The first manufacturing company in the county was the Sandwich Manufacturing Company, located in Sandwich. Founded in 1856 under the name of Augustus Adams and Sons, it was later incorporated in 1867 as the Sandwich Manufacturing Company.
The company made farm implements such as corn shellers, grain elevators, rakes and presses, lawn mowers, and gas engines. Though it was a smaller company, the Sandwich line of equipment was known all over the world.
Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, shipments of product went to the countries of Russia, Egypt, and Australia, to mention a few. The company also obtained many patents for agricultural innovations.
By 1882, the company had an annual business income of $1 million. As the company grew, they began to incorporate other company’s engines.
Jacob Haish’s Chanticleer engine was the most well-known of these lines that the Sandwich Manufacturing Co. marketed. The trademark rooster was Haish’s most famous and recognizable. Haish made engines for the Sandwich Manufacturing Co. from 1909 until about 1912. Afterwards, the Sandwich Manufacturing Co. made their own “Tulip” top engine in the factory in Sandwich.
During World War I, William Eckhardt, the DeKalb County Farm Adviser, who also served as corn administrator for the State Council of Defense, placed an order with the Sandwich Manufacturing Company for a corn sheller to help in the war effort. This became a marketing tool in 1918 for the company. Advertisements highlighted the sheller as being “selected to help win the war.”
In 1930 the company changed ownership when it was acquired by the New Idea Spreader Company located in Coldwater, Ohio and the manufacture of Sandwich Engines was stopped. The New Idea Company developed their own engine and corn pickers that were built in Sandwich.
After a century of manufacturing, the Sandwich factory closed in 1955 and the warehouse closed in 1981.
Written by Sue Breese