The Manufacture of Engines, Saw Mills and Grain Separators

| January/February 1987

The following article is reprinted from the March 17, 1883 issue of Scientific American. The illustrations have been taken from the original publications. This article provides a detailed description of the Frick Company as it existed in 1883.

In the picturesque and historical Cumberland Valley, under the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in eastern Pennsylvania, lies the busy town of Waynesboro, the home of one of our most important industries. We refer to the extensive business of Frick & Company, which had its beginning in the year 1848, the present general superintendent being at that time engaged in the manufacture of threshing machines and agricultural implements in a small country shop near Waynesboro, and in the autumn of 1850 he built from his own patterns and for his own use his first steam engine, a two-horse power.

From this humble beginning the industry grew, the facilities were increased, and in due course the business was removed to its present location, where subsequently a company was organized, and extensions, changes, and improvements were effected from time to time, according to the demands of the business. At present the condition of the company is more promising than at any time during its long and successful career. The capital has been increased and working facilities extended, and still the demands upon the concern are such as to make it difficult to meet the business offered with entire satisfaction.

At the close of last year $300,000 was added to the capital, placing the company in an easy financial condition. Extensive additions are now being made to the works, and the number of expert mechanics is being constantly increased.

From its foundation the business management of the company has devolved upon Mr. George Frick, who, though advanced in years, continues to pay close attention to it, and while he has associated with himself a large and capable body of assistants, the present successes of the company are as largely due to his constant presence and supervision as was the origin of the business to his ingenuity and unusual mechanical skill.

The aim of the company has been to produce machinery which would yield the best possible results at a price consistent with permanence and durability. That these objects have been attained is forcibly shown in the widespread popularity and the ever increasing demand for their productions. A better proof than this of the merits of their goods could not be given.