The Aultman & Taylor Company

Chapter 12: The 45-120 HP Engine and Unique Machines

| September/October 2002

The 12th 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.


At a meeting of the board of directors of the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company held on Nov. 8, 1904, G.W. Gans presented a report on a double-cylinder engine patented and built by the Improved Engine Company, which was located at Myersdale, Pa. It was his recommendation that Aultman & Taylor acquire the exclusive right to manufacture that engine or in some way secure control of it. At that meeting the president was empowered to appoint a committee to visit the plant of the Improved Engine Company for the purpose of investigating the double-cylinder engine and to ascertain the conditions by which the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company might acquire control of the patents on that engine.

The president appointed a committee consisting of the following members: E.W. Gans sic, A. Kalmerten, and G.W. Seaman. As instructed, the committee visited the company in Myersdale, carefully examined the engine, and at the December meeting of the board of directors reported favorably on the merits of the engine. However, their mission to Myersdale failed because of the unreasonable royalty demands made by the parties that controlled the patents. Their report was followed by a lengthy discussion, after which it was decided to design and build Aultman & Taylor's own double-cylinder engine.

Accordingly Mr. Seaman, who was a draftsman and for a few years the superintendent of the plant, at once began work on designing the bid engine. That engine was built at the Diamond Street plant in Mansfield, and, while the exact date of its completion is unknown, it probably was constructed near the end of 1906 or the beginning of 1907.1

In any case the first publicity about the engine in a newspaper, including a picture of the engine, occurred on March 14, 1907. The engine was rated at 45 HP, with the maximum indicated horsepower 171 and a maximum economic horsepower of 120. The Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company was one of the first to design and assemble a large traction engine.

The building of that engine came as a result of a market for an engine larger and more powerful than were the traction engines in use at that time. The demand for larger engines came primarily from the Western states, Mexico, and Canada.