VIBRATOR HISTORY

Route 1, Millersport, Ohio 43046

(This article is in regards to the picture and write-up on page
41 of March-April, 1968’issue of I.M.A.)

This information came in a later letter. Meredith had been
hunting the history on the vibrator type thresher and this all
turned up after he had mailed the previous material. Like Meredith
says, ‘That’s the way it goes, you can hunt and hunt for
material, then Bang! all at once it turns up.’ So it is here,
though a bit delayed.

Thanks for all your efforts, Meredith Anna Mae.

The Aultman & Taylor Co. was founded in 1867 to build the
then new type vibrating thresher. The vibrator principle being a
straw rack hanging on rods from frame of thresher behind the
cylinder, being given a back and forth motion by pitmans and
cranks. Then as the threshers were improved, the grain pan was
fixed likewise only it was timed to move in opposite direction of
straw rack; this tended to counter balance machine and make a much
smoother operating machine.

In the early 1830’s the Pitts were experimenting with a
perforated board shaken longitudinally with the ‘ground
hog’ thresher, this being before the adoption of the endless
apron thresher. The first patent granted on the vibrating principle
of separation was granted to a W. Pierpont of Salem N. J. on May 7,
1850. Cyrus Roberts of Belleville, Illinois was the first to invent
and carry forward to successful completion devices necessary to the
development of the modern vibrating type of thresher.

A company of Cox & Roberts started building ‘ground
hog’ threshers in 1848. In 1850 they added a vibrating pan.
This addition to the machine was set on legs loosely so as to
vibrate back and forth by the action of a crank and pitman, thus
separating the grain and chaff from the straw. The pan being of
lumber, plain boards on bottom, bored full of holes, having side
boards about a foot high, and being from 6′ to 10′ long and
as wide as the cylinder. This giving partial separation only as
there was no fan. Machine was being improved each year. On July 20,
1852 Cyrus Roberts was granted a patent on this type thresher. This
thresher was known as the Cox & Roberts thresher.

The development of the Cox & Roberts machine was slow and no
great headway was made in the establishment of the vibrating
principle; the endless apron type was the thresher of the times
then. Then in 1858 Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle Creek,
Michigan, began to build threshers of the vibrating principle. John
Nichols gave the machine the trade name ‘Vibrator’.

In 1864, the Nichols & Shepard vibrating separator attracted
the attention of H. H. Taylor of Chicago who was the largest jobber
of threshing machinery in the United States. Mr. Taylor had just
obtained an interest in the ‘Marsh’ harvester, then at the
opening of its career, for the purpose of widening his business in
that direction. After a careful investigation of the merits and
prospects of the vibrating thresher, he was so favorably impressed
with the vibrator type thresher that he sold his interest in the
‘Marsh’ harvester, and in 1865 he negotiated with the
Nichols & Shepard Co. and obtained an interest in their patents
and shops. Also in 1865 Mr. Taylor took on the general agency for
C. Aultman & Co. of Canton, Ohio, manufacturers of the Buckeye
mower, endless apron threshers known as the ‘Sweepstakes’
thresher, horsepowers and other lines of agricultural
equipment.

Recognizing the elements of success in the new vibrating type
threshers, Mr. Taylor succeeded in enlisting Mr. Aultman in the
founding of the new concern.

Thus in 1867 at Mansfield, Ohio Cornelius Aultman and Henry
Hobart Taylor founded the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. for
the purpose of building the vibrator or modern type threshing
machine.

The new machine soon became well known. Probably this
company’s early success with the vibrating type thresher
hastened other thresher manufacturers to drop the endless apron or
Pitts type and go to the vibrating type machine, which was used to
the end in the thresher business and was carried on into the modern
combine of today.

The business grew; of course new improved models were introduced
regularly; the company was incorporated under the name Aultman and
Taylor Company, and went on to become one of the largest in the
threshing industry. I believe the Aultman & Taylor
‘starved-rooster’ trade mark spoke of the ability of the
machine to separate (Fattened on an Aultman-Taylor straw pile). So
in summary, I would say the vibrating type threshing machine was
first furthered the most by the Nichols & Shepard Co., then
with the founding of the Aultman & Taylor Co. to build the
vibrating thresher, and with Mr. Taylor being the largest jobber of
threshing machinery in the United States, it soon became the
thresher of the times.

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