Park House Apt. B-6, Norwich, New York 13815
In the last half of the nineteenth century, Wood Taber & Morse manufactured steam engines in a small town of 450 inhabitants of upstate New York. They manufactured stationary, portable and agricultural engines, and in the early '80s started making a four-wheel drive steam traction engine, said to be the first practical four-wheel drive.
The entire process was done here, including the casting of parts. The iron ore was obtained from the Clinton area and brought in on the Chenango Canal until 1868, when the railroad came to town.
Pictures #1 and #2 are of the factory and employees, taken about 1875. In picture #1 the small arrow at the bottom points to Peg Leg Wooten. He held a battering iron on the inside of the boilers as they were riveted. It was said he was absolutely deaf. Picture #3 is of a portable engine in the street, just skidded out of the shop. Picture #4 is of the left hand side of the four-wheel drive traction engine. Picture #5 is the right hand side of that engine showing the way the power was transferred from the rear axle to the front wheels.