Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I’m not sure who the child in the photo is (my guess is Uncle Bob, Mother’s brother Robert Furnas) but the buildings in the background are of the Ohio Rake Company which was located at Pine and Marshall Streets in Dayton, Ohio.

The picture was probably taken around 1911 but the company was incorporated in 1884 by founders who had been doing business for several years prior to that. They manufactured a variety of farm equipment including rakes, tedders, binder trucks, and harrows which would have been pulled by horse or mules on the farm. Originally, manufacturing equipment used in the factory was powered by a 150 hp steam engine. At one time Ohio Rake was said to make a larger variety of hay rakes than any other company in the country and were also well known for their “Golden Age Disc Harrow”. They sold implements not only in the U.S. market but also in countries as distant as Australia.

Another Dayton company that made farm implements was started by John W. Stoddard, a cousin of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Stoddard was first involved in the manufacture of linseed oil and varnishes, that company later became part of Lowe Brothers Paints. Stoddard began manufacturing farm equipment in 1869. Like Ohio Rake, Stoddard Manufacturing was incorporated in 1884. Their “Tiger” brand name became known the world over. By 1890, more than 200,000 Tiger hay rakes had been sold. In the mid 1890s the company added bicycles. Charles Taylor, who would become the chief bicycle mechanic for the Wright Brothers and builder of the engine that powered their 1903 airplane, first worked for Stoddard.

In 1903 Stoddard began building motorcars as the Dayton Motor Car Company. Their Stoddard-Dayton automobile won the first race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 and was the pace car for the first Indianapolis 500 held in 1911. After various mergers the company became part of Chrysler Corporation. RMB

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