The Great Geiser Plant
From a 1903 Wayne County local history volume Submitted by
Russell E. Sams 710 N. 4th St. Miamisburg, Ohio 45342
PLANT OF THE GEISER MANUFACTURING CO., WAYNESBORO. PA., THE HOME
OF ‘PEERLESS’ MACHINERY.
The immense plant of the Geiser Manufacturing Company is located
in the eastern section of Waynesboro, occupying about twenty-five
acres of ground, and employing about 800 men. The main
manufacturing building of the Geiser Company, undoubtedly the
largest of its kind in the world, encloses a hollow square within
the borough limits of Waynesboro. It is three stories and a
basement in height, has a length of 460 feet on Broad Street and a
length of 466 feet on the alley. The building is equipped with the
most modern machinery. The boiler shop is a model of its kind,
equipped with powerful hydraulic riveting machines, air hoists,
cranes and every modern appliance used in the manufacturing and
handling of boilers. The entire plant is protected by automatic
fire extinguishers, the most modern fire apparatus and fire
The origin of the Geiser Company dates back to 1866 when George
Frick sold his plant to Geiser, Price and Company. The Geiser
referred to was Peter Geiser, inventor of the well-known Peerless
machinery. Three years later the co-partnership was turned into a
joint stock company, under the name and style of the Geiser
Manufacturing Company, which it still retains. This company has
made the name ‘Peerless’ a household word wherever
threshing machinery is used.
The chief features of the Peerless traction engine are
compactness and simplicity. The compensating gear consists entirely
of spring gears which by the use of steel springs is made elastic,
insuring against sudden jars while it distributes the strain
equally on all of the pinions. The engine is carried entirely upon
springs in such manner that it can oscillate in all directions
without disturbing or changing the relative position of bearings
and gear wheels.
The Peerless separator is made with a twelve-bar cylinder of
channel iron in the shape of the letter U, filled with hard wood,
to provide elasticity. About eighteen inches behind the cylinder is
a grate so constructed that all grain thrown against it is
deflected in a downward direction. The Geiser Company claims that
95 percent of all the grain goes down between the concaves and this
grate. The cleaning device is a system of rolls, combs, and
vibrating racks. The machine is built without riddles or
In addition to traction engines and separators and their
attachments the Geiser Company builds clover hullers, saw mills,
and steam plowing outfits. In the latter class of machinery it has
excelled all competitors, and its gang plows are known in every
agricultural region of the world.
The business of the Geiser Company is in excess of a million
dollars per annum. This year the company has shipped 1,500 carloads
of machinery and material.
The company covers practically all the thresher territory in the
United States and maintains branch offices and large warehouses at
Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.;
Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.;
Des Moines, Iowa; Fargo, N.D.; Lincoln, Neb.; Williamsport, Pa.;
Baltimore, Md.; Auburn, N.Y., and Lake Charles, La.
In addition to United States territory supplied by this company,
it does a tremendous export business, which is increasing every
year. The principal countries to which Peerless threshing machinery
is exported are Russia. Bulgaria, Roumania, Greece, Turkey and
South America. The chief field of export for gang plows
manufactured by this company is Egypt, where they are a common
sight, especially in the valley of the Nile.
Within recent years large additions have been made to the Geiser
plant and the output practically doubled, yet notwithstanding the
expansion of the works are taxed to meet the ever increasing demand
for Peerless machinery.
The official force of the Geiser Manufacturing Company is
composed of the most part by young men, full of faith and
confidence in the products of their great plant. They fully realize
the necessity for further expansion and are already discussing
important plans for more buildings and a larger output. The present
officials of the company are D.M. Good, president; A.D. Morgenthal,
vice president; J.J. Oiler, treasurer and general manager; J.
Mid-dower, secretary; J.R. Oiler, superintendent; George B. Beaver,
purchasing agent and a director in the company.
Mr. Good became connected with the Geiser plant about
twenty-five years ago. He was formerly a merchant in Waynesboro and
in addition to his executive duties with the Geiser Company he is a
director in the People’s Bank, of Waynesboro. Mr. Good is
thoroughly representative of the younger blood in the company and
is a man of progressive ideas and a believer in modern methods.
Waynesboro recognizes him as one of its most public spirited men,
and he is ever ready and willing to assist in any public
Mr. Oiler, the treasurer and general manager, is a son of the
Rev. Bishop J.F. Oiler, and a member of the company in the earlier
years of its existence. He is president of the Bank of Waynesboro
and is noted for his conservatism and high business integrity.
The Geiser Company officials are the principal promoters in the
city’s new electric street railway, and in many other ways are
active in promoting the interests of their city and section.
With such great industries as the Geiser Company and the Frick
Company as the basis of its prosperity, Waynesboro is not only a
manufacturing city of present importance, but its future growth and
continuous development are assured.
(Note: The end came to the Geiser plant in 1945 when it
burned to the ground, all but the brick building and the office
building, which are still there [Dec. 1990] as far as I know. This
is what I was told by a man from Waynesboro, Pa.R. E.