By Thomas Berry
Title: The Blaw-Knox Company, 1918-1996 and n. d.
Creator: Blaw-Knox Company, The (1917-2007?)
Extent: 0.1 Linear Feet
Arrangement: Group 1, Machinery Records, is arranged by record format, record type, subseries, machine class, machine model, and publication date (where known).
Scope and Contents of the Materials
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This collection consists of sales literature, service literature and photographic media discussing the company’s products, and business records documenting its operations. Numerous additional records from this company are not yet cataloged online.
Jacob B. Blaw of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania patented a re-useable steel form that was superior to wooden forms in constructing concrete sewers and tunnel linings. On March 12, 1906 Blaw Collapsible Steel Centering Company (Collection 356) was formed in New Jersey to manufacture and market the product. The firm was renamed the Blaw Steel Centering Company in 1911; according to another source, it became the Blaw Steel Construction Company.
In 1909, Luther Knox and Irvin F. Lehman became associated in the establishment of the Knox Pressed and Welded Steel Company (Collection 2606) to produce and market Knox’s innovations in the use of pressed and welded steel, in place of previously used non-ferrous castings, for the manufacture of water-cooled equipment for open hearth furnaces and for other high temperature applications.
The Blaw and Knox firms merged on July 6, 1917, forming The Blaw-Knox Company. The company diversified into radio towers in 1927 and, in 1929 through its purchase of A. W. French & Company (Collection 1721), paving equipment. French was manufacturing the Ord line of concrete finishers and related equipment, which became the genesis for Blaw-Knox’s own popular line of form-riding spreaders and finishers, and in 1931 Blaw-Knox expanded the line to include form-riding asphalt finishers.
The Ord form-riding asphalt finisher was the first to be adjustable at the forms so that the machine could be raised for the laying of multiple layers of pavement without resetting the forms. It also had compression shoes that aided in compaction and eliminated the need for removable form strips.
Blaw-Knox went on to acquire the assets of the Foote Manufacturing Company (Collection 394) in 1948. This added dry-batch concrete pavers and the Adnun asphalt paver, which was with Barber-Greene’s 879 one of the two first self-propelled, formless asphalt pavers, to Blaw-Knox’s product line. Issue 66 includes a history of Foote and their concrete mixers and pavers.
The All-Purpose Spreader Company (Collection 2559), or APSCo, was purchased in 1954. Apsco produced trench rollers and a line of rubber-tired paving equipment, including shoulder spreaders, road wideners and the first rubber-tired asphalt paver.
Blaw-Knox went on to serve the metallurgical, chemical process, public service and heavy construction industries. It purchased the Buffalo Foundry & Machine Company and Buflovak Equipment Group, both of Buffalo, New York, in 1945 to gain access to the chemical plant, gas processing and food processing equipment industries; these lines were spun off in 1993 as Buffalo Technologies Corporation, which was reorganized in 2003 as Buflovak LLC.
Blaw-Knox also became possibly the only equipment manufacturer to have a town named after it; Blaw Steel had relocated to Hoboken, Pennsylvania, a small town near Pittsburgh, in 1913, and Hoboken was renamed Blawknox, Pennsylvania, in 1918.
Blaw-Knox itself changed hands at least twice, being acquired by White Consolidated Industries in 1968, and then Clark Equipment Company. Ingersoll-Rand acquired Clark’s construction product lines, including Blaw-Knox, in 1995. Ingersoll-Rand continued to use the Blaw-Knox brands, and placed Blaw-Knox in its Road Development business unit. When Ingersoll-Rand exited the construction equipment industry in 2007, the Road Development unit was sold to Volvo Construction Products (Collection 5), and the Blaw-Knox brand remains in use.
Serial number nomenclature:
Form-riding concrete paving equipment typically used a prefix consisting of the last two digits of the year of manufacture followed by the model number, then a serial number.
There are no restrictions on this collection.
Physical Access Note:
Some records in this collection are in poor physical condition.
This is an artificial collection comprised of records from multiple accessions. Initial records in this collection were found in files. Additional records have been added from:
• Judd Griffith Collection, Accession 2000-0113 (received Sep 22 2000)
• Donald W. Frantz Collection, Accession 2005-0150 (received Dec 31, 2005). Filed with his collection per his request.
Box and Folder Listing Browse by Group:
[Group 1: Machinery records, 1918-1962 and n. d.
Browse by Group:
- Group 1: Machinery records, 1918-1962 and n. d.
