WATERLOO Manufacturing Company Limited


| March/April 1989



Jack C. Norbeck

Jack C. Norbeck , president of Norbeck Research

Norbeck Research117 Ruch Street Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037

Watertloo 20 HP stream traction engine built in 1918 by the Waterloo Mfg. Co., Waterloo Ontario and owned by Hurass of Ontario.

Jacob Bricker was born in 1818 in Waterloo, Ontario, and learned the trade of blacksmith and wagon-maker in a neighboring village. Returning to Waterloo in 1850, he built a shop and began the manufacture of pioneer tools and implements. Gradually his shop and his output included threshing machines.

Bricker's machines were of the canvas or apron type and his idea of mounting them on two wheels made them quite popular. The demand soon caused him to concentrate solely on threshing machines, tread mills and horsepowers. In the early 1880's he began to experiment with steam power, and equipped his plant to build portable steam engines of the return flue type.

In 1880, E.W.B. Snider, who had been born in the nearby village of St. Jacobs and became a well-to-do miller, saw the possibilities of the fast growing threshing machine industry. He purchased the plant operated by Jacob Bricker and the close-by foundry where Sammuel Mermer had him making plows and other agricultural implements. Combining the two under the name of Waterloo Manufacturing Company, he began the almost exclusive manufacture of threshing machinery which he marketed under the trademark 'Lion Brand'. The face of a lion was cast on the smoke box door of all engines built after the turn of the century.

For a few years the new firm continued to build return flue portable engines, but public interest in the locomotive type of boiler soon caused a switch to this style. The open bottom firebox type was chosen, the popular diamond top smokestack was adopted and the belt wheel was moved over to the right side. About this time workmen experienced in building traction engines were secured as a result of the closing down of the Haggard Bros. Foundry at Brampton, Ontario. Thus, the production of traction engines was commenced at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada without delay.