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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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American Steam Pump Company



No. 468,448, February 9, 1892, by Elon A. Marsh; improvement in
water valves.

No. 649.739, May 15, 1900, by Foster M. Metcalf; improvement in
steam valve mechanism.

No. 713,661. November 18, 1902, by Foster M. Metcalf; improvement
in air compressor valves.

No. 750,331, January 26, 1904, by Rollin D. Ackley ; improvement in
steam valve mechanism.

No. 431,045, July 1, 1890, by Richard L. Frost ; steam actuated valve.

No. 598,949, February 15, 1898, by Ha N. Moore ; steam engine for
pumps.

No. 641,132, January 9, 1900, by Ha N. Moore ; slide valve.



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY 359

No. 492,188, February 21, 1893, by Frank A. Buriiham; steam valve
mechanism.

No. 561,682, June 9, 1896, by Ila N. Moore ; steam engine valve.

No. 533,789, February 5, 1895, by Richard L. Frost ; valve for steam
pumping engines.

No. -497,470, May 16, 1893, by Richard L. Frost ; steam actuated valve.

No. 519,857, May 15, 1894, by Prank A. Burnliam ; direct acting steam
pump.

No. 544,476, August 13, 1895, by Frank A. Burnham; steam engine
valve mechanism.

No. 421,355, February 11, 1890, by Richard L. Frost; steam engine
valve.

No. 814,793, March 13, 1906, by Foster M. Metealf ; steam pumping
engine.

No. 846,041, March 5, 1907, by Foster M. Metealf; steam valve
mechanism.

The two latter mentioned are the patents under which the new
American line of steam pumps and pumping engines are made b\' the
American Steam Pump Company.

No. 454,753, June 23, 1891 ; Ila N. Moore, steam pump.

The above named gentlemen were all mechanics who were originally
employed by the Battle Creek Machinery Company, and from their
inventions have evolved the business of the American Steam Pump Com-
pany, the Union Steam Pump Company and the Advance Pump and
Compressor Company. The three concerns are reputed to make more
steam pumps annually than are made in any other city in the world.

Americ.vn Steam Pump Company

The Battle Creek ^Machinery Company was the pioneer in the steam
pump industry in Battle Creek, and its successor, the American Steam
Pump Company, has developed the business from a small beginning.
This company has manufactured and sold in twenty-two years 11. ">,()()()
steam and power pumps and compressors. It has agencies in all jtarts
of this country and many foreign countries. The business has gradually
grown until now the factory site occupies the most of two city blocks.
The company emplo.ys 250 mechanics and with its office force and travel-
ing men gives employment to about 300 men. The present officers are
Edward C. Hinman, president and treasurer; Leopold Werstein, vice-
president; Richard R. Hicks, secretary, who, with William H. Mason
and John W. Bailey, form the Iward of directors.

Advance Pump and Compres.sor Company

In August, 1902, the Advance Pump and Compressor Company was
incoi-porated with forty-seven stockholders representing a capital stock
of $150,000 which had been contributed by residents of Battle Creek for
this new industry. The original directors of the company were : Charles
T. Allen, Ila N. Moore, Homer A. Latta, John Heyser, Harry E. Burt and



360 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

Lewis B. Anderson, and it was the purpose of the company to manufac-
ture duplex steam pumps and air compressors with the addition of such
other pumping machinery as might be found desirable from time to time.

The factory of the company is located upon the corner of Flint and
Division streets, the company having acquired a large section of land
from the J. M. Ward estate and erected a two-story brick building with
wing attached thereto for power plant.

The business started in a modest way and has continued to improve
its output yearly since organization. Its products have been exported to
a large number of countries throughout the world and its pumping
machinery may be found in some of the largest and best known institu-
tions in our country. The special characteristics of fuel and power
economy for operation have made it possible for this company to build
up its business in the short period of ten years ; necessitating forty factory
employes and an organization that is known wherever pumping ma-
chinery is used.

The management of the company is in the hands of John Heyser,
president ; I. N. Moore, vice-president ; Lewis B. Anderson, secretary and
treasurer.

