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Library > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > Finding Aid Index > Birdsell Manufacturing Company Birdsell Manufacturing Company

Birdsell Manufacturing Company
1 Folder.

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Finding Aid by: Sarah Pfundstein, February 2013

Biographical Note or Organizational History:

Birdsell Manufacturing started out in New York in the year 1855. That year John Comly Birdsell invented a machine that combined the threshing of clover with the extraction of seeds that could be used in the next year’s harvest. In 1856, Birdsell exhibited the thresher/huller at the New York State Fair and took first prize. In the fall of 1863, Birdsell moved his factory to South Bend, Indiana. While in South Bend, they expanded their product line to include the manufacture of wagons and carriages. The late nineteenth century proved to be good for Birdsell; with rising sales, they were able to expand their factory to 500,000 square feet.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the internal combustion engine and changing farm practices would mean hard times for the company. After years of decline and the stock market crash in 1929, the company continued to struggle on until September 15, 1938 when a massive fire broke out in the factory destroying the entire building. The company was reorganized as the Birdsell Corporation focusing on promoting a new washing machine with a water flex system. The design flopped and in 1965, the Board of Directors voted to liquidate the corporation and sell off the remaining equipment.


Birdsell, R. (1994). Birdsell: The Invention, The Family, The Company. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Center for History: Birdsell Clover Huller Company:

Scope and Content:

The collection contains a color illustrated greeting card from Birdsell Manufacturing from the year 1888.

Photocopy Policy:

Manuscript material CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in its entirety. Photocopies and/or digital reproductions (i.e. scans, digital photographs) cannot exceed 25% of a COLLECTION or FOLDER within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Please check with the Manuscript Librarian for possible alternatives.

Collection Inventory

Folder and Item Listing:

Folder 1.  Birdsell Manufacturing Co.

1888 Greeting card from Birdsell Manufacturing Company

Collection Information:

Size of Collection: 1 Folder
Collection Dates: 1888
Provenance:  Van Norman Book Company (purchase); July 1978
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Restrictions:  None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
Alternate Formats: .
Related Holdings: 
Collection Notes: