Note: He was born in Auburn, PA. and raised on his father's farm located in East Brunswick Twp., Schuylkill County, PA., near Kunkel's Dam and Steigerwalt's Church of God. Joseph started early in life as a blacksmith. He bought the family farms after his father's death, selling the smaller farm shortly afterward. While living there he invented a corn planter & a potato planter.
In partnership with Dr. G. K. Binkley and George H. Gerber Esq., both machines were manufactured by the Messenger & Sons Manufacturing Company of Tatamy, PA. They were known as the Patent Binkley-Mengel-Gerber Potato Planter and the Patent Binkley-Mengel-Gerber Corn Planter.
In 1899 Joseph moved his family to Tatamy where he went to work for the Messenger & Sons Machine Shops, manufacturing both planters. When Joseph moved, he sold the farm stock and some of the household goods, renting out the farm until it was sold in 1906. In 1912 he moved to Allentown, PA., working in his own shop as a pattern maker, carpenter and machinist.
He was a man possessed with a strong body, more than ordinary mechanical ability and strong religious convictions. His descendents are proud of this unusual man.
An article in the Orwigsburg News of Jan 10, 1891 shows what an inventive mind Joseph had:
"Joseph Mengel of East Brunswick Township has in working order, an ice saw which he is at present using at Kunkel's Dam. It is quite a novelty and it is said that Mengel will have it patented."
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