, the firm enjoyed a thriving trade in the Southern sates. The "Globe" was placed on the market in 1888, and that name signified the worldwide use of their machinery.

The "Columbia" appeared in 1893. That name had its origin in an American ballad entitled "O Columbia, the Gem of the Oceans," popularly known as the "Red, White, and Blue." It was composed in 1847 by Thomas A. Becket, a resident of Philadelphia, Pa. Columbia was often represented by a woman dressed in red, white, and blue. That ballad also became popular during the Civil War, and its popularity continued unabated well past the turn of the century. No patriotic gathering or Fourth of July celebration was complete without the singing of that song.