The eleventh installment of Dr. Bixler's history of the Aultman & Taylor Company, as edited by Dr. Robert T. Rhode, appears in this issue of the Iron-Men Album, which is serializing Dr. Bixler's book. Dr. Bixler, a professor at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, passed away before he could publish the manuscript to which he had devoted considerable energy. Several manuscripts belonging to Dr. Bixler are in the Sherman Room of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library in Mansfield, Ohio. This installment presents detailed factual data, supplying a vital resource for researchers.
The figures presented in this chapter are estimates of the number of separators, engines, hullers, water tanks, and attachments, needed to satisfy the demands for Aultman & Taylor machinery. Following the presentation of such estimates to the board they were sometimes modified but were always approved by the board of directors. The estimates were made at the close of the previous year or at the beginning of the next year prior to building the output for the ensuing season. Usually the estimates became the actual number of machines manufactured. However, the firm occasionally overestimated the number of separators, hullers, or engines, and in those instances the surplus was carried over to the next season. Then, too, there were years when the company underestimated the number of separators or engines needed to meet the demand. That was true in 1892.
Estimated production for 1892 consisted of 339 separators, 200 horse powers, 315 engines, and 50 swinging stackers. By July of that year it became evident that there was an unusual demand for certain machines. To meet the shortages that had developed, the estimates were revised upwards. Straw-burning engines were increased to 90 and separators to 451. That was an increase of 15 engines and 52 separators. In other words, the company built a total of 330 engines during 1892.1
Estimated output of machines for 1892 was as follows: 399 separators, 200 horse powers, 315 engines, and 50 swinging stackers. Estimated output for 1894 was: 313 separators, 130 engines, 85 horse powers, 100 automatic stackers, 50 hullers, 25 water tanks, and 25 picket mills. Estimated output for 1895 was: 175 Dixie separators, 135 Columbia separators, 100 hullers, 25 Galland stackers, 25 Dingee horse powers on the heavy pattern, 25 Woodbury horse powers (8 x 10), 80 simple traction engines, 40 compound traction engines, and 17 standard engines a type of portable engine produced by Aultman & Taylor.
No accurate information is available with respect to the firm's output for 1893. In addition to the output for 1894 provision was made to increase slightly the number of separators to be built, in the event that it was warranted by the demand.
In 1895, the company built a few more engines and separators than are indicated by the figures above. The exact amount of the increase in unknown.
Estimated output of machines for 1897 was as follows: 10 17 x 28 Dixies, 20 20 x 32 Dixies, 28 23 x 36 Dixies, 24 27 x 40 Dixies, 25 30 x 44 Dixies, 25 32 x 48 Dixies, 66 30 x 46 Columbias, 65 33 x 50 Columbias, 65 33 x 56 Columbias, 25 42 x 64 Columbias, 10 #2 hullers, 75 #3 hullers, 25 #4 hullers, 35 Galland stackers, 65 Netherly stackers, and 50 Harvey feeders.
The Harvey feeder was built solely for the firm's clover hullers. They had left over from 1896 35 #3 and #4 clover hullers, which gave the company a total of 145 hullers to sell that year. Aultman & Taylor planned to produce that year a total of 353 separators, 100 stackers, and 50 Harvey feeders. Provision was made to increase the production of Harvey feeders if necessary.
In June of 1897 it became evident that the firm's output was not sufficient to meet the demand. So the company increased the production of Dixie separators as follows: Six of the 17 x 28 model, 10 of the 20 x 32 model, two of the 23 x 36 model, and four of the 27 x 40 model. That was a total increase of 22 Dixie threshers. At the same time the superintendent was instructed to order all of the material necessary for the construction of 25 Columbia separators. When all of the figures are combined, the company built a total of no fewer than 400 separators during 1897.
In 1897, Aultman & Taylor planned to produce 22 Columbia Jr. 16 HP straw-burning traction engines, 10 Eureka Jr. 8 HP simple traction engines, 35 Eureka 12 HP simple traction engines, and 20 Hercules 16 HP simple traction engines. In addition to the 87 simple engines planned for 1897, the company planned to build 42 compound engines, making a total of 129 engines for that year. The officials of the company were also instructed to provide material and have ready the wheels, cylinders, and such other items as required to prepare for an increase of 15 Columbia Jr. compound 20 HP straw-burning traction engines. Also in 1897, the company planned to produce 75 horse powers.
