Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dog Power

Soon after Mr. Ziegler bought the Harmony property*, Isaac Wilson, a Quaker, engaged in the manufacture of salt near the creek in the village. The business was principally conducted by David and Webster Wilson, sons of "Quaker" Wilson. They also had a similar manufactory on Yellow Creek in Lancaster Township. The well was bored by means of ox-power, and for drills, poles fastened together were used, the lower pole being pointed with iron. The well was about four hundred and fifty feet deep. For pumping, dogs were pressed into service in a "dog power." Six or eight dogs were kept. Sometimes they chased each other in the "power," then the machinery would move rapidly for a few minutes. The dogs were fed large quantities of mush. The business was not very profitable, as only about four barrels of salt per day could be produced. Salt being $1.75 per barrel, and, as hundreds of bushels of coal were consumed daily, this cost taken with the expense of a man and a boy and several dogs, left but a small margin for profits.

History of Butler County, Pennsylvania
1883, Chicago, Waterman, Watkins & Co.


* ca 1872


  1. We were talking about fracking?


    Animals are terrible converters of mass to energy. Let us hope and pray we never have to go back to this.

  2. Please note that the model is historically inaccurate.

    GSDs didn't exist yet as a standardized breed in Germany, though there many have been some individuals who looked a bit like this modern dog.

    But not in Lancaster Township, PA.

    Despite all the Germans.

    I need to find out about this salt-processing down on Yellow Creek.

    I had no idea. Will talk to some of the cavers who know about the hydrology hereabouts.

  3. Harmony property? As in New Harmony, Indiana?
    Too many threads of my former locations, not enough information.

    After all, I'm now living close to a Morton Salt plant in CA. Who knew? PA, IN, CA...

    Can we work MA. IL & MO in there?

  4. Harmony and New Harmony were both founded by the same anabaptist cult, (drumroll please)... the Harmonists.

    First they founded Harmony, then moved west to New Harmony in 1814, then came back to W PA to found Economy, which is southwest of here, closer to Pittsburgh.

    As they were not only communitarian, but celibate, the sect did not persist.

    The Bruderhof, which is communitarian but not celibate and not particularly separatist, does much better.

  5. We have visited New Harmony many times on our bicycle tours.


I've enabled the comments for all users; if you are posting as "anonymous" you MUST sign your comment. Anonymous unsigned comments will be deleted. Trolls, spammers, and litigants will be shot.