Service Caster and Truck Company, 1915
In Kansas City, Missouri, nearly twenty years ago, a man by the name of S.W.Chestnutt started the manufacture of lift trucks, among the first known in this country.
In developing his invention and constructing the first several completed trucks, he ran into difficulty when attempting to secure a practical running gear, or casterassembly. A search of the market at that time failed to reveal a source of supply for casters that were of the right kind to carry out the ideal of performance Mr. Chestnutt expected of his truck.So, Mr. Chestnutt set to work to develop his own casters and the Service Caster and Truck Co. was an outgrowth of his endeavor.
Our original company, taking over Mr. Chestnutt’s patent, was incorporated in the State of Missouri during the year of 1915.
After several years’ operation of the infant company, it was decided by the officers anddirectors that the plant was located too far away from its principal market. A move was considered. Both Michigan and Ohio were selected as favorable states. Albion was looked upon as particularlydesirable for a Michigan location because of the pleasant relations we had enjoyed for a number of years with the Union Steel Products Co. The move was made duringSeptember 1923. A few months previous work was started on the construction of our first Albion plant – a brick structure measuring 50 X 200 feet.
In the spring of 1924, the company was reincorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan. Because of the growth in our business, a 50 X 200 foot addition to our plant was put up in 1927. That, of course, doubled our floor space.
The years of 1928 and 1929 were kind to us. Our volume in production increased to such an extent that further plant expansion was necessary. The summer of 1929 saw the completion of a 100X200 foot addition to the factory. That again represented the doubling of our floor space. Measured by plant size, we were four timesas large in 1929 than we were in 1924, all accomplished within five years.
Officers and directors of the company at present can be identified as follows: W.A. Brown, Chicago, president and director; George R. Cooper, Kansas City, vice-president and director; Walter C. Peak, Albion, secretary, general manager, and director; W.B. Lackey, Jr., Albion, assistantsecretary; W.T. Campbell, Kansas City, director. As everyone knows, we are at this moment one of the smaller industries in Albion. Yet, we have hopes-if we are fortunate and deserving possibly some day our plant and our rating locally will be up near the top. K73
Source: W.B. Lackey, Jr. in Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.