Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation (1950-1965?) | Historical Construction Equipment Association
The Lima Locomotive Works (Collection 462) entered the construction equipment market in 1928 when it purchased the Ohio Power Shovel Company (Collection 2934) as a division after assembling Ohio shovels on contract. The latter firm may be descended from another firm, known as The Ohio Steam Shovel Company while based in Toledo in 1903 and 1904, The Ohio Steam Shovel & Dredge Company in Cincinnati between at least 1910 and 1916, and again as the Ohio Steam Shovel Company in Lima, date unknown.
Lima merged with General Machinery Corporation of Hamilton, Ohio, in 1947 to form the Lima-Hamilton Corporation, which in turn merged with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1950 to form Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation (BLH, Collection 135); with that merger, the Lima locomotive line was discontinued in favor of Baldwin’s. B-L-H acquired the Austin Western Road Machinery Company (Collection 10) in 1951, and Madsen Iron Works (Collection 993), a manufacturer of asphalt plants in La Mirada, California, by 1956. Madsen had been in business since at least the 1920s, with facilities in Huntington Park, California, and Los Angeles, California, and it also produced a roadmixer and a line of fire hydrants.
B-L-H continued to produce machinery under all three brand names; in the mid-1960s, it also introduced a line of wheel loaders and a small crawler asphalt paver bearing only the BLH brand. Armour & Company acquired B-L-H as a subsidiary in 1965, and sold all of the construction equipment lines to Clark Equipment Company (Collection 252) in 1971. The paver had already been discontinued, and Clark ended production of the BLH loader in favor of its own and in the 1970s spun off the Austin-Western crusher line to Eagle Crusher Company (Collection 613). Clark discontinued the asphalt plants between 1973 and 1976, and absorbed the Lima and Austin-Western names into its Crane Division in 1978. The Crane Division was dissolved in 1981, and the Lima plant was closed and all production of products inherited from B-L-H ceased that year. Clark itself exited the industry years later, as will be discussed, and Eagle Crusher continues today.