York County Native Develops Bent Fello
You know my theory–dig deep enough in just about any subject and you’ll find a York County connection. That’s why we named my blog Universal York–York County, center of the universe.
Here is another example, gleaned from an article in the September 10, 1905 York Gazette:
“Samuel Toomey left York County in 1847, walking to Ohio, where he commenced life and made the bent fello for vehicles a practical success and achieved distinction and fortune. He now lives at Canal Dover, Ohio.”
A bent what?
Thanks to Google Books, I found an obituary in Volume 51 of The Automotive Manufacturer (1909). It says that Samuel Toomey died at his home in Canal Dover, Ohio. He had been retired for 15 years and son Oliver now operated the business he established. It goes on:
“It was due to Mr. Toomey’s inventive genius that the sulky was lifted from the level of a common vehicle and made a distinctive product of world-wide reputation. The truss or arched axel was the backbone of his reputation. The Toomey sulky was his creation and vehicle builders honored the talent of the man who created and produced it.
Mr. Toomey had been identified with the industry since 1854. He was the founder of the firm of S. Toomey and Co. and the Canal Dover shop was known here and abroad wherever harness racing was in vogue.”
And the bent fello? Dictionary.com defines a fello as “the circular rim, or part of the rim of a wheel, into which the outer spokes are inserted.”
You would think fellos were around ever since the spoked wheel was invented, but Toomey must have found a better way to bend them. It also sounds like Toomey made his fortune creating a better whole sulky, not just parts of them.
Speaking of sulkies, don’t forget the York Fair is soon coming up. Click here for more on the fair and the harness races.