Mr. Anderson is the active manager of the institution and has been
with the company since its inception.

Recently a large shipment of Advance pumps was made for use on the
Panama canal, while many are to be found in Government service and
with municipalities throughout the United States for water works service,
boiler feeding and other duties. The Advance plant is located on the
Michigan Central railroad, on Division street — almost in the heart of the
city.

Duplex Printing Press Company

Contrihuted

One of the industries which for the past quarter of a century has done
much to spread the name of Battle Creek through the sending of products
to all portions of the world, and yet of which little is known locally, is the
Duplex Printing Press Company. Because of the nature of its product
there is little occasion for the average person of Battle Creek or its
vicinity to visit the works or to know much of what is done there. The
fact is that the company's plant is one of the largest in the world in
the printing press line, and machines built there are in use throughout
all the civilized world, wherever newspapers of any considerable daily
circulation exist. Not only is it one of the largest plants, but it is also,
if not the best-equipped, at least one of the best-equipped in the world.
The company operates its own extensive foundries for both iron and brass,
being thus in a position to entirely control the quality of material,
rejecting anything that is not up to standard. They also have a large
forge room, in which all of their work of that sort is done, none of it
being let out by contract to other parties, who might or might not take an
interest in the quality of material and grade of work. Even the screws



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY :!()!

and bolts, nuts, etc., used in the Duplex press are all made in the I'aetory
at Battle Creek. The equipment is complete in every detail.

The product of the Duplex Printing Press Company's shops is entirely
newspaper printing presses. They make no presses of smaller type.
Their lines comprise machines adapted for daily papers of any circula-
tion from 1,000 upward to the largest in the world, and their trade has
been so large, and their machines in tlie hands of users so uniformly
successful in operation, that the name Duplex has come to be the standard
of printing press excellence in the American newspaper world. In addi-
tion to the large domestic trade tlie Duplex Printing Press Company
does an extensive foreign business, having agencies in almost every coun-
try of the globe, and its products being manufactured aud handled in
the European market under license by two of the largest concerns in the
world, Linotype & Machinery, Limited, of London, England, and the
Marinoni Company, of Paris, Fi-ance, at whose works in Manchester,
England, and in Paris, respectively. Duplex machines are being built
for this large field.

The principal names connected with the company are all well known
in Battle Creek affairs. Mr. I. L. Stone has always been the moving
spirit in the company having started its organization and been its presi-
dent throughout its history. Associated with him as officers and directors
are Mr. W. W. Collier, vice-president; Mr. E. C. Nichols, Prof. F. R.
Mechem, directoi-s; Mr. F. W. Dunning, secretary, and Mr. Chas. G.
Mechem. treasurer.

The Duplex Printing Press Company was organized in Battle Creek
in December of 1884, their chief possession being an idea — a patent — to
which the organizers pinned their faith. The idea, enide in its develop-
ment at the time of organization, was that of a flat-bed printing press
capable of high speed, in fact, double the speed then considered the
limit, this speed to be obtained by utilizing both strokes of a reciprocating
mechanism as printing strokes, instead of printing on one stroke, and
"going back empty."

For six years elaborate experiments were carried on and machines
built and rebuilt in the development of the ideas and inventions of the
company, for the production at a reasonable cost of a comparatively sim-
ple machine embodying the devices, a large amount of money being
invested in this way before any commercial use of the company's product
was at all possi])le. But mechanical skill and perseverance in the end
produced the desired press — a machine capable of printing from a web
of continuously-running paper at a speed of 4,000 complete and folded
newspapers per hour, and without the use of any expensive stereotyping
methods and machinery. The successful flat-bed web perfecting press,
the Duplex, was then offered to the newspaper world and proved by the
instant demand that it met all the claims that had been made for it.

With the introduction of this Duplex stationary tlat-bed perfecting
newspaper press, in 1890, a unique and exceedingly important advance
was made in the printing world. It was one of those instances, notable
in the history of mechanical arts, in which an urgent and universal need,
constantly becoming more and more pressing, was met by the invention
of the means of supplying it — long sought in vain.



