The Aultman Companies -A Short History

By Staff

From 1876 to l905, C. Aultman & Co. and later The Aultman
Co. manufactured portable and traction steam engines. The first
were the Canton Monitor vertical-boiler portable and traction
engines, followed by the return-flue Phoenix and the
single-cylinder, top-mounted Star and Mogul (return-flue) traction
engines, which were the ceompany’s mainstay. At the very end of
the company’s life, Aultman introduced the double-cylinder,
under-mounted Double Star and Double Mogul engines.

Without the proper research, the history of the Aultman
companies and their engines can be quite confusing, since Cornelius
Aultman founded many companies in his lifetime and presided over
many more.

In 1859, he founded C. Aultman & Co., Canton, Ohio, and in
1867 he founded Aultman, Taylor & Co., Mansfield, Ohio. The two
companies had no relationship other than Cornelius Aultman’s
involvement in their creation.

In 1891, Aultman, Taylor & Co. reincorporated, becoming the
Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. In 1893, C. Aultman & Co.
went into receivership and re-organized as The Aultman Co.
Interestingly, when Cornelius Aultman died in 1884, his involvement
with C. Aultman & Co. had ended nine years prior, having left
the company in 1875. Yet, when he died he was the president of at
least five companies, including Aultman, Taylor & Co. and
Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle Creek, Mich.

It’s not known who came up with the idea for the
under-mounted engine. While it was a good idea, management and
labor difficulties plagued The Aultman Co., which had gained an
unenviable reputation for poor quality and bad service. It seems
the company would have better spent its time, money and resources
improving its quality and service rather than developing a
radically new traction engine. This is evident in the fact that the
very year the new engine went into production, The Aultman Co. was
forced into bankruptcy. The new Double Star engine was first
advertised in a special catalog in early 1904, yet the company was
declared bankrupt on Sept. 22, 1904.

On May 9, 1905, the plant property, buildings, contents and
inventory, as well as all other company assets, were sold to a Mr.
Tillotson, an agent for a group of The Aultman Co.’s creditors,
for the sum of $262,500. Upon purchasing the company’s assets,
these creditors formed the Aultman Engine & Thresher Co. to
liquidate the company’s assets. Aultman Engine & Thresher
Co. never intended to continue the manufacture of Aultman
equipment. The company goals were:
Filling uncompleted orders for customers of the former Aultman
company.
Selling all remaining engines, threshers and other machinery in
stock.
Assembling as much machinery as possible to exhaust all stocks of
parts and material on hand.
Selling all other assets of The Aultman Co., including patents,
buildings and other property of The Aultman Co.

The formal transfer of property to Aultman Engine & Thresher
Co. took place on May 19, 1905. By late fall of that year, several
other companies occupied parts of the plant, and no engines,
threshers or any other Aultman equipment remained on the plant
grounds.

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