Secretary Sandwich Early Day Engine Club, Box 43, Somonauk, Illinois 60552
After 125 years, the final chapter in the story of the Sandwich Manufacturing Company recently drew to a close.
Baird & Warner Company, Industrial Real Estate Division, announced the sale of a 153,000 square foot manufacturing and warehouse facility at 95 North Main Street, Sandwich, Illinois to the Henderson Engineering Company of Addison, Illinois. Conversion of the property by Henderson, a manufacturer of industrial air filters, has been completed. Asking price for the property was $570,000.
The property was owned by Avco-New Idea, a subsidiary of Avco Corporation and was used as a warehouse and parts distribution and dealer's trailing center. A longtime Sandwich manufacturer, Avco-New Idea has constructed a new distribution center in the Quad Cities area to consolidate its Sandwich and Fort Dodge, Iowa operations. The firm will retain a portion of its operations in the Sandwich facility temporarily.
The Sandwich Manufacturing Company was founded in 1856 by Augustus Adams and his two sons to build hand corn shellers. This was soon expanded into other types of agricultural equipment, and in about 1912 they entered into the production of the Sandwich 'Excess Power' gasoline and kerosene engines. While the company never became a giant in the ag-machinery field, they did make their mark by building a dependable, quality product.
Because of the change from horses to tractors, and the pre-Depression squeeze on the farmer, in 1930 the company was sold to the New Idea Company of Coldwater, Ohio. This gave New Idea a branch factory to cover an extended area, and filled some gaps in their product line. New Idea continued to manufacture products at the Sandwich plant until the age of the buildings and the decline in sales of the products made here made its use uneconomical.
Since the purchase of New Idea by Avco Corporation, Avco-New Idea has continued to build quality products, and with the purchase of the Uni-Harvestor System from Minneapolis-Moline, now a division of White, expanded their line to make up for the loss in sales of many of their other types of equipment.
While we wish Avco-New Idea and Henderson Engineering well in their endeavors, it is sad to see the end of an era at the old Sandwich plant. Hopefully as we hold our 10th annual Sandwich Early Day Engine Club Show on June 27 and 28, 1981, the old plant will see a few of its offspring enroute to the Sandwich Fairgrounds, and maybe the sounds of about 400 engines of all types will carry the mile between the two.