362 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

Previous to 1890 there was in existence no printing machine capable
of meeting the requirements of publishers of daily newspapers with circu-
lations ranging from, say, 1,200 to 10,000, or under certain conditions of
publication, to 15,000 and weeklies with circulations up to 100,000. The
hand-fed presses were too slow — the rotary presses, involving the stereo-
typing process, too costly and too cumbersome and expensive in operation.

The Duplex press, no more expensive in operation than an ordinary
flat-bed cylinder press, with all the advantages of a flat-bed type printing
press, but with a speed of 5,000 to 6,000 perfected papers per hour, of
four, six, eight, ten or twelve pages beautifully printed and folded to
half-page or quarter-page^size, exactly met the demand of these papers.
That this is so is proved by the fact that since its introduction the demand
has been constantly beyond the supply. It is univei*sally recognized as
the only press now available adapted to the economical production of
daily papers whose circulation is such as to require more speed than that
of a hand-fed machine, and yet not so large as to require more than 6,000
per hour. The Duplex has achieved its present wide reputation solely
upon its merits. Its makers have not spent any time proclaiming its
excellences to the world. They have been very busy building the machines,
realizing that these in hundreds of newspaper offices would best tell the
story.

A little over two yeai-s after the introduction of the Duplex press
to the market, was held the World's Pair at Chicago, in which exposition
the Duplex, alreadj' becoming well known among newspaper publishers,
was exhibited, and where it received first award.

The history of the company since has fulfilled the augury of this
early recognition of the supremacy of its machinery. The years have
been marked by steady growth and increase of plant and output, until
at this writing the factory is one of the largest printing press factories
in the world, and the only one devoted exclusively to the manufacture
of newspaper machinery. From a small beginning the industry has
grown until its main buildings cover practically an entire block of the
city, other buildings and lands occupying two more, with magnificent
railroad facilities, the private side track totaling a quarter of a mile in
length. This growth and development was not, however, all smooth
sailing. No sooner was the Duplex press established as a success and
recognized as the only type of machine for the newspaper offices whose
needs it was designed to meet than imitators sprang up, whose infringe-
ments of the basic patents owned by the Duplex Printing Press Company
had to be disposed of by protracted and expensive legal proceedings under
the United States patent laws, which in their various forms dragged
on for many years, all being eventually decided in favor of the Duplex
Printing Press Company, which found itself then, by virtue of the merit
of the machine it was building and the decision of the courts' sustaining
the patent rights, practically in sole possession of the large press market
afforded by the moderate-sized daily newspapers.

Additions to the plant followed with great frequency, the capacity
of the factory being doubled time and again by additional buildings and
equipment. The Duplex press became the standard for the small city



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUxXTY ;]63

daily throughout the United States and also filled a large demand in
Europe and the Orient, presses being shipped even in the early j'ears to
England. Sweden, Germany and other European countries, and also to
South Africa, Australia, Japan, etc. Everywhere their success was
marked.

The development of this field opened naturally to the Duplex Printing
Press Company the field of the larger daily papers. As the users of the
Duplex flat-bed machine found their business rapidly increasing, hirgely
due to the economies and facilities furnished by the use of the Duplex,
their natural inclination was to turn to tlie Duplex Printing Press Com-
pany again for a machine to fit their larger needs. As a result of this
demand the Duplex Printing Press Company in 1904 turned its attention
to the development of rotary, or stereotype, machines of improved pat-
tern, — machines to be as great an advance in the rotaiy press field as the
Duplex flat-bed had been in the flat-bed field.

