Submitted by Richard K. Fleischer
In 1896, Halsey W. Taylor’s father died from typhoid fever. This illness is principally spread through contaminated drinking water. This had a lasting effect on Halsey W. Taylor.
This company was established in 1913 and grew to 25 employees by 1920.
Halsey Willard Taylor worked at the Packard Electric Co. for 16 years and was the Shop Superintendent. He noticed Packard workers drinking water out of the same drinking cup and thought it unsanitary to do so. He came up with the idea of a drinking fountain he called the “Puritan Fountain.” This was sometimes called the double bubbler, as well. Working with Newton A. Wolcott of the Packard Electric Co., the two formed the Halsey W. Taylor Co. in 1913.
In November of 1919 Taylor acquired Wolcott’s share of the business and became sole owner of the company. By 1922 the company had grown to 50 employees and was making 30-40 different styles of drinking fountains and water coolers. Halsey W. Taylor drinking fountains could be found all over the nation, and wre sold all over the world. Many still exist with the original name.
Halsey Taylor died in 1964 at age 87. The family continued to run the business until 1969, then sold out to King-Seely, a subsidiary of Thermos Corp. The Halsey Taylor plant had previously been moved from North Park Ave. to Thomas Rd. in Warren. The plant, then employed 200 employees. Subsequently, the plant was moved to Freeport, Ill. In 1976 due to a labor dispute and a consolidation of the business. The water coolers are now marketed under the name Elkay.