Baldwin Corporate Remains

Discussion related to Baldwin Locomotive Works, Lima Locomotive Works, Lima-Hamilton Corporation, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton.

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Postby Tadman » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:40 pm

FYI, in some unrelated corporate remans searches, I ran across the "Niles Machine Works" of Hamilton, Ohio. This eventually became the "Hamilton" in BLH. It's also my theory - yet unproven - that the Niles portion of Shepard-Niles Crane company, of Montour Falls, NY, was derived from Niles Machine works, as the Shepard part started out as a bridge builder, not a machinery builder. Hank if you know anything of that distant corner of the BLH group, let me know. Thanks!

-Tad
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Postby hankadam » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm

NILES - - - You've asked the $64,000 question, and with some research I can answer most of it, I hope by this week end. I've pulled out some of my books and charts and will put together a "bullet" chronology, because this is one of the most complicated Corporate histories around. But for all our readers NILES, and associated companies were involved in railroad machine tools, so we are still true to our forum - - - I do hope our administrator will be patient with the length. And quickly the "Hamilton" of BLH came from a registered trademark owned by the Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Company dating from 1901. Also the Crane Division morphed into Shepard-Niles, but since this moved out of my sphere, I can only tell you about the beginnings. More later, Hank
Henry A. Rentschler
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Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:59 pm

Hank - any word on the relation of Shepard-Niles to BLH? If you're busy I understand - no rush here. Also, if the Rentschlers were involved with a concern in Hamilton, does that make you a Hamilton native? I was a 2004 graduate of Miami, up the road in Oxford, and I drove thru Hamilton (or Hamiltucky, as we called it) many times. I can tell it was once a great city, but after the B&O and Armco closed up, the city has fallen on harder times. However, I miss Hamilton just as much as I miss the rest of SW Ohio (a lot!).

PS - I stripped the builder's plate off a 1950 Shepard Niles 25t crane a few years back. It's a cast iron sign about 1'x5', and weighs about 70#. This crane is never to enter service again, and cranes of this sort do not have the following that a vintage locomotive would - I don't condone stealing builders plates off trains. I'll post pics one of these days.
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Postby hankadam » Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:54 am

Yes, yes, and yes - - - I've been away (up from the Chesapeake where I've been winterizing my boat), but have lots of stuff on Niles-Bement-Pond. Don't have too much on the crane division, but can, and will give some corporate history, and the many entities NBP spawned. I was brought up in Hamilton, OH, and still have a brother, and lots of other relatives out there (my mother was a Beckett, so even more cousins on that side). However left when I started to work at Lima, in 1950, and migrated to Eddystone, after US Navy, in 1954. Except for a brief return to Hamilton in the late '50's have been here in the East since 1962. And that is where I "inherited" much of the BLH history - - - which I love to share. Haven't been to Oxford for years, but Miami, of Ohio has grown to a mighty University, with a huge campus in Hamilton. NBP coming up soon. Hank.
Henry A. Rentschler
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Postby Tadman » Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:00 pm

I found this chart the other day on the net - it doesn't mention Shepard Niles, but it mentions just about everything else.

http://www.niles-simmons.de/englisch_ne ... ntent1.htm
Click on the chart to enlarge it.

Also, I rode the Chief thru Aurora yesterday, and noticed on the side of Austin-Western was still visible a painted sign that reads "Clark Equipmennt, Austin-Western Division"
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Postby krobar » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:56 pm

What happened to all the tooling to make parts for the Baldwin and Lima primemovers? Were they sold for scrap or did someone buy them looking to continue parts production?
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Postby Tadman » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:22 pm

Hank, who has posted above, was president of the company that made parts from BLH's exit from the loco business (1958) until close. I'm not clear if the successor to BLH - called Baldwin-Hamilton - was still part of the parent company - there's a sale to Penn-Texas, which then buys Colt guns, and then F-M, but then spins off both later... it's a very complex history. And somewhere in there Westinghouse buys and sells 20% of BLH.

Seperate from above: ConrailEngineer just mentioned Studebaker in a previous post - I have figured out how studebaker was related to BLH, and I'll share that chart when I get it fully figured out and posted.
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Postby alcodude » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:14 pm

Tadman wrote: <snip>

Seperate from above: ConrailEngineer just mentioned Studebaker in a previous post - I have figured out how studebaker was related to BLH, and I'll share that chart when I get it fully figured out and posted.


What's interesting here is that Studebaker merged with Worthington in 1967 to form SWI., which controlled ALCO Products Inc.
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Postby Tadman » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:38 pm

Eventually S-W sold Alco to White Motor, who sold it to GE-Britain (GEC) and they sold Alco to EnPro. Baldwin's General Machine (Hamilton in BLH) was sold to Penn-Texas, who bought Fairbanks-Morse, went thru several corporate changes, and eventually spun off the Engine and Power divisions as EnPro, the same people that bought Alco later from GEC. So in a way, Alco, Baldwin, and F-M are all related albeit distantly.

Another neato fact: Walt Chrysler was let go when Alco closed their auto division in the teens of the previous century. He went on to found Chrysler, which owned Butler Body, which was sold to Packard in '52. Packard bought Stude in '54, which became part of S-W in '67. Butler body, which ended as a seperate entity in '52, was right back with Alco, where prior owner Chrysler had started.
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Postby Jflew » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:58 am

This is a bit of a tangent, but related to BLH's corporate history. Is anyone aware of BLH Electronic's? I believe they operated in Waltham, Massachusetts. And it looks like that company is currently known as Vishay BLH, Inc.

Can anyone confirm this? Thanks in advance.
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Postby hankadam » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:00 am

BLH Electronics - I just replied about a BLH plant in Massachusetts, along Rte #128 - yes it was in Waltham - - - I was not up-to-date on recent history. I learn soemthing new, every day.
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Postby Tadman » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:40 am

Was the Niles interurban factory, in Niles, OH, part of the Niles toolworks? They made interurbans from about 1900 to 1915.
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Postby hankadam » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:54 am

No, the Niles, of the town in Ohio, had nothing to do with the Niles of the Tool Works. All the best, Hank
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Postby Tadman » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:33 pm

Any idea when Shepard-Niles became a seperate entity? I just bought a lot of 57 black and white photos on eBay that were promotional photos of S-N cranes taken in the early 1920s. When I get around to scanning them, I'll share them. They include pics of the MBTA orange line shop, VGN princeton shops, and an LV transload facility, among other railroad subjects. None of these pics are newer than 1930.
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McClure Kelley?

Postby jaylkelley » Wed May 16, 2007 11:48 am

Hi Hank - McClure Kelley was my grandfather and I note that you have posted a lot of information about him. I met him only one time and was wondering if you would be willing to share any information with me about my grandfather. Much appreciated. Jay Kelley
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