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Manufacturers Index - Heilman Machine Works

Heilman Machine Works
Evansville, IN, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

History
Last Modified: Mar 17 2012 8:11PM by joelr4
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

This machine shop and foundry was established in 1847 by brothers-in-law William Heilman and Christian Kratz. In the 1850s they began manufacturing steam engines, steam traction engines (ca 1880's), threshers and portable steam engines (ca 1860's). In 1864 Heilman bought out Kratz's interest for $100,000. In the 1870s Heilman was elected to the state congress.

By 1882 Heilman Machine Works was manufacturing circular sawmills. The company survived until at least 1897 when they were producing both Corliss and Slide Valve Steam Engines; we have no information on them beyond that time.

Information Sources

  • American Steam Engine Builders: 1800-1900 by Kenneth L. Cope, 2006 page 115
  • Listed in C. H. Wendel's The Circular Sawmill, which says that this company was "a well known steam engine and thresher builder. In addition to this equipment, the Heilman sawmills were also well known." An illustration of a sawmill dog shows an 1882 patent date.
  • An undated newspaper snippet on the web mentions that one James Fowley was a dealer for "Heilman & Co. engines, threshers and saw mills".
  • Heilman Machine Works was mentioned in an 1897 legal proceeding involving the States of Indiana and Kentucky; two years previously Heilman had provided cast iron posts used to mark the boundary between the states.
  • A USGenNet web page has a biography of William Heilman taken from History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana by Brant & Fuller, 1889.
  • From the Seventh Annual Cooperative Tractor Catalog, 1922, this firm is listed as a maker of "wood sawing machines".
  • Steam Power on the American Farm by Reynold M. Wik, 1953 pages 252 & 255