Wax seal version of FM logo. DP67
|Fate||Purchased by Goodrich Corporation|
|Predecessor||Fairbanks scales, Eclipse Windmill|
|Successor||Fairbanks Scales, Fairbanks Morse, Fairbanks Nijhuis|
|Founded||Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, United States (1823)|
|Products||Scales, Windmills, Engines, Tractors, Radios, Pumps, Locomotives.|
Fairbanks, Morse and Company was an American manufacturing company in the late 19th and early 20th century. Originally a weighing scale manufacturer, it later diversified into pumps, engines, windmills, coffee grinders, radios, farm tractors, feed mills, locomotives, and industrial supplies until it was purchased by Penn Texas in 1958 [ citation needed ]and later, in 1999, by Goodrich Corp. It used the trade name Fairbanks-Morse.
There are three separate corporate entities that could be considered successors to the company, none of which is a complete and direct descendant of the original company. All claim the heritage of Fairbanks Morse and Company:
Fairbanks Morse and Company began in 1823 when inventor Thaddeus Fairbanks opened an ironworks in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to manufacture two of his patented inventions: a cast iron plow and a heating stove. In 1829 he started a hemp dressing business for which he built the machinery. Though unsuccessful in fabricating for fiber factories, another invention by Thaddeus, the platform scale, formed the basis for a great enterprise. That device was patented in June 1832, and a generation later, with his brother Erastus Fairbanks, the E. & T. Fairbanks & Company was selling thousands of scales, first in the United States, later in Europe, South America, and even Imperial China. Fairbanks scales won 63 medals over the years in international competition. It became the leading manufacturer in the US, and the best-known company the world over until Henry Ford and the Ford Corporation assumed this title in the 1920s.[ citation needed ]
In Wisconsin, a former missionary named Leonard Wheeler designed a durable windmill for pumping water, the Eclipse windmill. Wheeler set up shop in Beloit just after the Civil War. Soon half a million windmills dotted the landscape throughout the West and as far away as Australia. At about the same time, a Fairbanks & Company employee, Charles Hosmer Morse, opened a Fairbanks office in Chicago, from which he expanded the company's territory of operation and widened its product line. As part of this expansion, Morse brought Wheeler and his Eclipse Windmill pumps into business with the Fairbanks company. Morse later became a partner in the Fairbanks Company and by the end of the nineteenth century, it was known as Fairbanks Morse & Company and was headquartered in Chicago. Canadian and American cities had branch dealerships, with Fairbanks first coming to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1876 and later opening a factory there.
In the late nineteenth century, business expanded in the Western United States, as did the company's catalog. It grew to include typewriters, hand trucks, railway velocipedes, pumps, tractors, and a variety of warehouse and bulk shipping tools. The company became an industrial supplier distributing complete "turn-key" systems: tools, plumbing, gauges, gaskets, parts, valves, and pipe. Its 1910 catalog contained over 800 pages.
The Fairbanks Morse Company began producing oil and naptha engines in the 1890s with the purchase of the Charter line of engines (the first commercially available gas engine). They had the idea that an engine could be used as backup power for when one of their Eclipse windmills wasn't getting wind. The Fairbanks Morse gas engine became a success with farmers. Electricity generation and oilfield work also used these engines. Small lighting plants built by the company were also popular. Fairbanks Morse power plants evolved by burning kerosene in 1893, coal gas in 1905, then to semi-diesel engines in 1913 and to full diesel engines in 1924. The Model N was popular in stationary industrial applications. [ citation needed ]
In 1934, Fairbanks-Morse entered the radio business by acquiring the Audiola Radio Co. After a 1939 factory fire FM decided to exit the radio business. Fairbanks-Morse radios are well known for their colorfulness.The company also had brief forays into building automobiles, tractors, corn shellers, hammermills, cranes, televisions, and refrigerators, but output was small in these fields.
