Big News! Gas Engines Now Made In Sandwich

 Front page of the Sandwich Free Press in 1914. Sandwich Manufacturing announces they have started producing their own line of gasoline engines. They had previously been selling engines made by the Stover Engine Works in Freeport Illinois, and the Chanticleer engines made by the Jacob Haish Company in DeKalb, Illinois. 

About This Project

 Sandwich Manufacturing played a huge part in the early development and growth of Sandwich. Even though  they shipped their products all over the world, and their  machines are still highly valued by collectors today,  most citizens have no idea what the Company meant to the area, if they even know it existed at all. Augustus Adams, along with his sons Henry and J.P, changed the way people farmed  around the world. I hope to tell the story of the Adams family and their company. I believe it's a story that needs to be told. 

Henry Adams Biography

1/21/1837 - 3/6/1917

Henry Adams was Born in Pine Valley, NY, on   January 21, 1837.  His school education was such as was to be had in the schools of Elgin, IL 30 or 40 years ago.  His mechanical education commenced in his father's shops where he learned the trade of an iron molder, and became thoroughly acquainted with the details of the business.  Upon the organization of the Sandwich Manufacturing Company, he was elected Superintendent of the mechanical department, which position he still holds.  Of his ability to fill the place the mechanical construction of the various implements turned out by the company is a more unerring certificate than anything which could be written. Henry passed away on March 3, 1917

from "The Dekalb County Manufacturer" author and date unknown

 J. P. Adams Biography

9/18/1835 - 5/12/1904

J.P. Adams was born at Pine Valley, NY in September 18, 1835, and came with his father's family to Elgin IL at the age of 5.  After the usual school days of that era he went to work in the machine shop of his father’s business, where he remained until about 20 years old.  At that point, he went to Marshall MI, where as a bookkeeper, merchant. and express agent.  Then he re-joined his family in  Sandwich and became a member of the firm A. Adams & Sons. In helping to organize the Sandwich Manufacturing Company in 1867, he was made its secretary and treasurer and has continued as such to the present time. As the general manager of its business affairs it can readily be seen how large a portion of responsibility has been thrown upon him and how much its success has depended upon his ability and judgment. J. Phelps passed away on May 12, 1904

from "The DeKalb County Manufacturer" year and author unknown

Augustus Adams Biography

5/1/1806 - 10/10/1892

Hon. Augustus Adams was born in Genoa, Cayuga County, New York, May 10, 1806.  His first business venture was the establishment of a foundry at Pine Valley, NY in 1829, a business he ran successfully until 1838.  In 1840 he established a foundry and machine shop at Elgin, Illinois.  The first establishment of the kind so far as we can learn in Northern Illinois. In 1857 he moved to Sandwich and commenced the manufacture of corn shellers at that place and under the firm name A. Adams & Sons and placed the Sandwich-Adams corn shellers upon the market.  In 1867 the business of the firm was reorganized into the Sandwich Manufacturing Company, and Mr. Adams became its first president, an office he resigned in 1871.  In his comfortable and pleasant home in the evening of his life he sees with satisfaction that continued development of the business enterprise, which he founded, and the gradual and healthy growth of the little city - to the intellectual, moral, and material interests of which he has so largely contributed. 

From the "DeKalb County Manufacturer" year and author unknown

Sandwich Manufacturing Display at the T. M. & I. E


This is a picture of the Sandwich Manufacturing display in the transportation building at the Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition. The event was also known as the Omaha World's Fair and it was held from June 1 to October 31. 1898   Photograph by F. A. Rinehart

A (very) Brief History of Sandwich Manufacturing Company

This brief history of Sandwich Manufacturing Company begins in Elgin, Illinois. In 1840 Augustus Adams operated a machinery repair shop in Elgin. In the summer of 1841, he built a small iron foundry and machine shop, and engaged in the manufacture of agricultural machinery. At that time, it was the first foundry west of Chicago. Customers came from

Adams & French Harvester

  Augustus Adams started developing binders and reapers in the summer of 1850 while he was still living in Elgin. He was the first to introd...