more about The Wind-Stacher


| May/June 1961



'This company engaged in the manufacture of pneumatic straw stackers, having acquired the patents from James Buchanan and others.' Finally, 'this company recognizing the importance of the invention began manufacturing the 'wind stachers', an adjunct to the separator.'(7)

The writer has exercised extreme care and caution in documenting the fact that the Indiana Manufacturing Company did indeed engage in manufacturing Wind Stackers and threshing machines. There is every reason to believe that the primary sources consulted are impeccable. In the interest of historical accuracy, it is only fair that the record be set straight since wide credence has been given to the statement, 'that the Indiana Manufacturing Company which owned the patents, but which manufactured nothing, fought several court battles over infringement charges and won.'(8) A pursuit of the details of these and other inventions as well as the lawsuits involved is beyond the limitations of this article. It is enough to say that Mr. Buchanan's inventions made significant contributions to the improvement of the threshing machine.

After introducing their machine the Indiana Manufacturing Company licensed every manufacturer of threshing machines in the United States and Canada to build the Wind-Stacker on a royalty in connection with their machinery. In 1892, the first license was granted and the first machine was built under this license in 1893. The almost phenominal growth in the use of the Wind Stacker is evidenced by the fact that while one machine was built under this license in 1893, in 1894, there were three hundred fifty licenses issued, in 1895 seven hundred and in 1896 it was estimated that three-fourths of the separators built were equipped with Wind Stackers.(9)

The price of the license for the 'Farmers Friend' was $250.00 'payable in two falls or $235.00 cash.' According to an announcement of the Heilman Machine Works there were in the early nineties three kinds of Wind Stackers on the market. They were the 'Uncle Tom's Farmers' Friend', the 'Landis' and 'Nethry's'. The three were very similar differing chiefly in the location of the fan. Because of the strong demand, the Heilman Company in 1898 built exclusively the 'Uncle Tom'. As may be observed from the cuts of the Heilman Company, the 'Uncle Tom' was located at the rear of the separator in an upright position. Of course, many of the other companies placed the fan at the side and rear of the separator. Eventually this became the more common practice of manufacturers.(10)

It has been said frequently that institutions or organizations are but the lengthened shadows of men. It is usually true that any business or industrial enterprise which has enjoyed a reasonable measure of success owes that success to virile dynamic leadership. No more fitting example of this statement can be found than in the instance of the Indiana Manufacturing Company. For this reason a brief biographical statement concerning its president, Arthur Albert McKain is appropriate at this point. Many pages would be required to do justice to this man for merely to list the business and industrial enterprises with which he was actively concerned staggers one's comprehension.

He was the son of a farmer who lived near Troy, Ohio. He left home at the age of twelve years to make his way in the world. He worked on farms and at any other work which was available. His early life experiences taught him the value of hard work. He was married to Mary P. McClure at West Sonora, Ohio, at the age of twenty.