But it must not be supposed that this was the fii-st move of the Duplex
Printing Press Company along these lines. As much as ten or twelve
years before this date the far-seeing members of the company had realized
that there would inevitably come a call for a Duplex rotary press, and
at that early date the superintendent and designer, Mr. H. F. Bechman,
was thinking of tlie problem and planning machines with which to meet
the demand when it should be found sufficient to warrant going ahead
■nith the work. Therefore, when in 1904 it was decided that the time had
come to reach forward into the field of larger machines, there was no
hesitation or groping in the dark for an idea. The press to be built, was
already planned in its general principles, and it was only necessary to
develop and perfect the details of construction. One of the old erecting
rooms, outgrown by the flat-bed business and used more or less for storage,
was cleared out and soon again became a center of activity, the experi-
mental room in which the new Duplex rotary was developed and built.
The first machine was put forward in the factory just as fast as drawings
and patterns could be made, and before many weeks had passed the press,
an entirely novel arrangement of printing mechanisms, resulting in great
economy of space and simplification of gearing and frame work, with the
natural result of extreme solidity and compactness, was ready for demon-
stration and exhibition to the public.

The new Duplex rotary press attracted wide attention throughout
the country. Many publishers and mechanical superintendents of press-
rooms in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and numerous other
places visited Battle Creek to inspect this machine, and their opinion
as to its merits was unanimous. Without exception they agreed that it
was the most remarkable advance in printing presses that had been made
for many years. The press first built was a 32-page stereotype machine,
commonly called a quadruple press, but it fully illustrated the possi-
bilities of larger machines built on the same plan, with all of the advan-
tages obtained thereby.

It is interesting to note that the exhibition of this press resulted verj'
promptly in sales in the large cities. In fact, the first press sold of this
type was sold to the Journal of Commerce, of New York City. Similar



364 HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUNTY

machines were early placed in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and other cities.

The facts connected with the shipment and erection of the press for
the Journal of Cmnmerce sufficiently demonstrate the marvelous sim-
plicity of the press. This machine, the very first to be sold or erected,
left Battle Creek via Grand Trunk railroad at 5 :30 a. m., Friday, June
22, 1906. It reached New York, 828 miles distant, on Monday, June 25.
It was transferred to the pressroom of the Journal of Commerce, 32
Broadway, and erection was begun Tuesday, June 26. At midnight of
Sunday, July 1, the press was ready for the forms, but at that time not
a wheel had been turned nor paper put into the machine. At 1 :00
o'clock a. m. Monday, the plates were put on and the regular edition of
the Journal of Commerce and Comiiu nial liulhtin- was run off with-
out a hitch. In ten days from the tiinc this :;L'-page rotary press left
Battle Creek, Michigan, it had printed a complete edition of the Jour-
nal of Commerce iu New York City.

It should be borne in mind that the Duplex Company had but three
of their men in New York to do this work, that these men had never
erected (nor had any one else in any pressroom) a similar machine be-
fore, and that these erectors were not the buildei-s of the machine, only
one of them being a machinist who had worked upon it. Had the press
not been far and awa.y simpler and easier to erect and operate than the
ordinary style of machine, the above record, which had never before been
approached, would have been impossible.

It was apparent at once to all connected with the Duplex Company
that there would be a demand for this machine fully equal to that enjoyed
by the flat-bed department, and even greater. Additional facilities were
immediately required, and furnished by the erection of another large
machine shop to be used exclusively for the rotary press department.

In connection with the development of this new type of press the
Duplex Printing Press Company designed and built a full line of stereo-
typing machinery of a quality in complete accord with that of the press
it was to accompany.

But the Duplex Printing Press Companj% having entered the rotary
press field and not being in a rut through long building of certain types
of machines, was not satisfied that this machine that they had .just built,
and Avhich was admittedly a great advance, could not be still further
improved upon. By changes of design, rearrangement of parts, and im-
proved designs, the Duplex rotary had reduced by about fifty per cent
the space required for the operation of large-sized pi-esses, but it still
continued to use two plates to each page to be printed. Obviously this
was a wasteful proceeding. The simple machine should be one which
operated ■(\'ith one plate for a page, but builders and printing press
experts who had been studying the problem for many years in various
factories declared that such a machine was an impossibility. This did
not deter the Duplex Printing Press Company and Mr. Bechman from
attacking the problem, and attacking it so successfully that within three
years from their first entry into the rotary field the Duplex Printing
Press Company announced to newspaper publishers that the problem
was solved and a press was on the market which required no more than
one plate to be made per page to be printed.