In 1898, the company planned to build 12 Baby Elephant 6 HP portable farm engines, 20 Standard Jr. 8 HP portable engines, five Standard 10 HP portable engines, eight Samson Jr. 12 HP portable engines, zero Samson 16 HP portable engines, 20 Ajax 20 HP portable engines, 30 Hercules 16 HP simple traction engines, 76 Eureka 12 HP simple traction engines, 28 Eureka Jr. 8 HP simple traction engines, five Cyclone 14 HP simple straw-burning traction engines, five Hercules compound traction engines, and 15 Columbia Jr. 16 HP simple or 20 HP compound straw-burning traction engines. The company had on hand from the previous year one Standard, two Samson Jr., six Samson, two Ajax, one Eureka, one Eureka Jr., one Hercules compound, and four Columbia Jr. engines. In summary, Aultman & Taylor had 18 engines on hand from 1897 and planned to produce 224 engines, for a total of 242 engines to sell in 1898.
In 1898, Aultman & Taylor projected the building of 10 17 x 28 Dixies, 40 20 x 32 Dixies, 40 23 x 36 Dixies, 40 27 x 40 Dixies, 50 30 x 40 Dixies, 35 32 x 48 Dixies, 85 30 x 46 Columbias, 70 33 x 50 Columbias, 100 36 x 56 Columbias, 10 42 x 64 Columbias, 10 19-inch Special Mexicans, and 10 of an unspecified size of Mexicans. To this output of threshers were added 17 separators carried over from 1897. In summary, the firm planned to build 215 Dixie, 265 Columbia, and 20 Mexican separators. The company also built during that year the following clover hullers: 20 #2, 150 #3, and 100 #4, making a total of 270 hullers.
There is no record of the automatic stackers that the firm built during 1899, but there was a good demand for them. They were expensive to build, and the officials of the company did not consider it wise to push the sales of those stackers. Due to the cost of manufacturing them it was felt that they would be unable to realize satisfactory returns. Those stackers were built by the thresher companies for only a few years, when they were replaced by the wind stackers.
During 1899 the firm built no clover hullers since 93 were on hand from the previous year, nearly all of which were #3 size. The company had sufficient stock to build 110 to 115 hullers in the event that the trade warranted their construction. It was stated that the #4 huller could be set up at once, if there arose a sudden demand for them. In any case the record shows that, during 1899, the firm sold 64 hullers, which left 29 on hand to be carried over to the next year.
In 1899, Aultman & Taylor planned to build 75 plain engines, 140 simple cylinder traction engines, and 49 compound engines, with 24 engines carried over from 1898's production plans and with 65 engines on hand. The company projected the building of 264 Dixies, 309 Columbias, 18 Mexicans, and 18 experimental 'New Centuries,' with 18 threshers carried over from 1898's production plans. The firm also planned to build 37 wind stackers for hullers and 116 wind stackers for separators, with 34 of both types carried over.
In 1900, Aultman & Taylor planned to build 10 10 HP portables, eight 12 HP portables, 10 15 HP portables, and five 20 HP portables, for a total of 33 portables. The company projected the building of 50 12 HP Eurekas, 50 16 HP Hercules, and 25 20 HP Columbia Jr. engines for a total of 125 simple traction engines. The firm planned to build 25 compound 14 HP Eurekas and five compound 20 HP Columbia Jr. engines for a total of 30 compound traction engines. As of Dec. 31, 1899, the company had 65 engines on hand at the factory.
In 1900, the company planned to build 50 25-inch Dixies, 50 27-inch Dixies, 20 30-inch Dixies, and 40 32-inch Dixies, for a total of 160 Dixies. The firm expected to build 50 30-inch Columbias, 100 33-inch Columbias, 10 36-inch Columbias, and 10 42-inch Columbias, for a total of 170 Columbias. On hand were 141 threshers. The Mexican machines were already provided for either on hand or being built. With respect to the New Century machines and the changes to the Dixies with which the company was experimenting during 1899, neither was in shape to be recommended for manufacture in anything but an experimental few.
