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Orenstein & Koppel (O & K)


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Machinery records

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Orenstein & Koppel (O & K), 1913 and n. d. | Historical Construction Equipment Association

By Thomas Berry

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Collection Overview

Title: Orenstein & Koppel (O & K), 1913 and n. d.Add to your cart.

ID: 1/101/1123

Creator: Orenstein & Koppel (1876-1999)

Extent: 0.05 Linear Feet

Arrangement: Group 1, Machinery Records, is arranged by subseries, record format, record type, machine class, machine model, and publication date (where known).

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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

Biographical Note

Arthur Koppel and Benno Orenstein formed the partnership of Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) in Berlin, Germany, Apr 1 1876. Circa 1885, the Arthur Koppel Company was formed to represent O & K’s business overseas. In 1905 or 1906, Koppel built an industrial railroad car plant in Koppel, Pennsylvania. After Arthur Koppel died in 1908, his company and O & K operated for a time under the names of “Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company” and “Orenstein & Koppel & Arthur Koppel Company” before returning to the O & K name.

When the United States entered World War I, many of the Pennsylvania plant’s German managers were arrested. The company’s American assets were seized by the U. S. Government and sold to Pressed Steel Car Company, which operated them as a new subsidiary, Koppel Industrial Car & Equipment. Koppel Industrial Car ceased operations in 1937, and its assets were sold at auction the next year.

In April 1998, O & K either sold its large hydraulic excavator and shovel line to Terex Corporation (Collection 532), or was acquired outright by Terex. Terex made O & K, or this product line, part of the Mining Division of Terex Earthmoving and retained the O & K name. The construction product lines, comprised of small excavators, crawler tractors, motor graders and wheel loaders, to New Holland Construction (Collection 482) in 1999.


Bucyrus International (Collection 17) acquired the mining equipment lines of Terex Corporation (Collection 532) in February 2010. The lines involved included Reedrill (Collection 1244), O & K (Collection 1123) and Unit Rig & Equipment (Collection 1527). The lines were re-branded as Bucyrus. Caterpillar Inc. (Collection 228) acquired Bucyrus International (Collection 17) in July 2011, and soon rebranded all products and operations as Caterpillar Global Mining LLC.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this collection.

Physical Access Note:

Some records in this collection are heavily soiled. Until preservation photocopies can be made, the following precautions must be taken:

* They must be isolated from all other records

* Gloves must be used in handling them, and the gloves are to be removed before other records are handled.

Acquisition Method:

This is an artificial collection comprised of records from multiple accessions.  Initial records in this collection were found in files. Additional records have been donated by:

* Terex Corporation, Accession 2000-0024 (received Jan 25, 2000)

* Judd Griffith Collection, Accession 2000-0113 (received Sep 22, 2000)

* Columbus Equipment Company, Accession 2004-0088 (received Jun 21, 2004)

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

* Lee Haak, on behalf of Komatsu Americas Corporation, Accession 2006-0053 (received May 2, 2006)

* George Fiebe, Accession 2007-0069 (received Aug 31, 2007)

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Group:

[Group 1: Machinery records, 1913 and n. d.],

Group 1: Machinery records, 1913 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Series 1: Sales literature, 1913 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Subseries 1: Judd Griffith Collection, standard format, 1913 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Catalogs, 1913Add to your cart.
Item 1: Catalog 900, 1913Add to your cart.
Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) sales literature: Catalog published under Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company name discusses industrial railroad track, switch, turntable, switch stand and hardware; cast track panels; narrow gauge and standard gauge side dump car; garbage car; muck car (end dump car); hopper car; gable bottom car; side discharge hopper car; four-wheel and two-truck flatcar; log car; creosoting car; box car; sugar cane car; skip; concrete bucket; industrial railroad car; narrow gauge electric locomotive; narrow gauge steam locomotive; and bucket line excavator. Illustration includes Koppel Building and factory exterior, Koppel, Pennsylvania; and construction of Statue of Liberty base. Photograph subjects include cars lettered for British Columbia Electric and Standard Reduction & Chemical Company; 0-4-0 24” gauge steam locomotive; and 0-4-0 used by Keystone State Construction Company to build Pennsylvania Railroad grade separation in Rahway, New Jersey. Includes testimonial letters.
Item 2: Catalog 910: Koppel Hauling Equipment for Good Roads Construction, c. 1913Add to your cart.
Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) sales literature: Catalog published under Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company name discusses availability for purchase and rental of industrial railroad track sections, switch, narrow gauge side dump car, and 24” gauge 0-4-0 dinkey steam locomotive. Illustration of factory exterior, Koppel, Pennsylvania. Includes testimonial letters from Julius Friedrich Company, Newport Construction Company and Brooks & Julian General Contractors. Includes ownership and operating costs study and comparative performance study against teams and traction engine. Printed on lime green paper; numerous photographs of dump train equipment in operation, all tinted green. Subjects include transfer of stone from standard gauge hopper car to narrow gauge dump car, using a car unloader; horse-drawn dump car train; stock dump wagon; unidentified small Shay steam locomotive; and men carrying track panels into place.
Folder 2: Spec sheets, n. d.Add to your cart.
Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) sales literature: Spec sheet published under Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company name discuss portable railroad track section; portable track switch; portable turntable; narrow gauge side dump car and flatcar; switch frog; split switch (spring switch); switch point and throw; concrete bucket; skip; standard gauge dump car; end dump car; muck car; batch car; industrial cars; and Electromobile industrial truck .
Folder 3: Miscellaneous, c. 1913Add to your cart.
Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) sales literature: Compilation of spec sheet and testimonial letter, Estimate Your Requirements in Dump Cars from This Folder, discusses rental or sale of narrow gauge and standard gauge side dump car; concrete bucket; skip; industrial railroad track sections, switch, and rail. Testimonial letters from T. A. Gillespie Company; John F. Casey Company; McMenamin & Sims; Fisher & Carozza; McLean, Francisco, Company; and Farney-Massman Construction Company.

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