- Many small companies sprung up to serve
farmers' needs, "but there was no united
- effort on the part of men of such means
- That year, James HARRIS, Zebediah
GOULD, D. R. ANGELL and Leonard
built shops to make farm implements on the West Side near the
lower bridge and expanded the business until 1866 when it was
transferred to new owners - J. HARRIS, E. G. and Leavett
FIFIELD and Horace DEWEY - who incorporated the
- By the 1870s, the corporation, known
as HARRIS Manufacturing Co., employed
- 125 people and had annual sales of
- Janesville Machine was incorporated
in 1881 by James HARRIS, J. B. CROSBY
- and others with $100,000 to take over
the operation of HARRIS Manufacturing Co. on Jan. 1, 1882. [T.
O. and Fred HOWE also were "extensively interested"
in the Janesville Machine Co.]
Manufacturing was started by HARRIS and others to continue
- business started by HARRIS,
GUILD & ANGELL: the manufacture of agricultural
- By 1908 and under the direction of
general manager J. A. CRAIG, the concern
- was the city's largest. New buildings
increased the company's physical plant until it occupied nearly
three city blocks - south from Pleasant Street on both sides
of River Street - and employed 250 to 300 men.
- It was CRAIG who convinced W.
C. DURANT, president of GM, in 1918 that
- Janesville Machine would be a good
investment for the small but growing General Motors Corp. GM
also bought Samson Tractor Co. of Stockton, Calif., and merged
it with Janesville Machine to form the corporation's Samson Tractor
invented the Little Champion mower and a safety oil lamp. In
- firm of HARRIS & SMITH
made about $30,000 selling the lamps worldwide with a large trade
- About , HARRIS & SMITH
"drifted into the manufacture of barbed
- wire." SMITH withdrew from
the business after a few years, and it was carried on by HARRIS
and his son, A. J. It grew to a large operation, also making
wire nails and the "more humane" woven wire, which
supplanted barbed wire for livestock fences.
- The HARRISes incorporated the
business in 1903 as the Janesville Barbed Wire
- Co. with a capital stock of $150,000.
- [Source: "Water power turned
wheels of first industry," The
Janesville Gazette, August 14, 1985, p. 2G, 6G; Courtesy of
Manufacturing Company, A. P. LOVEJOY, President; Isaac
Secretary; L. L. ROBINSON, Treasurer; J. B. CROSBY,
General Manager; S. C. COBB, Superintendent.
- [Source: The History of Rock
County, Wisconsin by C. W. Butterfield, ©1879 Western
Historical Co., p. 709; Courtesy of Carol]
- The Janesville Machine Company was
incorporated Oct. 7, 1881, the incorporators
- being James HARRIS, Hiram MERRILL,
William A. LAWRENCE, J. B. CRABE, J. D. REXFORD,
S. C. COBB, A. P. LOVEJOY, David JEFFRIS
and H. D. REICHWALD. The capital stock amounts to $100,000,
and the company engages in the manufacture of mowers, seeders,
disc pulverizers, disc corn plows, reapers and harrows. The annual
business aggregates $250,000, and the principal markets are in
Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas,
extending into Montana and California. The first officers of
the company were J. D. REXFORD, President; A. J. GLASS,
Vice-president and General Manager; Isaac FARNSWORTH,
Secretary; L. L. ROBINSON, Treasurer; S. C. COBB,
Superintendent. The present officers are J. D. REXFORD,
President; A. P. LOVEJOY, Vice-president; L. B. REYNOLDS,
Manager; S. C. COBB, Superintendent; Isaac FARNSWORTH,
Treasurer; and Collin C. McLEAN, Secretary. In the manufacturing
department of the Janesville Machine Company from ninety to 130
hands are employed. This is a leading enterprise of the city
and has had a prosperous existence from the beginning.
- In 1908, Janesville Machine Co. was
the top company in the city. Janesville Barbed
- Wire Co. was one of the top 15 companies.
- Click here to see an 1889 advertising postcard from the
Janesville Machine Co.