The Post War Planning Committee
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Wilbraham, MA
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    This is some really ancient history that a few of you may be aware of, and that those who are not may find interesting.

    Due to the immense number of turret lathes (remember, in one record breaking month, over 600 were shipped) that had suddenly become surplus at the end of the WWII, the company was forced to come up with a strategy that would save its skin for a few years, until that surplus could get at least partially dried up.

    The strategy development work had three areas of focus: construction machinery, textile machines, and machine tools.

    It was known that in times of recession, the government always poured money into such areas as highway construction, dam and building, etc. So, let's see if we can have something to market that can be used in a variety of construction. The result was the Gradall/Badger line.

    Secondly , it was known that the textile industry had a business cycle all of its own. So, a relationship was developed with the Swiss firm, Sulzer Brothers, whose large industrial base included the Sulzer Shuttleless Loom. Some of you will recall helping to build this machine at Carnegie Ave. plant #5. It was excellent for weaving only some materials, such was woolen worsteds, but too expensive for the production of cotton materials. Along with the weaving machine came the Whirlwind Twister Winder which was used for the preparation of material in the stage prior to weaving.

    Then, of course, the traditional machine tools, with another, often divergent business cycle. This method of diversification was a huge factor in helping the company get through those relatively quiet years after the war. The hand turret lathe line was expanded and soon the famous AC chuckers came along to start replacing the aging horde of hand machines across America. Multiple spindle automatics came out of a relationship W/S developed with Wickman, English builder of a "camless bar automatic" whose design our engineers improved upon.

    Ancient history, I know, but hopefully of interest to those with cutting oil and chips in their blood. And this Committee's work helped strengthen the foundation of W/S for the growth that would follow during the next generation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Estancia, NM USA
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    The history of W&S fascinates me, for one, so keep it coming! What gets me is how a company can be so huge and then in a matter of a couple years just fall off the edge of the planet. Maybe that's why I have IH tractors and follow their history also. Feel free to keep talking about the automatics, also. I plan on getting an AC and AB in the near future. Thanks


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