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Wandscheer, Evert 'Ed' 1886 - He's the father of Invention


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 3/15/2021 at 13:50:34

Wandscheer, Evert ‘Ed’ born 1886– He’s the father of Invention

This story was taken from the Sioux Center Centennial book of 1991 which includes the history of Sioux Center from 1870-1991. On page 65 of the Section T-20. Stories submitted by Kim Ode, Argus Leader Staff Writer and Thomas Ryder (Register Staff Writer.) Transcribed for this Bios story by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society.

Sioux Center Iowa – When Evert Wandscheer was a kid, back in the 1890’s, he rigged a dry-cell battery to a little box, sending it down a track to the end of the half-mile driveway. When the mailman made his delivery, he’d trip the switch and send the box clattering back to the homestead.

Neat, Huh? It was only the beginning. Wandscheer and his brothers then set about inventing the corn sheller, opening the door for “The family of Celebrated Hummer –Spring Corn Shellers and Engines,” as told in the dogeared catalog on the living room table.

Today, parishioners at almost 200 area churches are kept warm by Wandscheer furnaces. The Iowa Highway Department uses Wandscheer snow scrapers that swing free when the road grader hits a concealed stump of rock. Farmers across the country use Wandscheer Heat Reclaimers and Ventilators in livestock sheds.

Wandscheer has earned more than 100 patents or patents pending in his 93 years. He could be a rich man, his neighbors say, had he not sold the manufacturing right to many of his inventions. It’s only to be expected. Looking around his well-kept home on the manicured corner let, a home cozy with family photos sitting on doily covered tables, you get the feeling that money would just be a burden.

“It’s a God-given talent, “ he says at each attempt to compliment him on his work. “I give God all the glory and praise, God reveals it to you.”

Some of these revelations include constructing the first corn picker in the area, and invention the seven Wandscheer brothers made just for themselves, not bothering with a patent back in 1898. When they put together a corn sheller in 1910, however, they received a patent and manufactured the machines for years.

From there, Wandscheer invented a furnace, guaranteeing that if a cigarette paper discolored when placed over the vent, you wouldn’t pay a cent. “I never had to give one away, either, “ he says, his blue eyes reflecting pride behind his rimless bifocals. A thinning head of gray-white hair complements the dark gray of the suit he wears when company is coming. A hearing aid fills each ear after almost a century of listening. “Those furnaces are all over the county today, like spots on a dog. Some of them have been running for 40 years. Quality and economy. That’s what I always went for.”

A few years ago, the Iowa Highway Department got wind of his talents and asked him to invent a contraption that would swing away from the regular snowplow when it hit an immovable object, instead of breaking the machine as in the past. Hence, the patented breakaway shear pin that pops the scraper back when it hits a snow covered stump, rock or mailbox.

They’re useful items, these things that Wandscheer invents. But they’re just the officially recognized legacy of a man who has been helping people al his life.

In the course of conversation, he’ll tell you how to get rid of the hiccups (soda and orange juice) or how to cure lockjaw (apply kerosene to the neck) or how to stop a wound from bleeding (place a silver coin over it; a rag leaks.) “ When I was in school, we didn’t learn things like how to kick a ball. We learned what to do when a rattlesnake bites you, how to protect yourself.” - Common sense things.

That, and a real concern for those less fortunate, has led the Dutchman to help others, like the club-footed woman whose shoe he rebuilt to keep her toes from curling back. Or the tricycle he made for a young girl with polio. “ I told her she’d never learn to walk with those braces so rigged he up a tricycle she could ride and strengthen those muscles. First, she just started out riding around the basement here, but pretty soon, she was riding all over.”

Or the neighbor who cut the tendons of his foot in a farm accident. Wandscheer made a spring-loaded frame for the flopping foot that kept it tight to the body so the handicap is hardly noticeable. These aren’t inventions he’s going to patent. These are just things he does because people need them. And because, he says, “God has shown him how.”

