A New He for an Old New Era


| November/December 1993



The shop building

The shop building today; John Rex's truck in foreground.

P.O. Box6 Wilmington, Vermont 05363

About the year 1880, in Wilmington, Vermont, Henry Adams, a farmer, maple sugar maker, and carpenter, designed and built a wooden tank to hold maple sap. A neighbor, Clinton Haynes, provided money to obtain a patent and start a manufacturing business known as Adams and Haynes. Other types of tanks for holding liquids were designed. A tank designed to gather maple sap was called a 'Tomahawk.'

The first patent was issued on November 15, 1880, and a second on July 8, 1884.

Henry Adams, assisted by his two sons, Walter and Leslie, built the tanks in a shop attached to the farmhouse. The lumber was sawed and planed at nearby water powered sawmills.

I had the privilege of knowing Leslie Adams, who told me that his father had a 'boy powered' bench saw that he used to cut the parts for the tanks. Leslie and Walter would sit on bicycle seats, and via bicycle pedals, run the saw while Henry made the cuts.

About 1900, Walter Adams took over the farm and business from his father.