ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Lasure Friction Clutch Co


1921, Watertown High School Orbit


To be entirely successful in the manufacturing field, a concern must make either a product for which there is sufficient universal demand to insure a market for all that can be produced by all manufacturers in that line, or a patented article which is better, all things considered, than those made by its competitors.


In the latter class we find the Lasure Friction Clutch Pulley. There have been friction clutches on the market for many years, but it remained for an Iowa inventor to perfect a clutch which overcomes the difficulties of other similar devices.


Perhaps not one person in a hundred knows what a friction clutch is and what duties it performs. Automobile drivers know that they sometimes have "clutch troubles," but many of them would be at a loss to define this trouble, except to say that it is mechanical rather than physical.


The Lasure Friction Clutch Company, which has operated its plant in Watertown for a little more than three years, confines its product so far to the tractor, gas and steam engine, and shop requirements. Most persons have at some time seen a belt running a loose pulley, and have seen this belt "shifted" to a tight pulley, and some piece of machinery located at a distance from the engine, started in that way.


By the use of a friction clutch pulley the "tight and loose" pulleys are eliminated. The belt runs on one pulley all the time, this pulley running "idle" after the engine is started until by a pressure on the hand wheel or by the shifting of a lever the clutch is thrown into engagement, and the machine to which the engine is belted is started easily and gradually, without the jerk and jar so injurious to machine and engine alike. The engine can be started naturally, and when it has attained its maximum speed the load can be thrown on at any time; in case of accident, or for any cause, the machine can be quickly stopped without shutting down the engine.


Engines are made from one and one-half horse power to sixty, eighty and even one hundred horse power, and Lasure Clutches are made in six sizes, to transmit any power developed by the engine. Each size can be had with pulleys from six inch to seventy-two inch diameter.


The Lasure Company has added not a little to the outside trade of the city. Clutches bearing its name, and advertising extensively the place of its manufacture, can be found in practically every country and in every state in the union. They have been adopted by more than two-thirds of the engine manufacturers of the United States, and by several of the leading tractors, as a standard part of their engine equipment. Repeated tests have proved the Lasure to be more easily and quickly installed, of greater power and durability, and operated with less effort than any other on the market.


From eight to twelve men are employed in the Lasure Company. The output during the first year's operation in Watertown amounted to about $20,000.00, and during the third year approximately $35,000.00.  New designs, now building under contemplation, will add to its field of usefulness, and there is no reason why the next two or three years should not place this company among the largest of Watertown's manufacturers.



Cross reference:

108-116 South Fifth, address in 1924 city directory.





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin