Biography of Ira H. Kendall
St. Lawrence County, NY Biographies

Ira H. Kendall. - Active and progressive in business, Ira H. Kendall is prominent in Potsdam, where he is president and treasurer of the Kendall Lamar Corporation. He was born at Enosburg Falls, Vt., April 16, 1878, the son of H. D. and Deda (Hunt) Kendall.

H. D. Kendall was a life long resident of Enosburg Falls and for 40 years owned a woodworking shop, located on the Misisquoi River. It was in this shop that Ira H. Kendall received his early training. It was not uncommon in those days for the owner of a shop to actually design and make much of the machinery which he used. The father also owned and operated the local electric light plant, which was one of the very first in Vermont. Ira H. Kendall operated this station and while there completed his first useful invention. At the age of 16 he had made a water wheel governor which functioned perfectly and cost only fifty dollars. This governor was mechanically and electrically operated and would have cost at least twelve hundred dollars had it been purchased at that time. In the spring of 1898 the electric light plant was removed from Enosburg Falls to Bedford, Canada.

In 1895 Mr. Kendall entered the employ of the DeLaval Separator Company, going to their Poughkeepsie factory. The following year he entered the University of Vermont, where he took a short dairy course and later located at Sidney, N. Y. His first work was repairing and installing DeLaval equipment. He soon became a salesman for the company and later was transferred to the DeLaval Steam Turbine Company and entered their factory at Trenton, N. J., where he received instruction regarding turbine engines. After two years with this company he went with the Stoddard Manufacturing Company of Rutland, manufacturers of dairy equipment. This company later became amalgamated with the Creamery Package Manufacturing Company of Chicago, and Mr. Kendall remained with them until 1917, when he became associated with Dr. F. L. Dewey and Robert H. Byrns, of Potsdam, taking over the H. D. Thatcher Company, which at that time was manufacturing butter and cheese color and fiber butter packages. Soon after Mr. Kendall invented and built a machine for making these butter packages, which had a capacity of 10,000 packages per day. Later a complete line of dairy equipment was added to the business. About this time Mr. Kennedy made his first application for a U. S. patent. This covered a new type of test bottle for use with the Babcock tester for determining the amount of butter fat in milk and cream.

During 1922 Mr. Kendall made application for a patent covering a very new and unique type of milk can washer, using sand and water as a washing medium. This washer has been most successful and is being used by some of the most critical milk companies. This application required subdividing and eight U. S. and Canadian patents have now been allowed upon this machine alone. Mr. Kendall then invented and was allowed patents covering a high temperature milk heater, capable of heating milk to a temperature of 190 degrees without the milk burning to the tubes, the first successful high temperature milk heater ever produced. Another invention, covering a mechanical cleaned jet head for bottle and milk can washers was patented, and a one half interest sold to the Manning Manufacturing Company of Rutland. The Creamery Package Company has a manufacturer's license under two of Mr. Kendall's patents, which are the sand and water milk can washer and the high temperature milk heater. Rice & Adams Corporation, of Buffalo, also operates under two of his patents, so that there are three large dairy manufacturing plants using his inventions.

On Jan. 1, 1928, J. C. Lamar, of Potsdam, and F. H. Burns, of Waddington, became associated with Mr. Kendall and the business was incorporated as the Kendall Lamar Corporation. Mr. Kendall has since designed a new internal tube milk cooler with patents pending, and also a straight of way milk pan washer. In the short space of eight years he has been granted 16 U. S. and Canadian patent rights and has ten others pending. The plant has installed over $18,000 worth of new tools and employs about 50 expert machinists and welders.

On July 4, 1898, Mr. Kendall married Miss Genevieve A. Mears, of Enosburg Falls, Vt., the daughter of Joseph H. and Marian (Crossett) Mears. He was born in England and died in 1926. His wife, a native of Vermont, died in 1924. Mr. and Mrs. Kendall have two children: 1. Marian Deda, born in 1901, a graduate of Potsdam State Normal School, now a teacher. 2. Harold M., born in 1911, a graduate of Potsdam High School, class of 1930.

Mr. Kendall has served as president of the village and has always been interested in matters of a civic nature. His contribution to the dairy manufacturing industry is second to none, his machines being used wherever there is milk to pasteurize and milk cans to be made clean.


The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932

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