Faribault Company History

| February 2007

The Faribault Mfg. Co. was a 1904 consolidation of Winnebago Machine & Foundry Co. and Winnebago Gas Engine & Construction Co., both of Faribault, and Polar Star Electric Co., to "manufacture, sell and dispose of motors both gasoline and electric, gas, gasoline engines, electric generators and all machinery used about them," said a March 16, 1904, newspaper article. One workman could supervise two or three machines, and everything in the engine except steel axles was produced at the plant. "Sixteen men are employed, and all engines are sold. It is impossible to keep up with orders."

Other newspaper articles state where larger engines were sold and used: "The Fortune Mining Co. of Sumpter, Ore., has received a 12 HP engine and has ordered another. A launch, 'The Neptune,' built of cypress and oak for use on French Lake by Sam Grant is fitted with an 8 HP Faribault engine. A 10 HP Faribault is installed at Carleton College. A motor car is built for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. It has a 12-foot platform which was provided with seats for the workmen. Leach and Sons Lumber Co. and Sash and Window Co. use several 40 HP engines."

In 1907, the company was re-incorporated as Faribault Engine Co. In 1909, a newspaper article said, "Five engines were sold in two days. It is impossible to keep up with the demand." Numerous other mentions were made of people who came from 700 miles to see the engines and the company's work, engines put in railway cars and inspection cars, and the like. On Feb. 15, 1916, the plant was destroyed by a fire. On April 28, 1916, Daily News headlines said, "Kerosene Engine Ready for Market."

The company would build its engines under patents of the Gas Corliss Co., and the name changed to Kerosene Power Co. The newspaper also reported, "a Mrs. Eckland will be the mechanical expert and superintendent of the factory." Later, a newspaper reporter said, "That a woman would be hired as a mechanical expert and supervisor does not seem very likely, and we must wonder if this was a typographical error." After 1916, nothing more was heard of the company.


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