In 1901, Aultman & Taylor planned to build nine 20 x 32 Dixies, 44 27 x 40 Dixies, nine 30 x 44 Dixies, and eight 32 x 48 Dixies, for a total of 70 Dixies. The company projected 12 30 x 46 Columbias, 22 33 x 50 Columbias, four 36 x 56 Columbias, and 10 42 x 64 Columbias, for a total of 48 Columbias. The firm planned to produce 15 20 x 32 New Centuries, 25 23 x 36 New Centuries, 35 27 x 40 New Centuries, 50 30 x 44 New Centuries, 35 32 x 48 new Centuries, 20 36 x 56 New Centuries, and five 42 x 64 New Centuries, for a total of 185 New Centuries.
With reference to the engines for 1901 the president recommended that the company start with 75 Hercules and 50 Eurekas. That along with other sizes and those carried over gave the firm a total of 300 engines to sell in 1901. The records give no breakdown with respect to the types of engines that the company built, but the catalog for that year carried advertisements of all of their engines, including the simple and compound engines. It is fair to assume that the output of engines for that year included all of the types built during previous years.
The estimated output for the season of 1902 presented to the board of directors by the president was approved. With the exception of the 32 x 56 Model, the output of New Century separators was increased 50 percent. This is not too meaningful, since no figures are available for their output of threshers and engines for 1902.
In 1903, Aultman & Taylor planned to build 30 23 x 36 Mew Centuries, 66 27 x 42 New Centuries, 30 30 x 46 New Centuries, 200 32 x 56 New Centuries, 185 36 x 56 New Centuries, and 40 42 x 64 New Centuries, for a total of 551 New Century separators. Material was to be provided for a possible increase of 25 percent on all but the 42 x 64 separators. The actual output for 1903 amounted to about 500 separators and 150 clover hullers. The last Dixie separators were built in 1901, and beginning with 1902 the company produced only New Century separators.
In 1903 Aultman & Taylor planned to build six 6 HP plain engines, 10 8 HP plain engines, six 10 HP plain engines, five 12 HP plain engines, five 16 HP plain engines, and four 20 HP plain engines, for a total of 36 plain engines. The company projected 10 Eureka Jr. engines, 10 Eureka Jr. compound engines, 10 Eureka engines, nine Eureka compound engines, 75 Hercules engines, and 10 Hercules compound engines, for a total of 124 bevel gear engines. The firm planned to construct 35 25 HP spur gear engines, 20 20 HP spur gear engines, and an unspecified number of 14 HP spur gear engines. Also, 32 tractions of all sizes and 16 plain engines were carried over from the previous seasons.
In 1904, the firm planned to build 20 25 HP spur gear engines, 50 20 HP spur gear engines, 10 16 HP spur gear engines, and 10 14 HP spur gear engines, for a total of 90. The company projected 10 8 HP Eureka Jr. engines, 20 12 HP Eureka Jr. engines, and 40 16 HP Hercules engines, for a total of 70. As soon as was expedient, the officials were instructed to order boiler plate to build such further numbers of 14, 16, 20, and 25 HP engines as might be needed to satisfy the demand.
No figures are available on the output of separators and hullers for 1904, but the company's projected goal was to build 600 separators and 150 to 200 clover hullers per year.
In 1905, Aultman & Taylor planned to produce two 6 HP, four 8 HP, seven 10 HP, 10 12 HP, 25 16 HP, nine 20 HP, and five 25 HP plain engines, for a total of 62 plain engines. The firm projected the building of six 8 HP and five 12 HP bevel gear engines, for a total of 11. The company also planned 50 14 HP, 50 16 HP, five 16 HP straw-burning, 75 20 HP, and 50 25 HP spur gear engines, for a total of 230. That there was a market for increased power is shown by the fact that the 16, 20, and 25 HP engines were in the strongest demand. It is also true that there was a dramatic decrease in the number of bevel gear engines that the firm planned to construct. The committee on output for 1905 submitted its report, which was discussed and accepted with the exception of the 32 x 50 New Century separators. It was deemed advisable to increase the production of that size from 100 to 120 machines. During 1905, the firm planned to build a total of 490 separators, 10 hullers, 25 Sattley stackers, and 121 baggers. The company also made provision for material from which to increase the output of separators by 25 percent, if the trade warranted it. Even as late as 1905 there was still some demand for horsepowers. The company estimated that it needed to build that year 40 horsepowers in sizes 10, 12, and 14 HP.
The firm also built during that same year the following water tanks: 50 #1 (10-barrel), 20 #2 (12-barrel), and 30 #3 (15-barrel), making a total of 100 water tanks .
