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Austin-Western (1901-1971) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Austin-Western (1901-1971)


Historical Note:

In 1901, F. C. Austin Manufacturing Company and Western Wheeled Scraper Company, which until then had been fierce competitors, formed a selling corporation called Austin-Western Road Machinery Company, with offices in Chicago, Illinois, to market their products. Western Wheeled Scraper purchased the F. C. Austin Manufacturing Company in 1902, renaming it Austin Manufacturing Company, and the three companies operated until 1934. Their exact relationship to one another during these years is uncertain, but is discussed in Issue 80 of Equipment Echoes. Austin and Western products were manufactured and sold under those names, although the Austin-Western name also appeared on machinery, especially in the early 1930s.

In 1934, the two manufacturing companies were consolidated under the name Western-Austin Company, with Austin-Western as a wholly-owned subsidiary; the Austin-Western name was in standard use on the equipment after the merger, although the Western-Austin name also occasionally appeared in conjunction with Austin-Western. Also in 1934, the Austin-Western Road Machinery Company moved from Chicago to Aurora, Illinois, and manufacturing operations were consolidated in Aurora in 1939.

On January 1, 1944, all operations were consolidated under the Austin-Western Company  name, the Austin-Western Road Machinery Company was dissolved, and the Western-Austin name was dropped

Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation (Collection 135) acquired Austin-Western as a subsidiary on March 8, 1951. In July of 1965 Armour and Company of Chicago, Illinois, purchased all of the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation of Philadelphia; then in December of 1970, the Greyhound Corporation purchased all of Armour and Company and its subsidiaries.

In May of 1971 the Clark Equipment Company (Collection 252) purchased only the Construction Equipment Division from Greyhound. This consisted of the Austin-Western Division of Aurora, Illinois; the Lima Division of Lima, Ohio; and the Division of BLH Canada located at St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada.

Clark went on to phase out the Austin-Western name in the mid-1970s, consolidating the line into its Crane Division, then moving production of graders – the last survivor of the line – to the former Hancock Manufacturing Company plant in Lubbock, Texas in 1978. The Lubbock plant was closed and the grader line discontinued in 1981.

Sources: Condensed from article in Issue 80 of Equipment Echoes.





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