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Chain Belt Company – Rex Chain Belt – Rexnord – Rexworks – RexCon LLC (1891-Current) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Chain Belt Company – Rex Chain Belt – Rexnord – Rexworks – RexCon LLC (1891-Current)


Historical Note:

Organizational History

 

The company that became Rexnord was founded in 1891 as Chain Belt Company by inventor C. W. LeValley and two foundry operators in a building formerly owned by  Pawling & Harnischfeger (P & H, Collection 414) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its initial product was, as the name implies, chain belts; by 1900, conveyors and bucket elevators followed. LeValley designed a new steam-powered concrete mixer, dubbed the Rex (Latin for “King”) as the first product of its Construction Machinery Division, and Rex dry batch pavers followed in the early 1910s. The Pumpcrete, believed to be the world’s first concrete pump, was introduced in the 1930s.

 

Effective January 8, 1962, the Chain Belt Company acquired the major product lines of the Construction Equipment Division of American Marietta Corporation (Collection 2474). This included what became the Rex DS47 and GS7 self-propelled stabilizers, which descended from the Seaman Corporation - Seaman Motors (Collection 1357) product line.

 

 

In 1964, the company's name was changed to Rex Chainbelt Inc. to identify more closely with the Rex trademark. Pactor Corporation, of West Sacramento, California, which built distinctive three-wheeled segment wheel compactors, was purchased circa 1966; Rex Chainbelt continued using the Pactor trade name for these machines until their discontinuance circa 1981, and the Trashmaster line of landfill compactors was developed from it.

 

Crusher and industrial engine manufacturer Nordberg Manufacturing Company (Collection 1116) was acquired in 1970, and in 1973 the company name changed to Rexnord Inc. The Construction Machinery Division, encompassing batch plants, landfill compactors, paving equipment, grinders, transit mixers and stabilizers, was sold to an employee owned corporation, Rexworks, Inc. Rexworks was subsequently split in December 1998 when CMI (Collection 208) acquired the Trashmaster and grinder lines and Giuffre Brothers Cranes Inc., a Milwaukee distributor of truck cranes, bought the concrete equipment business, rights to the Rexworks name, and its Milwaukee plant. In March 2000, the Rexworks transit mixer line was sold to Trinity Industries (Collection 1501), a Texas holding company and owner of the Temco (an acronym for Trinity Equipment Manufacturing Company, Collection 3110) transit mixer and batch plant line, and Trinity evidently combined the line into its own Temco brand. Rexworks no longer exists; Terex continues to produce Trashmasters today, and Maxon Industries, Inc. (Collection 1023) now produces Seaman-branded stabilizers.

 

Banner Industries purchased Rexnord as a wholly owned subsidiary in April 1987, ending a run of continuous payment of dividends, dating to the initial stock offering in 1928, that was unmatched among New York Stock Exchange companies. Banner purchased the Link-Belt line of chain belt from PT Components in August 1988, ending 98 years of competition between the lines. (Link-Belt chain belt dated to a patent issued to W. D. Ewart in 1874. LeValley’s initial design was found to be too similar to it, and he eventually designed a chain belt that did not infringe on Ewart’s patent. Ewart founded the Link-Belt Machinery Company in 1880 and Link-Belt Engineering Company in 1888, the forebears to today’s Link-Belt (Collection 463) and LBX (Collection 1863) manufacturing concerns.)  Today, Rexnord offers a wide range of industrial products, but only conveyors and conveyor components are directly related to construction.

 

The Rex trade name went through a long progression of name changes. An inventory of Chain Belt and Rex service literature in February 2006 revealed the following, based on publication dates of the records (some of which include later reprints):

 

• 1941-1962 Chain Belt Company, Rex Construction Machinery Section

• 1961-1970 Rex Chainbelt Inc. Construction Machinery Section

• 1970-1973 Rex Chainbelt Inc. Construction Machinery Group

• 1972-1978 Rexnord Inc. Construction Machinery Section

• 1969-1997 Rexworks (those dated prior to c. 1978 are likely reprints of older records)

 

Most of Rex’s historic records are believed destroyed, according to Parts Manager Jack Kloskey in an interview at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2005.

 

Product Information:

 

The Pumpcrete is believed to be the world’s first concrete pump






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