At the directors meeting in June of 1905, Kalmerten brought to the board's attention a separating beater for the New Century thresher. It was recommended simultaneously by three of the company's customers, one of whom had put it to practical tests. The company experimented with the new device in home territory during the season of 1905.
Still another device of a secret nature was mentioned. It was stated that it would tend toward radical improvement of the firm's separator. Its construction was advocated by Louis Snyder of Hastings, Ohio. The president and secretary were authorized to enter into an agreement with Snyder for the use of his device.
No information is at hand to indicate whether those devices were incorporated in the building of the New Century separator. However, the above information is significant, in that it suggests that the company was constantly alert to any improvement that could be made on its separators.
In 1906, Aultman & Taylor planned to construct 50 20 x 36 threshers, 40 23 x 36 threshers, 60 27 x 42 threshers, 75 30 x 46 threshers, 120 32 x 50 threshers, 150 36 x 56 threshers, and 55 42 x 64 threshers, for a total of 540 threshers. The company also planned to build 10 #2, 30 #3, and 160 #4 clover hullers, for a total of 200. The firm projected the need for two 8 HP and two 12 HP, making a total of four bevel gear engines, eight 8 HP, 18 12 HP, 50 14 HP, 85 16 HP, 75 20 HP, and 65 25 HP, making a total of 301 spur gear engines, and six 6 HP, five 8 HP, 10 10 HP, six 12 HP, 25 16 HP, 10 20 HP, and 10 25 HP, making a total of 72 plain engines.
On Nov. 6, 1906, the superintendent was instructed to build and complete the following engines in the order mentioned for the trade of 1907: 10 14 HP tractions, 10 16 HP plain engines, 15 16 HP traction engines, 10 20 HP traction engines, making a total of 45 steam engines for 1907.
On Jan. 20, 1910, the officials were authorized to purchase the White separator patents at a price of $10,000, which included royalties for 1909. No explanation was given for the purchase of the White patents.
On Nov. 1, 1910, the directors approved the action of the executive committee requisitioning 385 separators. They were authorized to call for 500 additional separators in such quantities as necessary to keep the shops running economically until the time of the annual meeting of the stockholders. Clover hullers and steam engines were requisitioned in the same manner.
On Jan. 19, 1911, the executive committee was authorized to call for gas engines in lots of 25 from time to time as conditions required; to build no more than 200 steam traction engines in sizes such as the trade required; and to requisition such numbers of hullers, sawmills, separators, and attachments as the conditions of the trade demanded. During 1912 the company built 250 separators and presumably about the same number of steam engines and tractors as in 1911.
No figures are available for 1913 and 1914.
The company's output for 1915 was as follows: 750 separators, 110 hullers, 25 to 50 bean threshers, 290 steam engines, and 160 gas tractors. Sawmills were to be built as the need developed, and attachments were manufactured as the trade required.
The output in number for the year 1916 was similar to that of 1915, with the exception of the company's tractors. Aultman & Taylor built 64 more than in 1915, or a total of 224 for 1916. That same year, the firm produced 98 fewer steam engines, or a total of 112. As might be expected, these figures reflect the decline in demand for steam engines. However, during the same period of time the figures show a marked increase in the demand for tractors.
The company's output for 1917 was as follows: 800 separators, 125 hullers, 25 bean machines, 50 sawmills, 175 steam engines, and 300 tractors. The executive committee was authorized to increase or decrease the output according to requirements as the season advanced. It was their intention to increase their sales of separators. They felt that the output and sales were not sufficient, and they intended to take steps to offer inducements that would produce increased sales.
Much of the preceding data has been presented in lieu of more reliable figures. It must be emphasized that the figures that have been given are for the most part estimates of the company's annual production. Obviously those estimates were altered from time to time in concurrence with changing demands. As will be indicated later, Aultman & Taylor built 9,393 steam engines. It is also fair to state that the firm produced no fewer than 44,000 separators.1
An amazing fact emerges as one contemplates the large number of separators built by this company: Only a relatively small number of them are in existence. The ravages of time have taken their toll, and most of the Aultman & Taylor separators are gone. It is to be regretted that they were not accorded better care.
1. Record Book, Minutes of the Meetings of the Stockholders and Directors of the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company.
Next issue in Chapter 12: A detailed look at Aultman & Taylor's 45-120 HP engine and other unique machines, in the September/October issue of Iron-Men Album.