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY 365

This inveution was so uovel, and the claims made for it were so
revolutionary and exceedingly important that the announcement was
received with more or less incredulity, but the reputation which the
Duplex Printing Press Company had so thoroughly established in the
years gone by for progress and the practical application of new ideas in
the production of improved machines, gave credit to the claims The
inveution which characterized this machine is the use of cylindrical or
tubular, plates, instead of the old style semi-cylindrical used on all other
stereotype presses. The advantage obtained by this invention is that a
Duplex tubular-plate machine carrying exactly the same number of
plates as any other style machine and running at the same speed will
give just doidile the product.

The Duplex tubular was not long in demonstrating the validity of the
claims made for it, and it attracted more attention and interested investi-
gation, because of its novelty, than had the other style of rotary press.
Although at this wTiting a comparatively novel machine, the tubular
press is recognized and acknowledged by the leading press experts of
the world to be the type of machine bound to dominate the whole rotary
press field.

In brief, the history of the Duplex Printing Press Company has been
marked by development of distinct and notable advances in printing
press construction in every field which the company has entered. Each
product has been more than an improvement. They have been radical
changes, involving new and in many respects revolutionary features.
Also the Duplex Printing Press Company was the first printing press
concern to develop and build a complete line covering the whole field
of newspaper perfecting presses. Other companies had individually
covered different portions of the field. When the Duplex Printing Press
Company added to its line the rotary machines it assumed a unic(ue
position among press builders and attained a preeminence which it lias
maintained by the perfection of workmanship and design.

Battle Creek Prep.vred Food Industry

Contributed

Through the millions of dollars spent in tliis country and abroad in
advertising food products. Battle Creek has come to be known as the
home of the breakfast food. This is the true conclusion for the city
produces and markets a greater amount of prepared food annually than
any other city in the world. The food industry is the city's chief revenue
producer and furnishes employment to more men and women than any
other line of manufacturing in the city, although Battle Creek is one of
the principal manufacturing points of the state and produces a varied
line of goods including printing presses, stoves, steam pumps, threshing
machines and the like.

The number of concerns actively engaged in the manufacture and
sale of prepared foods in Battle Creek has narrowed down to a few out of
the many which have been started.



366 HISTOKY OF CALHOUxN COUNTY

Records show that fifty-four companies have been organized in Cal-
houn county for the manufacture of cereal food and drinks, representing
a capitalization of more than $28,000,000.

Nearly forty-five years ago a band of men ' ' who believed in altruism
and human progress purchased a small two-story farmhouse in a fine
grove at the edge of Battle Creek and opened a water cure under the
name of the Health Reform Institute." Ten years later it was turned
over to the Seventh Day Adveutists church and by people of that faith
operated as a sanitarium. This sanitarium alienated from the faith of
the Adveutists is now operated under the name of The Battle Creek
Sanitarium and incidental to its operation various experiments were made
to perfect healthful food. Later the idea of a cereal substitute for coffee
was given attention and resorting to the processes used by the soldiers in
the Civil war, a beverage made of bran and molasses was evolved. No
attempt was made, however, until many years later by the Sanitarium
authorities to market these various food products. They merely made
use of the products as an aid to the system of dietetics which has been
used with splendid effect at that institution. On January 1, 1895, C. W.
Post started the manufacture of a cereal coffee which he called "Postum. "

The business was skilfully advertised and grew very rapidly, demand-
ing frequent additions to the manufacturing equipment, and the plant
grew fast. This attracted widespread attention and other capitalists and
brought in a great number of promotors who inaugurated a veritable
'"boom" later on.

Before the "boom" was started Mr. Post had perfected the now
widely -known food called ' ' Grape-Nuts. ' ' After this product had added
to the fame of Battle Creek food products the "boom" got well under
way.

The first competing company to be organized was The Battle Creek
Cereal Food Company which was chartered March 20, 1897. Associated
in the management of this company which had a capital of $25,000, M'ere



Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 45 of 74)