Sunday, July 7, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Seven, More Equipment

Today we have the next to the last section of the 1952 Willys Overland Industrial Equipment binder. Its a three ring binder that a dealer would have used to show prospective customers and clients in the market for any option or piece of work equipment that was available for any model from the CJ3-A to the Pickup truck and wagons direct from the factory. It includes many, many detailed photos, brochures, detail pages and prices, hand typewritten price info and a bunch of other neat stuff that made the way around a dealer’s showroom and office. I only wish that I knew where or what dealership it may have come from.
The last few pages are filled with more of the diverse and unusual pieces of equipment that you could equip your jeep with, from the National Lift Company’s Lift-O-Matic hydraulic tailgate for the pickup, the Hydro-Lift Elevator Trailer, the Manley Wrecking Crane, the Canfield Tow Bar Company’s Wrecker to perhaps the best known of the bunch, the Auburn Machine Work’s Jeep-A-Trench. The Jeep-A-Trench still pops up now and again but are certainly not that common. It was a large trenching tool that looked like a sort of large chain saw and worked off the rear of the jeep’s PTO that could cut a trench up to six feet deep and 14 inches wide. And at 1,500 pounds they were a sight and definitely an investment priced at anywhere from nearly $2,300 to $2,900! In today’s dollars that’s roughly equivalent to over $20,000! I think that the Jeep-A-Trench is probably one of the very best examples of how versatile the uses the jeep could be put to work for.
Where are the companies now? From what I understand Auburn Machine Work became Great Dane and manufactures mowers today. You can see and read more about the Jeep-A-Trench on the CJ3B Page and you can also read a bit more about the man who ran Auburn Machine after he bought it out in 1946, Glen McIninch, who also ran a Jeep and Packard dealership. His house in Omaha, Nebraska is featured here.
As far as the American Chain and Cable Company, ACCO, they seemed to be involved in manufacturing everything from chain to hydraulic presses to tire repair machines. You can view some vintage photos of the factory on the Library of Congress’ website.
The Hydro-Lift Trailer Company of Findlay, Ohio seems to be a self-storage company today at 400 Walnut Street. The National Lift Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin doesn’t seem to exist either with only an apartment complex standing at the address listed 225 Madison St. I think that this is the owner though-Garfield Wood, inventor and entrepreneur and wooden speedboat racer and builder. According to the Wikipedia page he built speedboats until 1947 but also built winches and truck bodies for companies like International Harvester. He began way back in 1911 by building a hydraulic lift to unload coal from rail cars.
The Canfield Tow Bar Company of Detroit, Michigan no longer exists either. Formed in March 1946, it was dissolved in 1991.
This is sadly what seems to exist at 6033 East McNichols Rd in Detroit nowadays. Like much of Detroit, the urban death is saddening and heartbreaking to the American manufacturing legacy. But let’s try to remember happier times. I’ve in my collection a series of old scrapbook pages showing off the capabilities of the Canfield Tow Bar Company’s wrecker. There are two that I’ve shown off way back in the 2011 calendar and I have two more to reveal one day soon! Come back next week when I’ll be showing off the 2013 calendar page for July and in two weeks I’ll try to have the rest of the Industrial Equipment binder along with a short history of the winch and jeeps for the final section of the binder that is dedicated to winches! Have a great week and check out the whole album here!

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