Galion Iron Works - Galion Manufacturing Company (1907-1999) | Historical Construction Equipment Association
Galion Iron Works was founded in Galion, Ohio, in 1907 by David Charles Boyd. Its initial product line was culvert pipe, which was first produced by the company on July 8 of that year. The firm was reorganized as Galion Iron Works & Manufacturing Company in 1923. The Jeffrey Manufacturing Company (Collection 439) acquired it in 1929, and it continued operating under the 1923 name until 1973, when it was renamed Galion Manufacturing Company. Literature published from December 1968 through February 1974 identifies the firm as a Division of Jeffrey Galion Inc.
Dresser Industries (Collection 375) acquired Jeffrey in 1974, and Galion became the Galion Manufacturing Division of Dresser Industries. Dresser acquired the Brazilian licensee of Huber-Warco (Collection 425) and made it part of the Galion grader operations under the name HWB Dresser. Literature published in Jun 1984 uses the Galion-Dresser name, although the Galion name was used on the products.
Dresser entered a 50/50 joint venture with Komatsu Limited (Collection 447) in September, 1988, for the engineering, manufacture and marketing of construction and mining equipment in North America. The venture was called Komatsu Dresser Company (Collection 448). The date for the venture’s creation has been reported as being 1985.
Dresser sold its construction-related divisions to Indresco, Inc. (Collection 2216) in August, 1992, and the Galion line became the Galion Division, Komatsu-Dresser Company effective July 1993. Komatsu purchased an additional 31% of the venture from Indresco in September, 1993, then acquired the remaining 19% interest in September, 1994. In 1996 Komatsu Dresser was renamed Komatsu America International Company. The former Galion graders were again marketed under the Galion name from circa 1992 until closure of the Galion plant Mar 31, 1999.
Galion used the following trade names for its products:
• Grade-O-Matic – power train for motor graders.
• Roll-O-Matic – power train for static rollers.
• Roll-O-Static – power train for static rollers.
Galion was somewhat vague in its use of model designations for static rollers until the S-series tandem roller and P-series pneumatic roller designations came into use.
Three-wheel rollers were identified as “Chief” and “Warrior” in the 1950s and early to mid 1960s, but only by weight before and after; there were different weights for the Chief and Warrior series as well. This finding aid uses the weight designation, unless a specific model number is cited on the cover of the literature.
Like the three-wheel rollers, tandem rollers were identified primarily by weight in sales literature prior to the introduction of formal model numbers, although used equipment sales literature frequently mentioned specific model numbers for machines built from the late 1940s through the mid to late 1960s. Static tandem rollers built in the late 1940s and early 1950s were occasionally identified in such literature as model “R”. Machines built in the early 1950s through late 1960s, as cited in used equipment sales records, typically used the following format:
First letter – T for tandem roller.
Second letter – propulsion system. Not always used.
C – chain.
H – hydrostatic.
Numeral(s) – weight.
Last letter – engine type.
D – diesel.
G – gas.
As with the three-wheeled rollers, tandem rollers prior to the S-series are identified by weight in this guide.
Pneumatic roller designations were equally confusing; Galion literature typically identified the pneumatic roller only as “9 wheel 12 ton Pneumatic Roller.” One manual identifies the roller in this fashion on the cover, yet gives model designation “9P2G” in the serial number identification section of the manual.
Paint and lettering:
In the years just prior to the Dresser takeover, Galion products were lettered with upper-case block “GALION” lettering, with a white background and a thin black border. When the Galion name was restored by Komatsu-Dresser c. 1992, the same lettering style was reintroduced, albeit in a slightly italicized format, with the letters leaning slightly to the right.
Publication numbering and dating:
The letter suffix used with publication numbers is a serial indicating revisions. For instance, 539A replaced 539, and was in turn replaced by 539B. This series was continued by Dresser at least until Sep 1986.
Publication numbers including a five-letter alpha prefix are from the years of Komatsu-Dresser ownership.
Most Galion publications bear a publication date.
Galion published its own literature and manuals in-house. It should be noted that most Galion manuals and parts books were punched for three-ring binders and bound with screws. This format was used on all manuals and parts books in this collection, except as noted otherwise, and was continued by Dresser in certain cases.