“You think about that, you know. My wife, Gertie, she died six years ago. Only my one sister still is living. I was born before this town was here. As you get to be my age, you long for the Eternal Home. It’s something nice to look forward to.”

Does he have any more brainstorms brewing? You bet. “I’ve got two more ideas – how to make a lawn mower that will cut around trees and fence posts and how to make a combine that will bind straw instead of just dropping it out the end. I know how to do it, too, but my son, he says, ‘Aw, Dad, just let it go so I suppose I will, “ he shrugs. “ Who knows? Maybe the grass needs mowing in heaven.

--by Kim Ode, of the Argus – Leader Staff - Writer

Following by Thomas Ryder of the Des Moines Register Staff.

Klauer’s SNOGO Clears 40 Tons of Snow a Minute
Dubuque, IA - Several hundred persons snowbound in a train in the Donner Pass on a blustery winter day can be thankful that Peter Klauer opened a tin shop in Dubuque in 1870. From tin products evolved the Klauer Manufacturing Co., here, which builds mammoth snow-removal equipment that not only came to the rescue of the passengers in that bogged down train in the Sierras, but to persons snowbound all over the world. The big SNOGO, as the company calls them can remove up to 40 tons of snow a minute. This means a SNOGO can clear a nine foot wide path of 12 inch deep snow at 20 miles per hour. (Was a Wandsheer invention, sold rights to Klauer Co.)

200 – Foot Toss
The machine collects snow with its huge augers and carried it to a rotor fan which can throw it 200 feet. A few winters ago use of a SNOGO made it possible to rescue passengers from a stalled passenger train in Donner Pass, by opening a highway so vehicle could reach a snow buried train. The snow-throw feature has been used by improvisers to put out house fires and quell campus demonstrations.

“The unique thing about our operation, “ said company president William J. Klauer, grandson of Peter, “ is that we manufacture all the snow removal equipment ourselves, only the motors and chassis are acquired.” Klauer said there are only “one of two” other companies in the country producing heavy snow removal machines.

The snow equipment is mounted on the front of the truck. A second motor, which operates the snow equipment, is mounted in the rear of the truck. R. R. Canham, manager of SNOGO division of the company said more the 3,000 of the machines, ranging in price from $15,000 to $75,000 have been sold.

USED in Iowa
“The State of Iowa has about 50 ir. operative and now has ordered four more, “ he said “ And there are 100 more being used by cities, counties, industries and airports in the state”. The machines were first manufactured in 1926. Walter J. Klauer, Klauer’s father, was liking for a new item to manufacture and learned of a snow machine developed by four Wandscheer brothers of Sioux Center. The company began producing them in co-operation with the brother and later purchased the patent rights from them.

At first, the machine did not have a name so a contest was held to name them with a prize of $250 (big money in 1926) for the winner. The winner explained that such a “revolutionary machine deserved a new word entirely. “ He came up with SNOGO, a combination of snow and go. The machine and the name caught on and sale soared. During World War 11, the government bought hundreds of SNOGOs for it number installations all over the world.

A new SNOGO that can do twice the amount of work of the largest one presently marketed, has successfully completed road and environmental tests for the government at Houghton County Airport, Hancock, Mich. Klauer says it is the largest snow removal machine in the world and that the U. S. Navy has ordered two. The price of one ‘will be close to $100,000’ he said.

From the Sioux Center 75 year book of 1966 transcribed from the book by Wilma J. Vande Berg
Wandscheer Manufacturing Corporation founded in 1910 by Ed and Gerrit Wandscheer .

One of Sioux Center’s oldest industrial firms, dating back to 1910, is the Wandscheer Manufacturing Company, located at 153 First Avenue Northwest.

Manufacturer of a variety of item, ranging from corn sheller to window sashes, to oil furnaces and farm building ventilators – heaters, the company was established by two brothers, Ed and Gerrit, in a frame building which was located on the lot now occupied by Niessink and Kempers. They purchased this building for $400, then added a back section which housed their foundry for casting metal. In a short time three other Wandscheer Brothers joined the firm – Dan, Ben and Jake, and in 1913 they built the cement block structure which houses the establishment today (1966).

In due time all the brothers except Ed left the firm and Ed was joined by his son Harold, in the operation of the business. In 1961 they sold the business (although maintaining some stock) to a group of Sioux Center stockholders and it has continued to operate under the name of Wandscheer Manufacturing Corporation.

The Wandscheer Brothers built their first cornsheller in 1911. They did all their own casting for motors and frames, etc., plus custom casting jobs. All Steel was restricted during World War 1, therefore no machinery was built during that time. After the war their interests were in the development of Snowplows. After the patent for one of the nation’s first rotary type snowplows was approved and machine was ready, the patent rights were sold to Klauer Mfg. Company of Dubuque and sold on royalty basis. The Wandscheers received royalties on these snowplows for many years. Another snowplow patented by Wandscheer Brothers was also manufactured by another company. In 1934 the Wandscheer Manufacturing Company began making oil furnaces , and as in the case of snowplows, were ‘pioneers’ in this field. They turned out furnaces in a variety of sizes and styles – for homes, schools, churches, business places, etc. At the time they introduced the oil furnace it was a more economical method of heating than with coal, for fuel oil at that time sold for 4 cents a gallon.

During the early years of World War 11, when steel was impossible to get, the Company concentrated on the manufacture of Puttyless window sashes which were sold to lumber yards. These went great guns for a time, and hit a peak production of almost 500 a day at one time. Then as World War 11 broadened, restrictions on wood as well as steel were imposed. The Wandscheers experimented with building ammunition boxes out of cottonwood as a sub-contractor but failed to get acceptance.

After World War 11 the plant returned to the manufacture of oil and gas furnaces. In 1959 the company developed the first farm building ventilator – heater and for two years was concerned principally with the production of these units. In 1961 the Corporation was sold to a group of Sioux Center stock holders and has continued to operate under the name of Wandscheer Manufacturing Corporation.

Below is a lack luster obituary for such a unique individual! From the ‘obits’ on the Sioux County Iowa web site www.iagenweb.org/sioux

Sioux Center News, May 20, 1981
Sioux Center, Iowa - Everett Wandscheer, 95, of Sioux Center, died Monday in a hospital at Sioux Center.
Services were held Thursday in the Central Reformed Church at Sioux Center. The Rev. Roderic Jackson officiated. Burial in Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Mr. Wandscheer was born March 21, 1886, at Sioux Center.
He married Gertie Heusinkveld, Feb. 5, 1914 at Springfield, SD. They lived in Springfield until 1934 when they moved to Sioux Center where he was in partnership with Wandscheer Manufacturing Co. Mrs. Wandscheer died in 1974.
Survivors include one son, Harold of Sioux Center; one sister, Ms. Ida Van Wyhe of Rock Rapids, and one granddaughter.

Obit of Mrs. Evert Wandscheer
Funeral services will be held at Central Reformed Church here at 1:30 P.M., Thursday, March 28, for Mrs. Evert Wandscheer, 78, a resident of Sioux Center since 1934, who died at the Sioux Center Community Hospital March 25.
Services will be conducted by the Rev. Wesley Kiel and burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery here under the direction of the Co-operative Funeral Home.
Gertie Heusinkveld, daughter of Gerrit and Grada Heusinkveld, was born at Harrison, S.D., May 15, 1895. She attended school and lived her youth in the Springfield, S.D., area and was married there on February 5, 1914, to Evert Wandscheer. They made their home in the Springfield area until moving to Sioux Center in August, 1934.
He was active in Wandscheer Manufacturing Co. here for many years.
Mrs. Wandscheer is survived by her husband, Evert; one son, Harold, of Sioux Center; a granddaughter, Mary Wandscheer; and two sisters, Mrs. Henry Holleman of Michigan and Mrs. Ted Abma of Boyden.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Derk Gerrit, and a sister Mrs. Dan Wandscheer.
Source: Sioux Center News, March 28, 1974


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