News & Events
150 Year Celebration Open HouseTuesday, September 3
On August 21st we celebrated our history with an open house event to commemorate our past, welcome the future and confirm our on going appreciation for our employees, distributors, venders and local community. We had a great turn out for the event with many staying after lunch for the plant tours. Special Guest Speakers were Indiana House Representative Matt Lehman, Indiana State Senator Travis Holdman and Wells County Council Executive Director Erin Prible. Other officials attending were Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler, Derek Pillie Director of Constituent Services from the office of Congressman Jim Banks, Wells County Councilman Chuck King and special guest Rob Winters Farm Director of WOWO Radio.
We thank you all for coming and helping us celebrate the past 150 years of American-made manufacturing from A.T. Ferrell and witnessing our vision for the future.
A.T. Ferrell Celebrates 150 Years!!!Monday, December 31
The history of AT Ferrell dates to 1869, when John E. Smith, a steam ship captain in the civil war, built the first air / screen grain cleaner. Having returned to Ohio after the war, Smith became interested in a small water powered flour mill and needed a wheat cleaner.
Lacking the funds and credit, Smith built his own cleaner, and in 1869 the first fanning mill using a vertical air blast principle was put into operation. From his naval background Smith named his new machine “Clipper” after the very fast and advanced sailing ships of the time.
Smith moved on from the flour mill business and turned his interest with the help of his new cleaner to becoming a grain buyer and trader. His success in that business stimulated the idea of further developments to the cleaner. And in 1879, ten years after the first, Smith had built 20 hand operated Clippers and sold them in the surrounding counties in Northern Ohio.
By 1891 having built some 200 Clipper cleaners Smith thought he had hit his peak. He also thought he had saturated the market. Not able to foresee the future and wanting to retire, he sold his little cleaner business to Albert T. Ferrell who had been an employee for eight years.
By the time just prior to World War Two more than twenty thousand various models of Clipper cleaners had been produced by the A.T. Ferrell company. Today it is estimated that more than sixty thousand Clipper cleaners have been produced and placed into operation worldwide. Many of those that have long been forgotten are still recognizable in barns, museums, feed mills and seed plants today as an original Clipper.