Company History by Herman Baker

Company History

Sidney Manufacturing Company

Written by Herman Baker


Our Company originated in 1859 under the name of Philip Smith, Founder and Machinist. The oldest catalog we have lists him as manufacturer of Automatic Grain Warehouse and Elevator Machinery. Mill Supplies of all kinds, Engines, Boilers, etc. The trade name of his grain elevator was The Miami Valley Warehouse Machinery. This catalog was issued sometime before the 1900. 


In Mr. Smith’s second catalog, he changed the Company name to Philip Smith Manufacturing Company. It shows improvements and advancements in the design of his machinery even though the machinery is still geared to the horse and wagon trade. The time of issue of this catalog is estimated to be somewhere between 1900 and 1910. This catalog shows a change in the design of our corn sheller to the basic design of what we know today. The “Sidney Line” trademark, with the wheat and ear of corn, was also shown on this catalog for the first time.


The next and what we believe final catalog issued by The Philip Smith Manufacturing Company must have been printed in 1910 as it has letters of recommendation on the hand-powered “Smith Safety Man Lift” from all over the United States dated in December 1909.


This catalog lists the Company as manufacturers of The Sidney Shellers and Cleaners, Grain Elevating and Conveying Machinery. It shows more improvements and additions to the line of grain handling machinery. Everything is still geared to the horse and wagon trade.


At this time, Mr. Smith expanded his sales area beyond Ohio and parts of Indiana. The Company came up with a working agreement with Barnard Machinery Company of Enterprise, Kansas to stock machinery and parts to sell to the Western trade. This arrangement lasted for some time and helped to spread the word of Grain Elevator Machinery from Sidney, Ohio over a much larger area. This final Smith catalog shows the first bucket elevator manufactured completely of sheet steel with rivets and bolts used in the construction.


Sometime between 1920 and 1925, a group of men bought out The Philip Smith Manufacturing Company and renamed it “The Sidney Grain Machinery Company”. Their first catalog was issued in 1934 on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Company. This catalog shows more improvements and modernization of the machinery. The new Company had by this time acquired the Patents on a grain and seed cleaner and the manufacture of these units was a large part of the business. It also shows by the illustrations that the transition had been made from horse and wagon transportation of grain to the grain elevators to the use of trucks. Anti-friction roller bearings are also shown for the first time.


The “Sidney Line” Vertical Feed Mixer was introduced as a new product at this time and it is described as having some welded seams. This is the first indication of welding in the sheet steel department as opposed to riveting.


In 1941, The Sidney Grain Machinery Company came out with a new issue of their catalog. The main change in this issue besides updating the machinery and adding ball bearing units was an expansion of the Feed Mixer line. They added more models and larger capacities of each model.


For the next 25 years, since the basic full line of grain elevator machinery had been established, about the only changes made were in updating and enlarging the machinery to keep up with the every increasing capacity being asked for by the grain elevator trade. Some air and electric slide gates were manufactured but this was not a big item as this type of operation was still in its infancy.


As in the early 1920’s when the Philip Smith manufacturing Company hit a downward trend, the same condition hit The Sidney Grain Machinery Company in the early 1960’s.


In May of 1966 a Corporation named Sidney Grain Machine Inc. was formed. This new Company did not purchase the Sidney Grain Machinery Company as a Company but purchased the Product Line, part of the real estate, most of the manufacturing machinery and what inventory they could use.


Our grain handling line of manufactured equipment is the oldest in continuous operation in the United States. Due to our increased market share in the handling of many other dry bulk materials, we change our name in July 1990 to take the “Grain” out of our name and thus become Sidney Manufacturing Company.


We are now shipping machinery nationwide and to some foreign countries. Our name and workmanship are very well known. We intend to keep up with the latest trends and in fact be a leader in the handling of dry bulk material.

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