- Series 1: Sales literature, 1918-1962 and n. d.
- Subseries 1: General sales literature, 1918-1962 and n. d.
- Subject 1: General product line, 1948
- Item 1: 2248, n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses form-riding subgrader, concrete spreader and concrete finisher; dry batch plant, aggregate batch bin, cement silo, cement batcher and weigh batcher; concrete bucket; Hi-Boy transit mixer; clamshell bucket, including criteria for selecting a bucket; steel form; and steel building. Soiled.
- Subject 2: Cableways, 1919
- Item 1: 200, 1919
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses cableway and clamshell bucket. 16 pages, soiled.
- Subject 3: Clamshell buckets, 1918-1940 and n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure, price page and sales letter discuss clamshell bucket. Some pieces soiled.
- Subject 4: Concrete buckets, 1936
- Item 1: 1522, 1936
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses concrete bucket. Cover photograph shows buckets loaded out on flat car lettered for MWAK (Mason/Walsh/Atkinson/Kier, the Silas Mason Company / Walsh Construction Company / Atkinson-Kier (Guy F. Atkinson Company and W. E. Kier Construction Company) joint venture that built the Grand Coulee Dam substructure and superstructure, train of at least nine cars carrying four buckets each outside factory). Additional photo subjects include construction at San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (including tremie bucket for underwater concrete placement), cableway operation at Chicago Sewage Disposal Plant, Montgomery Dam, and Fort Peck Dam. 16 pages, soiled.
- Subject 5: Dragline buckets, 1928
- Item 1: 1081, 1928
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses dragline bucket. Includes testimonial letters. Six pages, soiled.
- Subject 6: Batch plants and batch bins, 1931 and n. d.
- Item 1: 1301, 1931
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses dry batch plant, aggregate batch bin, cement silo, weigh batcher, TrukMixer transit mixer, agitor body, bin, and hopper. Numerous photographs of plant installations; photograph subjects include George M. Brewster & Sons batch plant. Last page discusses paving form, street and sidewalk form, clamshell bucket, dragline bucket, Ord concrete finisher and asphalt finisher, truck turntable, Pavegard concrete coating, steel grating and flooring, and Wagon Grader and American Tractor Equipment Company (Ateco) wheeled scraper. 36 pages, damaged.
- Item 2: 1398, n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses cement batcher, weigh batcher, Batcherplant aggregate batch bin, cement silo, cement tank for transporting cement in batch truck, and cement batch plant. Six pages, soiled.
- Subject 7: Concrete mixers, 1962
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure discusses Gyramixer pan type stationary concrete mixer, Four pages.
- Subject 8: Transit mixers, 1931-c. 1937 and n. d.
- Item 1: 1306A, Oct 1931
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure and spec sheet discusses TrukMixer transit mixer. Extensive discussion of design features. 20 pages, soiled.
- Item 2: 1582 A Complete Service, c. 1937
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Catalog and spec sheet discusses TrukMixer transit mixer, dry batch plant, aggregate batch bin, cement silo and weigh batcher. Includes National Ready Mixed Concrete Association standards for transit mixers as of May 1937 and numerous photographs; photograph subjects include unmounted transit mixer on narrow gauge flat car, pushed by Plymouth Locomotive Works diesel locomotive (figure 60). 54 pages, comb bound, slight wear. Dated from NRMCA standards.
- Item 3: Hi-Boy brochures and spec sheets, n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure and spec sheet discuss Hi-Boy transit mixer. One has Hi-Boy and TrukMixer names, the others Model M 4-1/2 yard, 5-1/2 yard and 6-1/2 yard models. r transit mixer, dry batch plant, aggregate batch bin, cement silo and weigh batcher. Includes National Ready Mixed Concrete Association standards for transit mixers as of May 1937 and numerous photographs; photograph subjects include unmounted transit mixer on narrow gauge flat car, pushed by Plymouth Locomotive Works diesel locomotive (figure 60). 54 pages, comb bound, slight wear. Dated from NRMCA standards.
- Subject 9: Asphalt and concrete finishers, 1932 and n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochure and testimonial letters discuss Blaw-Knox and Ord form-riding asphalt finisher and concrete finisher, float bridge, and asphalt and concrete paving form.
- Subject 10: Forms, n. d.
- Blaw-Knox Company sales literature: Brochures asphalt and concrete paving form. One piece discusses Ball Wagon Grader wheeled scraper and other products on back cover.
[Group 1: Machinery records, 1918-1962 and n. d.