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Davenport Locomotive & Manufacturing Corporation - Davenport-Besler Corporation (1901-1955) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Davenport Locomotive & Manufacturing Corporation - Davenport-Besler Corporation (1901-1955)

Historical Note:

The W. W. Whitehead Company began manufacturing locomotives in Davenport, Iowa, in 1901. The firm was renamed Davenport Locomotive Works in 1904, then Davenport Locomotive and Manufacturing Corporation.

Sometime after September 1930, it was licensed to assemble and market R. G. LeTourneau, Inc. (Collection 460) products under the Davenport-LeTourneau brand. This arrangement presumably ended with LeTourneau’s move to Peoria, Illinois, in 1935. Davenport also sold Davenport-Winchell three-wheel roller conversions of industrial wheel tractors, Davenport-Frink snow plows apparently built in license with Carl H. Frink - Frink Sno-Plows, Inc. (Collection 694), and Mov-Mor rotary scrapers manufactured under “Reynolds patents”; any relationship to Reynolds Manufacturing Company - Reynolds International L.P. (Collection 1251), which was founded in 1953, is unknown.

Following reorganization in 1933, Davenport Locomotive & Manufacturing became Davenport-Besler Corporation. Davenport-Besler acquired H. K. Porter Company, Inc. (Collection 2820) in 1950, and continued its designs. Canadian Locomotive Company acquired Davenport-Besler in 1955.

The records of this company are available for research at the Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1420, phone 319-335-5921. The finding aid is available on line at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/MSC/ToMsc100/MsC81/MsC81_davenportbesler.html

Sources: Most of the historical information is from the linked finding aid, with supplemental information from sales literature in the Collection, http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/porter.Html, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Locomotive_Company.

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