HISTORY OF WOOD, TABER & MORSE STEAM ENGINE WORKS EATON, MADISON CO., NEW YORK


| January/February 1991



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P.O. Box 163, South Otselic, New York 13155

The company of Wood, Taber & Morse developed from a company founded in 1848 that made machinery for woolen and cotton mills.

In 1852 they began making steam engines. They were the third in the U.S. to do so. The two previous were Hoard & Co., Watertown, New York, and Blandy & Co. of Ohio. The early engines were sold nearby as farm power and threshing engines. In a town of 475 inhabitants, from 40 to 50 men were employed here. In the fall of 1860 petroleum was discovered in western Pennsylvania and this afforded an excellent opportunity for these engines. Many of them were sold to pump the oil from the wells.

At this time they were making stationary as well as portable engines in various sizes up to 35 HP. The portable engines were ideal for threshing and were sold throughout the west for that purpose. These engines were equipped to burn either wood, coal, or straw for the threshing engines. By 1876 they had been sold in every state and territory of the U.S. At this time the company had an office in Chicago to accommodate is patrons.

Many of these engines were also sold in the south, where they were used on sawmills and cotton gins. The records also show one engine sold to a mining company in Peru, South America.

Until 1868 the company had to ship out all of its engines on the old Chenango Canal. In 1868 the Midland Railroad was brought through the town, enabling them much better shipping methods.