History of Threshing


Cornelious AultmanIn the winter of 1848-1849 in Greentown, a village of three-hundred inhabitants nine miles north of Canton, Ohio, Cornelius Aultman made the patterns and built five reapers based on Obed Hussey's design. In 1847, a few had been made at Martin's Ferry, Ohio. They and Aultman's reapers were the first machines of their kind to be built in Ohio. Michael Dillman, a well-to-do farmer in Summit County, Ohio, was so impressed with Aultman's reaper that he offered to join Aultman in a partnership to manufacture reapers.

Aultman and Dillman chose the town of Plainfield in Will County, Illinois, as an ideal site for their new business. In Plainfield from 1849 to 1850, they constructed thirty-seven reapers. Area farmers who bought the machines gave them a good report.

Meanwhile, Hussey, living in Baltimore, Maryland, learned that Aultman and Dillman were producing his machine in the West. Hussey had done little to market his reaper himself, but he was quick to claim patent rights. In the spring of 1850, he hastened to Illinois and informed Aultman and Dillman that they owed him royalties on all the reapers they had sold.

C. Aultman & Co.The partners bargained with Hussey and ultimately agreed to pay him fifteen dollars for each reaper sold. In the fall of 1850, Aultman returned to Greentown, where, with new partners, he established a machine shop.

Eventually, Aultman formed the C. Aultman Company of Canton, Ohio, and later joined Henry Taylor in founding the Aultman-Taylor Machinery Company of Mansfield, Ohio. Both firms built farm steam engines, threshers, and other machines.

The name Aultman thus figures prominently in American agricultural history. (See Lorin E. Bixler's Cornelius Aultman, C. Aultman & Co., and the Aultman Co. [Enola, PA: Stemgas Publishing, 1967].


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