Iron, Steam and Wood: 150 Years With the Waterous Engine Works Company

Book Review

| January/February 2001

  • # Picture 01

  • Waterous traction engine

  • # Picture 01
  • Waterous traction engine

Mike Hand is a retired Canadian engineer with a keen interest in manufacturing history. In this, his third book, he tells the complete story of a Brantford, Canada, firm from its early 1830s beginnings until the end of the twentieth century.

Hand has pursued his story through family and industry sources, beginning with the opening of Philip Van Brocklin and Elijah Leonard's Foundry in 1848 in St. Thomas, Ontario. Charles Waterous, a native of Vermont, joined the firm after the failure of his own business in the U. S. Ultimately, Waterous bought out his partners.

By 1854, Waterous patented the first circular saw mill built in Canada. Throughout the following decades, gristmills, edgers, trimmers and a shingle mill were added to the line.

Boilers were another early product, and over 2,500 vertical Champion portable steam engines were sold. The portables were based on the design of David June, one of Waterous' Ohio relatives.

Charles Waterous had six sons, all of whom were employed by his company at some time in their lives.

Although Charles died in 1892, the company continued to grow and (mostly) thrive into the twentieth century, as the product line continually diversified to meet new markets.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube