Doylestown Agricultural Works records
Held at: Doylestown Historical Society [Contact Us]56 S Main St., Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 18901
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Doylestown Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Doylestown Agricultural Works in Bucks County, Pennsylvania produced farm machinery and ironwork that were sold around the world. For many years, it was the area's largest employer.
In 1849, Daniel Hulshizer and a partner moved to Doylestown and opened a small shop that made and sold threshers and horsepower engines. In 1867, Hulshizer expanded when he established the Doylestown Agricultural Works. The Doylestown Thresher, his best-known product, won first prize in its category at the Centennial Exposition of 1876.
By 1899, Doylestown Agricultural Works was manufacturing and selling diverse agricultural machinery, including seed sowers and planters, plows, cultivators, and mowing and reaping machines. In the early 1900s, other types of metal products were also produced out of the works, including automobiles (under the name Winslow Motor Carriage Company), park benches, and wrought iron grill work. The company opened an export office in New York City to handle overseas sales.
In 1920, General Motors bought the majority of Doylestown Agricultural Company stock and put it under its Sampson Tractor Division in an attempt to compete with Ford Motor Company in the agricultural machinery market. Doylestown Agricultural Company bought back its own stock in 1921.
In 1937, due to the Great Depression, Doylestown Agricultural Company ceased producing new machinery. It continued to sell and repair agricultural equipment until 1968, when it closed completely. A historic marker from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission was erected on the site in 2003.
Levenson, Edward. "Why Does the Doylestown Agricultural Works Include Former Houses?" Doylestown Patch, December 22, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2013. http://doylestown.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/why-does-the-doylestown-agricultural-works-include-fo4d575b17cf
This collection consists of financial records from Doylestown Agricultural Works as well as some secondary research about the company. The financial records include: ledger, 1916-1918; payroll registers, 1951 and 1953; business receipts, 1960s; and order form book (blank). The secondary materials include: newspaper advertisements, correspondence, and brochures; photographs (2010); and a handwritten history of Doylestown Agricultural Works by Wilma Rezer, 1979.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Doylestown Historical Society directly for more information.
- Doylestown Historical Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Doylestown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.