Sherman-Smith Mfg

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In early 1906 John W. Smith filed patent papers covering a carburetor and another application on a governing mechanism. About 1908 Smith took a partner and formed Sherman-Smith Mfg. Co. at Stanley, Iowa. The plant site was soon moved to nearby Independence, Iowa. Patent 955,218 of 1910 typified the designs of Sherman-Smith horizontal engines. During 1910 the factory at Stanley burned to the ground – legend has it that someone threw a cigar butt into an open can of gasoline, touching off the conflagration. While the Smith brothers came up woth the designs, Sherman came up with the necessary cpital – the result being that the Independence, Iowa, plant was an early sucess. A badly stained catalog is the only in-depth data found so far on Sherman & Smith – this particular piece of literature notes that eight sizes were available ranging from 1 1/4 to 15 horsepower, with a 35 horsepower engine on the drawing board. The 1910 engine rated at 1 1/2 horsepower was an immediate success, with Iowa Dairy Separator Co. adding the engine to their line. Within a few months the latter firm joined with Sherman & Smith to form Associated Manufacturers of Waterloo, Iowa. The Buchanan Co. Historical Society is fortunate to own 2 of the Sherman-smith engines. The one pictured is a 4HP and the other one being a 1 1/2 HP-both are on display at Heartland Acres Agribition Center 2600 Swan Lake Blvd. Independence, Iowa.