Waterloo’s earliest industries were much less complex than later ones. For example, just a few men could run the first saw mills, blacksmith shops and grist mills. The Waterloo Broom Works had fewer than 10 employees. Making a broom was not a very complicated task compared to making a gasoline engine.
As the industries developed, they became more complex. Soon industries in Waterloo were making products that were much more complicated than a broom.
For example, the Litchfield Manufacturing Company produced the Litchfield Baby Grand. This piece of farm equipment was called a manure spreader. It had many moving parts. Because all of the parts for this product were made in the factory, specialization and division of labor were used by the company. Using an assembly line, the company was able to mass produce their product. The Litchfield Company employed 85 workers when it opened in Waterloo in 1903. By 1922, the Litchfield Company employed over 450 people!
As Waterloo’s manufacturing industries grew and developed most of the factories used the mass production to make their products.