After the expiration of Rudolf Diesel's American license in 1912, Fairbanks Morse entered the large engine business. The company's larger Model Y semi-diesel became a standard workhorse, and sugar, rice, timber, and mine mills used the engine. The model Y was available in sizes from one through six cylinders, or 10 to 200 horsepower (150 kW). The Y-VA engine was the first high-compression, cold-start, full diesel developed by Fairbanks Morse without the acquisition of any foreign patent. This machine was developed in Beloit and introduced in 1924. The company expanded its line to the marine CO engine (Many 100 H.P. CO marine engines were used in the Philippine Islands to power ferry boats) as well as the mill model E, a modernized Y diesel. From this, Fairbanks-Morse became a major engine manufacturer and developed plants for railway and marine applications. The development of the diesel locomotive, tug, and ship in the 1930s fostered the expansion of the company.
Fairbanks-Morse renamed their headless 1.5 horsepower (1.1 kW) Model to "Z" in July 1914, according to engine historian C.H. Wendel. On all "Z" engines the gasoline tank is located in the base. In 1917, they expanded the line to include more sizes. In 1918, they stopped making headless models and adapted the 1.5 H.P. to have a head, and larger H.P. engines could now run on Kerosene. In 1928 The "Z" style "D" was introduced, and was entirely enclosed. The Z was made in incremental sizes of 3, 6, 12, 15 and up to 20 horsepower (15 kW). Over a half million units were produced in the following 30 years. In the early 1980s the line was sold off to Bell. The model Z found favor with farmers, and is a collectable today.
During World War I, a large order of 60 30 H.P. CO marine engines were installed in British decoy fishing ships to lure German submarines within range of their 6" naval guns. In 1939 Fairbanks-Morse developed a marine engine using an unusual opposed piston (O. P.) design, similar in arrangement to a series of German Junkers aircraft diesels. [ citation needed ] They remain in service on Los Angeles-, Seawolf-, and Ohio-class nuclear submarines of the US Navy.[ citation needed ] In addition to O.P. engines (used in the USCGC Hamilton class), Fairbanks-Morse license builds Pielstick (used in the Whidbey Island-classdock landing ships and San Antonio-classamphibious transport docks), Alco (used in USCGC Polar Sea), and M.A.N. design engines.The most common variant for submarines through the 1990s was the 38D 8-1/8 engine, ranging from 4 to 12 cylinders. This engine was delivered to the U.S. Navy in large numbers, often for use in fleet submarines, which used 9- or 10-cylinder versions as main engines in World War II. When the innovative but faulty "pancake" engines of the Tangclass proved unworkable, they were replaced with World War II-style Fairbanks-Morse engines, and these remained standard on US diesel-powered submarines through the early 1960s. These and other Fairbanks-Morse O. P. engines were also used as backup power on US nuclear submarines through the Seawolfclass of the 1990s. Fairbanks-Morse ranked 60th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. The US Navy has had Fairbanks-Morse diesels in operation on its submarines almost continuously since 1938.
Shortly after it won its first US Navy contract, the company introduced its 5 inches (13 cm) bore by 6 inches (15 cm) stroke opposed piston diesel to the rail industry, installing the engine in various self-propelled railcars. This engine proved unreliable, and was superseded by a larger 5-cylinder 8 inches (20 cm) bore by 10 inches (25 cm) stroke engine that produced 800 H.P. and was installed in the OP800 railcars in 1939.
In 1935, F-M initiated a long-term plan to build locomotives in house when it hired electrical engineer John K. Stotz from Westinghouse Electric Corporation and began developing plans for a 1,000 H.P. switcher and a 2,000 H.P. multipurpose locomotive.While the company was ready to begin production of the units in 1940, the War Production Board (WPB) denied it permission, citing the national interest of F-M's production of submarine engines and a locomotive market supplied by existing manufacturers. In 1943, the WPB approved F-M's plans to sell locomotives, and it introduced the 1,000 H.P. switcher H-10-44 in 1944, followed by the 2,000 cab unit, dubbed the Erie-built for its outsourced assembly location, in late 1945. The early locomotives soon proved unreliable, as high-stress railroad service exposed weaknesses in the engine that had not been seen in less demanding marine applications. In 1947, F-M reorganized its locomotive division with the hiring of new managers and the construction of a dedicated factory the following year.
