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The Ann Arbor Agricultural Works

The Ann Arbor Agricultural Works image
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The Aruus in ïntereated in the business as welt as the educatioual interests of our beautiful city, and has determined to continue the enterprise begun iu a previous issue, of presenting to its readers detailed accounts of the more prominent enterprises of Ann Arbor. Manufacturing establishments of various characters and business houses with extensivo trade still remain for better introduction to the public. Although the Huron river is not so nearly exhausted tbat it tails to keep up the hum of machmery, and grind the wheat for a vast community, capital has placed steam power at the door of these establishments to supply tne lack of water power, and keep them constautly busy. Workiug under these circumstances the manuxacturing houae of the ANN AEBOK AORICULTUEAL COMPAXY stands upon the north bank of the Huron er on Broadway, and turna out aimuully a large supply of implements for the use of the farmer. In this rich iarming country where so mauy of these tools are used and their excellence so well known, very extensivo sales are found tor them at retail, and yet but a ineager part comparatiYely, of the whole amount manufacturad, are thus disposed of i uiay never have occurred to the mind ot the retail purchaser that such goods as he was buyng were shipped in large quantities to other dealers, and that their excellence was well knowu even in the distant State of California. To inquire more fully iuto the inside workngs of this establishment the represantative of the Arous stepped iuto its office and reeived the kind attention of oue of its propritore, Mr. Frank Howard. From him and by bservation the following was obtained : THE ANN ARBOE AGBICULTUBAL W0RK8 were fouuded in 1865 by L. Moore & Sons, and arried on by them uutil 1870, wheu a comauy was formed under the present proprieors, Messrs. John Fiuuegan. E. W . Moore and Trank Howard. Since that time business has ncreased beyond their expectations, and their nuual sales uow foot up to surprising sums. 'hey manufacture all the ordinary implemento used by the farmer, yet make a specialty ot )ut four. While in auy other business oue rticle may command the atteutiou of its nanutacturers, because in constant use, here s a trade that can supply no article to be used lie year round. The iarnier buys plows ut carcely anv time except in the spring or early umme. Mowiug machines and horse rakeu hnd sale only in June aud July. Wheu the winter comes he then gives his attention to o leed cutters, sawing machines, etc. So to :eep a thriving busiuess from lagging, this ompany pay SPECIAL ATTENTIOX o plows, cultivators, feed cutters, and cornïellers. Nn sooner is the firat out of market han the second is m demand and so throughout the list. Their premium plow is the patent of J Heckendorn, which has inany points ot excellence that other plows do not possess. lts simphcity aud durability are its maiji teatures. It has a woodeu beam and the casting? are four in number, vb.. : mouldboard, landside, poiut and aliare. The two latter are usually joined in oue in other piows, but here they are separate pieces aud hare the ai.vautage of being reversible. When a point has been worn dull, it is turned upside down and becomes its own sharpener. When this and is worn out the point is reversed and is uew again. The manufacturera claim that it will outwear six ordiuary points and yet they sell it for the same price. This remarkable plow s the result of twenty years constaut study nd and an expenditure of 18,000 in experiments. All the parts are thoroughly giound nd polished on an emery wheel till they are inouth enough for mirrors. At a recent trial with other plows on the tarm of John C. Bird, ne mile west of tliis city, it so far surpassed tiem all that its owu furrows could be distinuished by a person ridiug along the road, ven after the tield had been harrowed. Anther late miproveineut has been added, hrough the genius of Mr. Finnegan, wlucli onsists in a new method of attaching the oulter. Heretofore it bas been fasteued to the jeam, and every farmer kuows sometbiug of he annoyance he has experienced by clogging when attempting to turn uuder straw or thick ïaiiure. Mr. Finnegan shortened this cutting ooi aud atlached it directly to the shaft. The jeculiar shape of the plow throws the coulter everal luches to the left of the beam, so that : will work in six inches of straw without loggüig. Shifting the beam does uot now reuire a correspondiug change in the coulter. The next iuiplement of special importauce s the WOLVEHINE CULTIVATOR, which is calculated to meet a doublé want ot Bmen, viz. : to work in corn aud on the talow. This is also the iuvention of Mr. Finne;au, which by ïtó astouishiug sales proves its excellence. A a eoru cultivator ituas flexible ramea, to which the shovels are attached, that ;au be iustantly raised to pass a stone or stump )ottom, or moved to the. side to avoid liills not lauted on the mark, or both raised entirely ut of the giound in turniug round. This is 11 done by the f eet of the operator who sits pon a coiníortable seat to drive kis team. Ou he tallow it has these advantages that the workiug depth of the teeth is regulated by the river's feet if the ground is hard or by their wil adjustibility on ordinary soil. The drier's weight i thrown upon the wheels and ot upou the teeth as in ordinary machines, hus addiug httle if anythiug to the draft. 'liirty pounds weight wiil lift the teeth from round, thus enabhng auy boy to opérate it. ■"orty dollars will secure this valuable implement for any farmer. We have uot bpace to give at length descripons ot the FEED CUTTEES AND COEN 8HELLEE3, which have so soon gained au enviable reputa,ion. We might h'ü this column with a list of ïeh other manufactures, but will enumérate uly a few : the Keystone drill, Keystone sulcy rake, tield rollers, circular wood saws, misellaueous articles like thill cultivators, garden arrows, eider mili grinders and presses, plow epairs of all kincis, etc., etc., aud in addition, 11 kinds of cast iron implemeuts and tools the armer can use, are turued out in their f urnace. A VI8IT TO THEIR W0KKS s the next thing in order, aud while on the way our conductor incideutally speaks ot the estination ot some ot their goods that are disjosed of at wholesale. All towns in this State eceive them and maay of the larger cities of Illinois, uorthern Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, etc., aud quite large shipments find their way to Ualifornia. No regular agents are kept in the tield, for where the tirm once sell they have uotlung to tniuble them except their probable iuability to meet the rapidly increiising orders. Ihey are not needed, for the tarmer s a inaii oí sense aud oool judgement, not shiftiug with every iresh breeze blowu by ' putting" agent, aud when he once gets a good tool to use, lie will have no other kind when the first purehaseis worn out, and so this company have no f euro for tlieir sales so long as they make the best articles in the inarket. At the works, the blacksmith shops are first entered, and a brief view taken of the translormation of the long bars ol irou and steel nto vorioiis parts of machinery. Next on the way is THE FOtlSDEY. Last fall to meet the wants of their growing nusiness, tlie present large fouudry was erected. It stand close on the bank of the river, is of wiek, one story high, and in size 105x60 feet. Jastings are made daily, aud f rom twelve to ;wenty men are constantly employed in it. I'en tons of iron are worked up every week. l'he next process through which the iron goes af ter casting is grindiug, and here an inveutiou is put into operatiou to save labor, the credit ot which belongs to Mr. Moore. Formerly heavy casting had to be held by main force upou the grindstone, but now a "jack" supported by weights and pulleys holds thera, and a man nuda little work in applyiug them to the stoue, which grinds on the under side. An emery wheel as before mentioued completes the smoothing process. Articles uot grouud go to the MILLINO BOOM, aud required to do a mutual work in the way ot breaking ott little protuberances and smoothing rough edges. ïhey are put into a strong box whiuh is made to slowly revolve tor a day or so. The reader can imagine the effect upon the coutents. la the MACHINE 8HOJ" anotber invention of Mr. Moore is seeu in operation, viz., a punch and shears which constitute one machine, and which operates on thick and heavy plates of' iron as easily as the shoemaker's awl on loather or the tailor's shears on the delicate fabrics he cuts and fashious. Near by are two planing machiug, one to prepare heavy and crooked tuuber, which takes out the wind or twist in it, and the other to put ou a smooth surtace. We theu go to the room where the work is ñmshed so far as cjnstruction is concerued, aud we find all the ordinary machines for mortising, sawing, itec. The work is put together aud theu delivered to THE PAINTKK, who puts on the finishing touches as he seeks to grutity the taste of the buyer. This hiiud souie exterior is lound to be a very neceasar1 additiou to ven the most usetul implemeut Men hare sesthetic tastes even) if they don' know it, and when a nicely pamted plow is offered for sale, it goes quicker than the one ]ust coated with oil. Two hundred thousand feet of lumber is the amount this flrm has on hand seasoniug for their use. Hickory and rock-elm are used for plow bearas, while ash and oak supply all other needs. An engine of 36 horse power has been put up to run the machinery when the water is low, but thus tar this seasou, there has been no use for it. From 35 to 50 men find employment in this establishment the year round And so the trip is completed, and we have learned how farmers get their tools made, wondering no longer why they come from far and near and send from distant States for implements to work the soil, wheu we have studied the points of excellence these possess. The members of the firm are men ot sound, practical sense, and besides understanding how to sell and snip goods, they know well the exact merits of every machine they make, many of which are their own inventions. Mr. Moore was the original inventor of the grain drill, which has not in the twenty-five years of its manufacture and improvements, deviated from the lirst principie of its inventor. While the company manufacture their goods in lower town, they occupy a large salesroom on the corner of Detroit and Catharine streets, and to this point the man in need of farm tools of any kind is directed, with the assurance that he will be kindly waited on, and furnished with the full return for his money.


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