SHAW MFG. Co. History


| September/October 1971



Mr. Stanley Shaw

306 W. Anthony, Corydon, Iowa 50060.

This story goes back to around 1928 when I was a small boy living on a farm in Northwestern Kansas.

Another boy and I were rummaging around in the attic of the home where I lived and we came across a number of old 'Popular Mechanics' magazines. In the advertisements we saw in there we came across an advertisement for a rig made by the Shaw Manufacturing Co., Galesburg, Kansas for an attachment to convert bicycles to motorbikes. I remember we each clipped out an advertisement because someday we planned that when we got bicycles we were sure going to get one of these attachments. I guess somehow in our boys' imagination we thought these motorbike kits were always going to be available. I remember I kept my advertisement for a long time but when I finally got an old bicycle around 1931, I had lost my advertisement and money was so scarce I never even thought much about it.

I do remember that about this time I had already begun to have to work in the garden as part of my farm chores and the Shaw Manufacturing Co. of Galesburg, Kansas was now advertising garden tractors. These were very appealing to me at this time but again money was too scarce and 1 never even wrote for one of their catalogs or folders. No one in our community ever had a garden tractor of any kind that I ever saw. However, around 1940 I visited a cousin near Galesburg, Illinois. He lived on a small acreage and he had a complete line of Shaw equipment that he used on this small place. This was the only time I ever saw a Shaw Garden tractor.

In these later years I have become very interested in old Gas Engines, tractors, etc. I kept thinking about the Shaw Manufacturing Co. and about 4 years ago I wrote them asking for history of the Shaw Co. but I never received any answer. Around a vear ago, I wrote to an antique Motorcycle collector in Kansas. I found out in writing him that Mr. Shaw was still alive and that he had sold out the plant in 1962 to Bush Hog whose main address seems to be Selma, Alabama.

This last Easter, my wife and I went to Owasso, Okla. to spend the weekend with our daughter and family. I saw on my Kansas map that Galesburg was just seven miles off our route so on returning home, when we came to Thayer, Kansas, we went on a county road east to Galesburg. As we came to the town from the west, I saw a large building to the right that said 'Shaw Mfg. Co.'