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J. D. Adams & Company


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Machinery Records

Photographic media

Business Records


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J. D. Adams & Company, 1905-1961 and n. d. | Historical Construction Equipment Association

By Thomas Berry

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Collection Overview

Title: J. D. Adams & Company, 1905-1961 and n. d.Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1927-1954

ID: 1/101/29

Primary Creator: Adams, J. D. & Company (1885-1954)

Extent: 1.4 Linear Feet

Arrangement: Group 1, Machinery Records, is arranged by record format, record type, machine class, machine model, and publication date (where known). Digital images are arranged by image number on compact discs. Periodicals and clippings are arranged by title and date.

Subjects: Acme Road Machinery, Adams Fordson Grader, Alaska Highway, Allis-Chalmers, American Manganese Steel, Arthur Martinson, Asphalt kettle, Back-Sloper, Backfill board, Blade, Boot, Bucket elevator, Cab, Cable, Canopy, Case, Caterpillar, Cherokee Construction Company, Chicago Rawhide, City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Colorado State Highway Department, Concrete mixer, ConExpo, Construction Aggregates Ltd., Contractor's Favorite, Crawler assembly, Crawler attachment, Crawler conversion, Crawler tractor, Creeper gear, Cross discharge conveyor, Cummins, Cutting edge, Diamond Point, Diesel engine, Disc wheel, Ditching Scraper, Drag scraper, Drum roller, Dump wagon, E-Z Lift, E. F. Craven Company, Elevating grader, Euclid, Final drive, Force-feed loader, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fresno scraper, Front dozer, Galion Iron Works, Gas engine, General Paving Company, Giant, Giant Road King, Good Roads Magazine, Grader, Hand control, History, Horse hitch, Hyatt, Indianapolis, Indiana, International Harvester, J. A. Jones, J. D. Adams & Company, J. D. Adams (Canada) Ltd., Jaw crusher, Johnson Creek Logging Company, Jones-Wright Company, Keeley Construction Company, L&M Construction Company, LaPlant-Choate, Leader, LeTourneau-Westinghouse, Lloyd & Wiley, Madison Construction Company, McCormick-Deering, Moldboard, Moldboard extension, Motor grader, Motor grader conversion, Motorized, North Dakota State Highway Department, Oil Sprinkler, Oliver de Silva, One-Man Road Maintainer, Pan scraper, Patrol, Peerless, Plow, Pneumatic tire, Portable concrete mixer, Pouring pot, Power control, Power shift, Power take-off, Profilograph, PTO, Pull grader, Pull maintainer, Pull ripper, Pull scraper, R. J. Nichols, Rein & Dahl, Retread Paver, Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Road drag, Road King, Road Maintainer, Road oiler, Road Patrol, Road plow, Road shaper, Road Show, Roller, Roller bearing, Rooter, Rooter plow, Rotary scraper, Rotary screen, Rotary snow plow, Russell Grader, Scarifier, Scarifier-Grader, Scraper, Screen, Sheepsfoot roller, Shoulder spreader, Shunk, Slip scraper, Slopeboard, Smith, Snow blower, Snow plow, Solid tire, Southern Plow, Spokane County, Washington Road Department, Sprinkling Wagon, Square Deal, St. Clair County, Illinois Road Department, Straight dozer, Stroud Road Machinery, Tandem grader operation, Tar kettle, Taylor County, Texas Road Department, Terminology, Timken, Toronto, Ontario, Track assembly, Trackson, Tractor test, Transmission, Traveloader, Trommel screen, Tumblebug, U. S. Army Air Corps, U. S. Navy, University of Nebraska, Water wagon, Welding symbols, Wheeled scraper, Wheel tractor, Wing plow, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wolf Creek Dam, World War II, Wright Contracting Company

Forms of Material: Clipping, Comparative spec, Digital image, Operation manual, Parts book, Periodical, Photograph, Price page, Sales correspondence, Sales letter, Sales literature, Sales training, Service literature, Service manual, Testimonial

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of sales literature, service literature, photographs and clippings discussing the company’s products and history.

