Schaeffer, Merkel and Company
The following information on Schaeffer, Merkel equipment was made available by the Pasto Agriculture
David Sittler, born in 1810 in Greenwich Township, Berks county, owned a large farm in Upper Macungie township, Lehigh county. There he died on Jan. 4, 1873, is buried at Mertztown, and was a member of the Lutheran church. He married Naomi Griesemer, a native of Berks county. Their children were: William, David, Daniel, married to Carolina Oswald; Charles, Peter, Louisa, died, aged ten years; Susanna, married to Daniel Neumeyer, and James, of Allentown.
William Sittler, son of David, was born June 16, 1835, in Greenwich township. He was a wheelwright by trade but later he established the first farm implement business at Fleetwood out of which grew the well known firm of Schaeffer, Merkel & Company, whose foreman he was for a number of years.
The largest manufacturing firm in Fleetwood was Schaeffer, Merkel & Co., founders and machinists. Lewis, George D., Jonathan, and Daniel Schaeffer opened this establishment about 1865. George D. Schaeffer sold his interest to Charles Melcher, the firm name being Schaeffer, Melcher & Co. A. C. Kemp, George B. Schaeffer and C.F. Reifsnyder took an interest in 1872.
The firm has been known for a long times as Schaeffer, Merkel & Co. The members are: Lewis Schaeffer, William Merkel, A. W. Haag, John Bertolette and C. F. Reifsnyder. Prior to 1865 what is now the machine shop was then used as a grain house by Melot and Hunter. The firm of Schaeffer, Merkel & Co. had met with unprecedented success, growing steadily, making additions from time to time until they were a firm whose fame is almost worldwide. They manufactured all kinds of farming implements and machinery, mining and mill machinery, etc., etc. Mr. Merkel was a practical machinist while Mr. Haag, who is the patentee of the reliance turbine water wheel, was an expert in mill work. They furnished a number of new flour rolling mills with improved machinery in many states and in Canada. All their work was warranted. The “Fleetwood grain separator,” “Tread powers,” “Lever powers,” “Threshers,” “Improved Grain Fan,” “Field roller,” “Cannon” and “Small” corn shellers, “Harrows,” “Fodder Cutters” are among their improved labor saving machines, giving universal satisfaction. They also handled the “Peerless” and “Eclipse” portable and traction engines & road locomotives, and the “Champion” and “Deering” mowers, binders and reapers. Repairing was promptly attended to. They were repeatedly awarded premiums at the county and other fairs for their exhibits.
The following information on Schaeffer, Merkel equipment was made available by the Pasto Argiculture Museum at Penn State. Their permission was granted for the use of their photographs and written material. The Pasto Agricultural Museum collection has more than 750 antique implements used for farming and rural life. Visitors can tour the museum by appointment. Click Below To Go To the Pasto Argriculture Museum at Penn State.
This early (1870s) model consists of the forward threshing section and the “winnower” back section, joined together by clamps. It demonstrates technological advancement by combining both the threshing and winnowing (grain separation) operations in one machine. Made by Schaeffer, Merkel & Co. Fleetwood, PA (Berks County.) The thresher has “THE KING” is stenciled in original lettering and stenciling on both sides. The number “213” is stenciled on one side. This means it was 213th one made by the manufacturer – no machines have been found with the same number. A total of 377 individual pencil marks on the side is someone’s accounting of grain threshed – one mark equals either one bushel or ten bushels. Purchased and donated as a matched set- very unusual to find a matched pair like these. Completely cleaned and restored by Joe Shafranich (Penn State Farm Operations) and Darwin Braund, Volunteer Curator, December 1999 & January 2000 and added to the Pasto Agricultural Museum in early 2000.
The photograph above represents the machine before it underwent restoration.
A one-horse tread power; made in 1870s by Schaeffer, Merkel & Co. Fleetwood, PA (Berks County.) Original lettering and stenciling on both sides: “THE BUCKWALTER CHAMPION, Schaeffer, Merkel & Co. Manufacturers, Fleetwood, PA.” Bought at auction May 15, 1999 together with thresher as a matched set, then cleaned and restored.
|(Their permission was granted for the use of these photos by Pasto Museum at Penn State. tographs and written material. Cer of above photos to connect to the The Pasto Agricultural Museum collection has more than 750 antique implements used for farming and rural life. Visitors can tour the museum by appointment.)|