Amos Root
Amos Ives Root developed innovative beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

 techniques in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 during the mid-19th century, a period when the industry played an important role in the economy of many communities. He founded his own company, which continues in business to the present day. His wide-ranging interests and curiosity led him to become the only eyewitness to publish articles about successful airplane flights made by the Wright brothers in Ohio in 1904-1905.


He began his career as a jewelry manufacturer and took up beekeeping in his twenties as a hobby. Among his major contributions was a method to harvest honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

 without destroying the beehive
A beehive is a structure in which bees live and raise their young.Beehive may also refer to:Buildings and locations:* Bee Hive, Alabama, a neighborhood in Alabama* Beehive , a wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings...

. He became a nationally- and internationally-known expert and a wealthy businessman. He lived and worked in Medina, Ohio
Medina, Ohio
In the city the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males...


Always enthusiastic about technology, he took great interest in the newly-invented automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, purchasing an Oldsmobile
Oldsmobile was a brand of American automobile produced for most of its existence by General Motors. It was founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. In its 107-year history, it produced 35.2 million cars, including at least 14 million built at its Lansing, Michigan factory...

Runabout (car)
Runabouts were a popular car body style at the beginning of the 20th Century. They were small, inexpensive, open cars. Most runabouts had just a single row of seats, providing seating for two passengers. Many also had a tonneau at the rear to provide optional seating for four or five...

 in 1903. He held strong Christian
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 beliefs, and wrote about his ideas and observations of contemporary society in his trade journal Gleanings in Bee Culture.

When he read sketchy newspaper reports about the Wright Brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

 in early 1904, he decided to visit them and learn more. He drove his car nearly 200 miles on primitive roads to Dayton
Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...

. On September 20, he witnessed Wilbur Wright fly the first complete circle by a heavier-than-air flying machine. He apparently also saw several other flights. Greatly enthusiastic about aviation, he delayed publishing an account of the flights in his magazine until the following January at the request of the Wrights. That article and followups he wrote were the only published eyewitness reports of Wright brothers flights at Huffman Prairie
Huffman Prairie
Huffman Prairie, also known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field or Huffman Field is part of Ohio's Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park...

, a pasture outside Dayton where the Wrights developed the first practical airplane. Root offered his reports to Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

magazine, but was declined. His writing suggested the invention would cause profound changes:

A. I. Root Company

The company was founded 1869 in Medina, Ohio as a manufacturer of beehives and beekeeping equipment. The company in its heyday shipped four railroad freight cars of beekeeping equipment a day. The company later installed printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

es and published the magazine Beeculture and the book ABC of Bee Culture. The company still produces both but has retired its printing presses.

In 1928 the company began a transition into candle making after a local priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 made a request for high quality liturgical candles. The production of beekeeping equipment was reduced and eventually phased out. During the late 90’s the company started selling beekeeping equipment produced by competitor Dadant and Sons, Inc. This venture was unsuccessful and was discontinued.

During Amos Root’s tenure a piano was installed and employee breaks were mandated. During the break hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s would be sung and employees were prohibited from visiting the nearby drogue house.

The original brick factories still exist and still produce candles. The drogue house is also standing and is now a restaurant.

The company, now known as Root Candles, is still owned by the Root family and is run by his great-great grandson.

Due to Amos Root's innovation in beekeeping in Medina, Medina city school district has the mascot of a bee.

External links

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