Biographical Note

Historical information:


J. D. Adams invented the first successful leaning-wheel pull grader in 1885, and founded J. D. Adams & Company. The Company, which was reorganized as J. D. Adams Company circa 1929, also produced elevating graders, sheepsfoot rollers, dozers, grader attachments, pull and rotary scrapers, force-feed loaders, and related equipment. Its Welding Division marketed an arc welder in 1936. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Adams had a Canadian affiliate, J. D. Adams (Canada) Ltd., with offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Adams was purchased by LeTourneau-Westinghouse (Collection 461) in 1953; L-W retained the Adams brand name for its recognition value until c. 1960.

Adams had cross-marketing relationships with several other manufacturers, including Acme Road Machinery Company (Collection 26), The Baker Manufacturing Company (Collection 133), and Smith Trailer Corporation (Collection 1824). Some Adams literature includes Acme and Smith products, and Baker marketed Adams Road King graders in addition to its own.

Model nomenclature:

Adams used at least two series of model designations for pull graders. One was the “Grader” series, and the other was the “Patrol” series.

Lterature dating and numbering:

Brochures and spec sheets apparently used a date-based numbering system, using the two digits for the year and a two-digit serial number. The second two digits cannot directly be for the month, as numbers greater than 12 were observed.

Subject/Index Terms

Acme Road Machinery
Adams Fordson Grader
Alaska Highway
American Manganese Steel
Arthur Martinson
Asphalt kettle
Backfill board
Bucket elevator
Cherokee Construction Company
Chicago Rawhide
City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Colorado State Highway Department
Concrete mixer
Construction Aggregates Ltd.
Contractor's Favorite
Crawler assembly
Crawler attachment
Crawler conversion
Crawler tractor
Creeper gear
Cross discharge conveyor
Cutting edge
Diamond Point
Diesel engine
Disc wheel
Ditching Scraper
Drag scraper
Drum roller
Dump wagon
E-Z Lift
E. F. Craven Company
Elevating grader
Final drive
Force-feed loader
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Fresno scraper
Front dozer
Galion Iron Works
Gas engine
General Paving Company
Giant Road King
Good Roads Magazine
Hand control
Horse hitch
Indianapolis, Indiana
International Harvester
J. A. Jones
J. D. Adams & Company
J. D. Adams (Canada) Ltd.
Jaw crusher
Johnson Creek Logging Company
Jones-Wright Company
Keeley Construction Company
L&M Construction Company
Lloyd & Wiley
Madison Construction Company
Moldboard extension
Motor grader
Motor grader conversion
North Dakota State Highway Department
Oil Sprinkler
Oliver de Silva
One-Man Road Maintainer
Pan scraper
Pneumatic tire
Portable concrete mixer
Pouring pot
Power control
Power shift
Power take-off
Pull grader
Pull maintainer
Pull ripper
Pull scraper
R. J. Nichols
Rein & Dahl
Retread Paver
Reynolds-Alberta Museum
Road drag
Road King
Road Maintainer
Road oiler
Road Patrol
Road plow
Road shaper
Road Show
Roller bearing
Rooter plow
Rotary scraper
Rotary screen
Rotary snow plow
Russell Grader
Sheepsfoot roller
Shoulder spreader
Slip scraper
Snow blower
Snow plow
Solid tire
Southern Plow
Spokane County, Washington Road Department
Sprinkling Wagon
Square Deal
St. Clair County, Illinois Road Department
Straight dozer
Stroud Road Machinery
Tandem grader operation
Tar kettle
Taylor County, Texas Road Department
Toronto, Ontario
Track assembly
Tractor test
Trommel screen
U. S. Army Air Corps
U. S. Navy
University of Nebraska
Water wagon
Welding symbols
Wheeled scraper
Wheel tractor
Wing plow
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Wolf Creek Dam
World War II
Wright Contracting Company

Administrative Information

Repository: Historical Construction Equipment Association


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:

• Duval Craven Papers, included sales correspondence and sales training materials.

• Circle S Corporation Collection, accession 2003-0078 (received Jun 2 2003), donated most of the parts books, which were removed from a Master Parts Binder.

• Arthur McNae, accession 2005-0123 (received Aug 24 2005), donated a large amount of sales literature.

• Donald W. Frantz Collection, Accession 2005-0150 (received Dec 31, 2005). Filed with his collection per his request.

• Maier-Daily Papers, Accession 2009-0217 (received Jan 13, 2010)

• Harry E. Young II Papers, Accession 2011-0316 (received Mar 15, 2012)

Related Materials: Collection 461, LeTourneau-Westinghouse Company, continues the Adams line of motor graders.

Other Note: The Indiana State Library has a collection of J. D. Adams records. This is their website; their phone number is 317-232-3671.  In addition, Art Van Camp, 277 Stephenson Point Road RR3, Port Perry, Ont

Other URL: http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Group:

[Group 1: Machinery Records, 1905-1961 and n. d.],
[Group 2: Photographic media, 1885 and n. d.],
[Group 3: Business Records, 1943-1954 and n. d.],
[Group 4: Periodicals, 1942 and n. d.],

Group 4: Periodicals, 1942 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Series 1: <i>Adams Pictorial News</i>, 1942 and n.d.Add to your cart.
Item 1: Sec. 34.66 PL&R, n. d.Add to your cart.

Undated issue, filed in FB 12x16-06. Models, owners and projects depicted:

Cover: 610, J. A. Jones Construction Company / Wright Contracting Company joint venture, Wolf Creek Dam, Kentucky (shows concrete gravity dam under construction and distant view of cableway)

Page 2: 610, Madison Construction Company, State Aid Route 1B, East Alton, Illinois; Rein & Dahl; 610, Keeley Construction Company; and 610, Douglas County, Oregon Road Department.

Page 3: General Paving Company; L&M Construction Company, SR64/SR70, Tennessee; St. Clair County, Illinois Road Department; R. J. Nichols; and Arthur Martinson

Page 4: Oliver de Silva, machine with front dozer; Cherokee Construction Company; 201, Lloyd & Wiley; and 610, Johnson Creek Logging Company.

Page 6: City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island; and graders with snow plow or snow blower owned by Colorado State Highway Department, North Dakota State Highway Department, and Spokane County, Washington Road Department.

Page 7 discusses and illustrates the TraveLoader force feed loader.

Page 8: 610, Taylor County, Texas Road Department.

Item 2: Fall 1942, 1942Add to your cart.

<i>Adams Pictorial Review</i>, America at War theme, filed in box FB 12x16-6. Most photos show military-related subjects. 

Cover: Formation of U. S. Navy PBY Catalina Flying Boat aircraft

Page 2: PT boat, parachute drop, paratroopers lined up inside plane during drop, diving submarine, pull grader.

Page 3: Quonset hut construction in Iceland; V Corps 216th Quartermaster Co. Mobile Shoe and Textile Repair; sorting food in a Quartermaster Depot; Hauling Scraper pull scraper, U. S. Army Air Corps training field, Alabama.

Pages 4-5: Aircraft on deck of aircraft carrier; LVT Alligator, in water and coming ashore; halftrack with 75mm gun; motor grader on Alaska Highway and grading airstrip in Cumberland Mountains.

Page 6: Amphibious landing in rubber rafts; horse cart in Ireland; American troops on review.

Page 7: Typical wartime advertisement.

Page 8: Motor grader, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Browse by Group:

[Group 1: Machinery Records, 1905-1961 and n. d.],
[Group 2: Photographic media, 1885 and n. d.],
[Group 3: Business Records, 1943-1954 and n. d.],
[Group 4: Periodicals, 1942 and n. d.],

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