The Aultman & Taylor Company

Chapter 13: Enlargement of the Plant and Labor Relations

| November/December 2002

The 13th installment of Dr. Blxler's history of the Aultman & Taylor Company, as edited by 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.


It will be recalled that the Aultman & Taylor Company began building water tube boilers in 1895. That part of the firm's business required additional facilities. At the same time there was a marked increase in the company's threshing machine business, including engines, separators, clover hullers, sawmills, water tanks and all of the other appurtenances that belonged to that part of their business. In fact their business outgrew the capacity of the plant to meet the demands for their products. It was at once apparent that there was only one way to solve the problem, and that was to enlarge the plant by the erection of new buildings and the addition of modern equipment.

At the board of directors meeting on Sept. 25, 1894, there was common agreement that the outlook on the company's boiler trade necessitated an increase in the plant's facilities. The directors decided to build a new boiler shop and to equip it with modern machinery. Bids were solicited for the foundation, brickwork, iron structure and machinery. Upon its completion it was one of the most modern boiler plants in the country. In 1896 the plant was enlarged by the erection of a brick building west of Main Street in Mansfield that was used exclusively for the building of water tube boilers. The expenditure for the enlargement of the boiler plant and installation of machinery amounted to $37,000.

The company's efforts to meet the increased market for its products are demonstrated by the following account. It will be remembered that the company lost its huge warehouse in the fire of 1896. In February of 1897 the subject of replacing the old warehouse came before the board of directors. Following a discussion of how to acquire more storage space, the decision was reached to build one-story sheds. These were erected immediately, one on the west side of the creek and the other on the east side. The erection of those two sheds required an outlay of $4,000.

On Jan. 18, 1900, it was reported that during the previous year the company had contemplated the selling of their thresher department. It was even thought that, within the six weeks following the above date, their thresher department might be sold. Since the sale of their thresher business did not materialize, the company was unable to use those buildings or even to adapt them to the firm's boiler business.