By Thomas Berry
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.
This collection consists of sales literature, service literature, photographs and clippings discussing the company’s products and history.
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.
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.
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/
8x10 B&W action photograph, unidentified J. D. Adams 1940s-1950s motor grader lettered
"Prince Edward," left front view.