December 2016

Brandenburg's Jewelry

It was in August of 1924 that A.R. Brandenburg came to Independence and opened his jewelry store at 205 1st St. E (The Brandenburg store in Waverly goes back to 1896) Mr. A.R. Brandenburg was a jeweler and optometrist and owned the building where "Total Image" is now located (2015). other businesses... (read more)

J.S. Bloom Mfg. Co.

In the late 1800's J.S. Bloom discovered through working with Iowa state University, that cattle benefited from eating the whole ear of corn rather than just the kernels. The ear acted as roughage and contained some nutrients. This knowledge led Smith to design, build and patient a corn cutter and c... (read more)

John S. Johnson - bicylist 1892 at Rush Park "Kite Shaped Track" Independence, Iowa

John S. Johnson - inductee in 2003 for Veteran Road & track competitor (pre - 1945) Long before bicyclist Lance Armstrong was winning races and setting records, there was John S. Johnson who set a world record at Rush Park in Independence, Iowa in 1892. "He's a Marvel," proclaimed a headline in the ... (read more)

The PAST has never seemed more PRESENT!

Quote from 1914 Buchanan Co. History Vol. 1 p. 224 "Independence in the Early Sixties" (1860's) The streets in Independence in the early days were always in a dreadful condition. They were uneven and muddy, the sidewalks were a menace to life and limb. The first sidewalks in town were of oak, or elm... (read more)

O.M. Pond Barb Wire Patents

The beginning for the need of barbed wire was seen in the year of 1867 as a few men applied, that year, for patents pertaining to restraining wire with sharp points to turn and to hold livestock. From 1867 until 1880, hundreds of wires were patented. Some men claimed patent infringements and there w... (read more)

Two Breweries in Independence - now maybe a new one 2020

"Seeland Brewery (now being remodeled as a private residence) located at 1010 4th St. NE and listed on the local Heritage Trail #18. Seeland Brewery was the smaller of the 2 breweries located in the city. Christian Seeland of Baden, Germany established the brewery in 1859 and manufactured 650 bar... (read more)

Sherman-Smith Gas Engine

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 ... (read more)

Crabb Gas Engine Co.

Crabb Gas Engine Company was organized in 1910 by Isiah E. Crabb and J.W. Dwyer. The Crabb engine featured a distinctive water hopper fabricated of sheet copper. In case of freezing the copper jacket would yield, thus preventing serious damage and expensive repairs. This improvement was covered unde... (read more)

John Deere Mansur horse-drawn 2 row corn planter

Belonging to the Buchanan Co., Iowa Historical Society and on display at Heartland Acres Agribition Center 2600 Swan lake Blvd. Independence, Iowa. Chronology of the Deere Company indicates that the 1877 Deere & Mansur Company was formed in Moline, Illinois to manufacture corn planters. A separate o... (read more)

Ideal Cement Tile Machine

“Ideal Cement Tile Machine” a/k/a Farmers Cement Tile Machine Makes a better and more perfect tile than the ordinary clay tile, and at less than half the cost. Makes tile in different sizes – for hand or power. Patented May 1, 1906 and manufactured by Richmond & Holmes of St. Johns, Michigan. Thousa... (read more)

Fanning Mill

Remember the old time 'fanning mill'? Very much a part of a local museum collection these days seems to be the fanning mill. They were as much a part of the farm of the old days as the old oaken bucket. At least a few years ago, it could be found sitting forlornly in back of the barn, long since for... (read more)


December 2016

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