O. J. Bollinger & Co. plus S. Morgan Smith and Jacob Loucks form the York Manufacturing Company in 1874
The company lineage of today’s Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency operations in York goes back through the following business names:
- York International Corporation (1986-2005)
- York Division of Borg-Warner Corporation (1956-1986)
- York Corporation (1942-1956)
- York Ice Machinery Corporation (1927-1942)
- York Manufacturing Company (1874-1927)
It all started with the establishment of the York Manufacturing Company in 1874. Other posts in this series on The Origins of the York Manufacturing Company include:
- S. Morgan Smith’s Success Washing Machine; Origins of the York Manufacturing Company
- S. Morgan Smith, patentee Success Washing Machine, at 436 West Market Street in York
- S. Morgan Smith learns a valuable lesson about patents; at the hands of McGinnes & Carter
- Jacob Loucks; Family History of a Founder of the York Manufacturing Company
- Jacob Loucks learned the Paper Making Trade near Hunt Valley, Maryland; P. H. Glatfelter followed in his footsteps
- Jacob Loucks affiliations with Four Paper Mills make him Relatively Wealthy; prior to providing Start-up Cash for York Manufacturing Company
- Oliver J. Bollinger brought Manufacturing Experience to the York Manufacturing Company in addition to contributing his patent on a Turbine Water Wheel
- Oliver J. Bollinger and his initial Patented Bollinger Turbine Water Wheel
In 1874 six men in York, Pennsylvania, contributed resources to jointly form the York Manufacturing Company. Stephen Morgan Smith contributed two washing machine patents valued at $20,000; since it was an already established product. Oliver J. Bollinger held a patent on a turbine water wheel. Bollinger shared the rights to his invention with three investors; George H. Buck, Robert L. Shetter and Henry H. LaMotte. As a group, Bollinger, Buck, Shetter and LaMotte contributed the Bollinger Turbine Water Wheel patent for a $4,500 stake. Jacob Loucks invested $10,000 in cash. Henry H. LaMotte also gave the new company the use of a machine shop he owned on North Penn Street in York for an additional $7,000 stake in the company.
Oliver J. Bollinger shared the rights to his patented Turbine Water Wheel with three investors; George H. Buck, Robert L. Shetter and Henry H. LaMotte. The 1873 directory listings show what these four individuals were doing one year prior to joined S. Morgan Smith and Jacob Loucks as founders of the York Manufacturing Company.
Prior to joining S. Morgan Smith and Jacob Loucks to establish the York Manufacturing Company in 1874 the other individuals were all connected with Oliver J. Bollinger through his patented Turbine Water Wheel. Lets look at what they were doing in 1873.
George Buck and Robert Shetter both worked at P. A. & S. Small; they were investors in Bollinger’s Turbine Water Wheel. George Buck was a 38 year-old foreman; possibly his second job was managing the operations of O. J. Bollinger & Company. Robert Shetter was a 25 year-old salesman; possibly his second job was lining up sales for O. J. Bollinger & Company.
Henry H. LaMotte was Oliver Bollinger’s cousin. LaMotte, a 40 year-old machinist, owned a brick two-story factory building along North Penn Street in York. His machine shop was located on the first floor and he leased the second floor out to a cigar manufacturer.
The Turbine Water Wheel patented by Oliver J. Bollinger on June 28, 1870 was likely developed at LaMotte’s machine shop on the northwest corner of North Penn Street and West Clarke Avenue in York, PA. By 1873, it appears that Bollinger was gearing up to launch the business O. J. Bollinger & Company, headquartered in LaMotte’s factory building; this is per information recorded in 1873 by Howard H. Bailey.
The collections of the York County Heritage Trust contain a very detailed 1873 Bird’s Eye View of York, Penn. Howard H. Bailey drew this Bird’s Eye View of York; one of 72 such views he created in his career. H. H. Bailey was a respected view artist known for using a distinctive high-level perspective. He recorded the appearance of towns and cities from the Midwest, through the central Atlantic states, and into New England. The following comments about his attention to detail are from page 162 the 1984 book Views and View-makers of Urban America, by John William Reps:
No viewmaker surpassed H. H. Bailey in his careful representations of industrial and business districts. Civic leaders must have admired his prints of such places as Syracuse, Troy, Lowell, Holyoke, Lawrence, Woonsocket, and Paterson for their detailed representations of the mill and manufacturing complexes dominating the urban scene in these industrial communities. Most businessmen could find their enterprises identified in the long and detailed legends that Bailey provided, each entry keyed to a number on the view.
In 1873 Howard H. Bailey identifies the factory building on the northwest corner of North Penn Street and West Clarke Avenue as key number 29. The legend notes: “29. O. J. Bollinger & Co., Builders of Turbine Water Wheels and Mill Machinery.”
I’ve drawn a yellow box, at the northwest corner of North Penn Street and West Clarke Avenue, on this 2013 Bing.com Bird’s Eye View of a portion of York, PA. The yellow box represents the size and location of the LaMotte factory building, which becomes the location of the York Manufacturing Company upon its founding in 1874. The footprint of this building presently is located at the West Clarke Avenue corner of the Roosevelt Tavern parking lot.
O. J. Bollinger & Company was probably still in need of funds to successfully launch their company within this factory building. S. Morgan Smith wanted a factory to make his already successful washing machines and Jacob Loucks had funds that he wanted invest in a business. It was doubtless a matter of mutual interests for Smith, Loucks, Bollinger, LaMotte, Buck & Shetter to join in establishing the York Manufacturing Company on September 7, 1874.
Stephen Morgan Smith was selected the first President of the York Manufacturing Company. Jacob Loucks was elected secretary. Oliver J. Bollinger became the company’s first mechanical engineer. By the end of 1874, the company had 14 employees; with each man working about 60 hours a week. The initial products offered were the Success Washing Machine & Wringer, the Bollinger Turbine Water Wheel plus a corn planter and cultivator.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts