Henry Synck

Henry Synck

Henry Synck was a pioneering American industrialist who participated in the development of mechanized farming. He and his father-in-law, Joseph Oppenheim, developed the first practical manure spreader. Their invention was so successul that it spawned a major manufacturing company, the New Idea Spreader Works, later renamed the New Idea Farm Machinery Company. [ [http://www.newidea.agcocorp.com New Idea website] ]

Henry Synck was born in Saint Sebastian, Ohio. He married Wilhelmine Oppenheim, the daughter of Joseph Oppenheim, a teacher in Maria Stein, Ohio. In 1899 Oppenheim with the help of Synck invented the first mechanical manure spreader. Oppenheim conceived the idea of a practical manure spreader during a game of paddle ball. [ [http://www.dailystandard.com "The Daily Standard", November 20, 1979] , published in Celina, Ohio.] He noted that "when a player held the paddle-shaped bat at an angle, a foul ball resulted, with the ball careening off at the angle dictated by the paddle. Why not, pondered Oppenheim, make manure do the same thing—fly out at an angle from a series of paddles?" He subsequently developed a model from a cigar box and demonstrated the feasibility of distributing manure in a "wide spread pattern". An example of the Model 12 New Idea Manure Spreader demonstrates the general design. Manure was loaded into the spreader. A mechanism moved the manure to the rear where it was distributed by paddles. An example of the paddle mechanism is shown from a model 17 spreader.

Oppenheim's future son-in-law, Henry Synck, worked with him to perfect the invention. After months of "trial and error it became obvious he (Oppenheim) had solved the problem of manure spreading...... that he had created a "New Idea"......and that a name and an invention had been born!" Oppenheim established and built the "New Idea Spreader Works" in Maria Stein. The "New Idea" caught on quickly because it relieved farmers of the back-breaking chore of manually distributing manure from a wagon. His business grew quickly and in 1908 he moved it to Coldwater, Ohio, where a railhead existed to ship the completed spreaders. The business continued to flourish and was taken over by his son-in-law, Henry Synck.

In his older age, Henry Synck sold New Idea to Avco, a conglomerate that was subsequently acquired by Textron. In a complicated series of transactions, Textron subsequently divested New Idea to Allied Corporation, another conglomerate (White-New Idea) who subsequent divested [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE6DE113EF937A35752C0A962958260 "New York Times"] ] it to AGCO Corporation. [ [http://www.agcocorp.com/default.cfm?PID=1 AGCO website] ] . New Idea has continued to produce a broad spectrum of farm-related machinery. Unfortunately, the Coldwater, Ohio plant established by Henry Synck was closed in 1999 as the manufacturer sought to reduce costs and consolidate manufacturing in fewer locations. [ [http://www.seedquest.com/News/releases/usa/misc/n2292.htm Seedquest website] ]


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