Mansfield Buggy Co.

Richland Co., Ohio


Historical Records

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Mansfield Buggy Co.

Source:  RICHLAND SHIELD & BANNER:  14 September 1895, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 18


Submitted by Amy


The Mansfield Buggy Co. was established in 1882 by J.N. Custer, C.H. Sorg and Charles Casad.  It occupied the building on North Main Street now occupied by the Danforth-Proctor Lumber Co. and was the first factory of its kind in Mansfield.  In 1884 a stock company was organized with a capital of $30,000 and the factory was built on the east side of the P.F. Railroad, opposite the Union Depot.  The original buildings were 50x75, three stories;  45x50, two stories;  and 45x50, one story.  In 1886 the blacksmith shop was destroyed by fire and when rebuilt the two rear buildings were raised to three stories.  In 1887 a wing, 66x55 and three stories high, was added to the building and a separate blacksmith shop, 37x92 was built.  The increase in the dimensions of the factory is a fair criterion of the growth and prosperity of the concern, for in 1889 the capital stock was increased to $100,000.  The present officers of the company are:  B.F. Crawford, President;  J.N. Custer, Secretary;  V.S. Beardsley, Treasuer and C.H. Sorg, Superintendent.

The company manufactures light vehicles of a medium grade for the general trade, building about 35 different styles of buggies, surreys, phaetons, road wagons and carts.  For the local trade the company also builds high grade vehicles to order, keeping pace with modern styles in all departments of the business.  The company's trade is widespread and some of its vehicles have found their way to foreign markets.  A large order is now being filled for shipment to Australia.

J.N. Custer when interviewed said:  "Our business this year will show a big improvement over 1894.  In 1893 business opened lively but dropped off when the panic came and did not begin to improve any until last January.  So far as I can learn from the trade the improvement in the buggy business is general.  It is difficult to say what effect bicycles have had upon the buggy business.  It might be that bicycles have curtailed the livery business, which, in the end, must come off of the buggy companies.  Although bicycles have doubtless hurt the buggy business some, I don't think they have to the extent some buggy manufacturers seem to believe.  Our business just now is a little quiet, as we are at the end of the season, but taking the year through we have had a much better business than we had last year or the year before.  So far as wages are concerned we have made no change in the scale.  Two years ago we changed from the time system to piece work, which has given much better satisfaction to our employees.  We are paying the same wages now we have paid right along."

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