In 1947, F-M introduced two new road switcher models, the 1,500 H.P. H-15-44 and the 2,000 H.P. H-20-44.In late 1949, the company's new cab units, named the Consolidated Line, were introduced to replace the Erie-builts in its catalog. None of the late 1940s models sold as well as competing units from EMD and Alco, and the Consolidated Line fared particularly poorly as cab units fell out of favor on American railroads. In 1951 F-M began designing a new large locomotive, and in 1953 it introduced the 2,400 H.P. H-24-66 Train Master, then the highest powered locomotive available. It too proved unpopular, and in 1958 F-M built its last locomotive for the American market, followed in 1963 by its final delivery to a Mexican customer. In total, it sold 1,460 diesel locomotives.
Fairbanks Morse continued to build diesel and gas engines, as it had been doing for the first half of the twentieth century. This is in addition to the pump and engine division, which produced Canadian Fairbanks Morse branded products for farms, factories and mines.
Export offices were established in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires; a factory was opened in Mexico, where model Z engines were built well into the 1980s. An Australian branch factory, similar to the Canadian Branch operation, was opened and remote sheep stations benefited from their products. It dated from 1902, when Cooper Sheep Shearing Machinery Ltd was set up in Sydney, and became an agent for Fairbanks Morse in that Hemisphere.
The company sold and updated the Eclipse model of windmill pumps in North America until they became obsolete with widespread rural electrification in the 1940s. Low cost electricity from the grid eliminated the need for local power production by small and medium diesel plants. While many Fairbanks Morse engines dutifully served into the late twentieth century, modernization, regional plant closures, and electricity were too much competition.
An inter-family feud for control of the company in 1956 between the sons of Charles Morse weakened the company. Consequently, Fairbanks-Morse was merged with Penn-Western in 1958. The downhill slide continued for the next few decades, with assets being sold off, and branches of the company closed. Regional sales offices were closed, and the one-shop model no longer appealed to buyers in the new consumer age. Automakers, tractor makers and locomotive builders made inroads into Fairbanks-Morse's market share. Thus the company spiraled down, and was sold.
Fairbanks Morse and Company merged with Penn-Texas Corporation in 1958 to form Fairbanks Whitney Corporation. Fairbanks Whitney was reorganized as Colt Industries in 1964, taking the name from Colt Manufacturing, the maker of firearms and an asset of Penn-Texas. In 1988, the Fairbanks Morse Pump division was sold off to private investors to become Fairbanks Morse Pump. It was subsequently purchased by Pentair as part of an acquisition of General Signal Pump Group in 1997. In 1988, the scale business was sold off by Colt Industries and became Fairbanks Scales, still an independent company.
In 1990, Colt Industries sold its firearms business to C.F. Holdings Corp as Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc. and became Coltec Industries. Coltec merged with BFGoodrich corporation in 1999 and retained the BFGoodrich name. In 2002, as part of a series of divestitures of non-aerospace divisions, BFGoodrich spun off its engineered industrial products division as EnPro Industries, Inc. and became Goodrich Corporation. EnPro was then the parent company of Fairbanks Morse Engine until 2020 when Fairbanks Morse was sold to Arcline Investment Management.
As a result, there are now three companies using either the Fairbanks or Fairbanks Morse trademarks, with lineage to the original Fairbanks Morse and Company. Fairbanks Scale and Fairbanks Morse Pump claim lineage back to E & T Fairbanks Company.
A V20 engine is a twenty-cylinder piston engine where two banks of ten cylinders are arranged in a V configuration around a common crankshaft. Large diesel V20 engines have been used in diesel locomotives, haul trucks, electric generators and marine applications.
An opposed-piston engine is a piston engine in which each cylinder has a piston at both ends, and no cylinder head. Petrol and diesel opposed-piston engines have been used mostly in large-scale applications such as ships, military tanks, and factories.
The American Locomotive Company was an American manufacturer of locomotives, diesel generators, steel, and tanks that operated from 1901 to 1969.
Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) was a Canadian railway locomotive manufacturer which existed under several names from 1883 to 1985, producing both steam and diesel locomotives. For a number of years it was a subsidiary of the American Locomotive Company. MLW's headquarters and manufacturing facilities were located in Montreal, Quebec.
A V18 engine is an eighteen-cylinder piston engine where two banks of nine cylinders are arranged in a V configuration around a common crankshaft.
The Canadian Locomotive Company, commonly referred to as CLC, was a Canadian manufacturer of railway locomotives located in Kingston, Ontario. Its works were located on the south side of Ontario Street between William and Gore streets on Kingston's waterfront.
The ALCO RS-3 is a 1,600 hp (1.2 MW), B-B road switcher diesel-electric locomotive. It was manufactured by American Locomotive Company (ALCO) and Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) from May 1950 to August 1956, and 1,418 were produced — 1,265 for American railroads, 98 for Canadian railroads, 48 for Brazilian and 7 for Mexican railroads. It has a single, 12 cylinder, model 244 engine.
The Consolidated line, or C-line, was a series of diesel-electric railway locomotive designs produced by Fairbanks-Morse and its Canadian licensee, the Canadian Locomotive Company. Individual locomotives in this series were commonly referred to as “C-liners”. A combined total of 165 units were produced by F-M and the CLC between 1950 and 1955.
The H-24-66, or Train Master, was a diesel-electric railroad locomotive produced by Fairbanks-Morse and its licensee, Canadian Locomotive Company. These six-axle hood unit road switchers were deployed in the United States and Canada during the 1950s.
Progress Rail Locomotives, doing business as Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) is an American manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives, locomotive products and diesel engines for the rail industry. The company is owned by Caterpillar through its subsidiary Progress Rail Services.
The ALCO RS-2 is a 1,500–1,600 horsepower (1,100–1,200 kW) B-B road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) from 1946 to 1950. ALCO introduced the model after World War II as an improvement on the ALCO RS-1. The locomotive was one of several road switchers in a crowded market, including the Baldwin DRS-4-4-1500, EMD GP7, and FM H-15-44. ALCO discontinued the RS-2 in 1950 in favor of the ALCO RS-3. Several examples have been preserved.
The FM H-12-46 was a light road switcher of Fairbanks-Morse design manufactured exclusively by the Canadian Locomotive Company from October, 1951–January, 1953 for the Canadian National Railway. Only thirty of the 1,200 hp, six-cylinder opposed piston engine locomotives were produced. The units were configured in an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement, mounted atop a pair of three-axle trucks.
The FM H-16-44 was a road-switcher produced by Fairbanks-Morse from April 1950 – February 1963. The locomotive shared an identical platform and carbody with the predecessor Model FM H-15-44, and were equipped with the same eight-cylinder opposed piston engine that had been uprated to 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW). The H-16-44 was configured in a B-B wheel arrangement, mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-B road trucks with all axles powered. In late 1950, the AAR trucks were almost exclusively replaced with the same units found on the company's "C-liner" locomotives.
The ALCO RSD-7 was a diesel-electric locomotive of the road switcher type built by ALCO at Schenectady, New York between January 1954 and April 1956. Two versions were built, with the same RSD-7 model designation but different specifications and power ratings, although both used the ALCO 244 engine in V16 configuration. Specification DL-600, of which only two were built, developed 2,250 hp and used the 244G engine. The revised specification DL-600A, numbering 27 locomotives, was rated at 2,400 hp and used the 244H engine. The RSD-7 was superseded by the ALCO 251-engined ALCO RSD-15, which looks very similar. The RSD-7 was the last ALCO diesel built with a 244 engine.
The Erie-built was the first streamlined, cab-equipped dual service diesel locomotive built by Fairbanks-Morse, introduced as direct competition to such models as the ALCO PA and EMD E-unit. As F-M lacked the space to manufacture the units in their own plant, the work was subcontracted out to General Electric, which produced the locomotives at its Erie, Pennsylvania, facility, thereby giving rise to the name "Erie-built."
The firm of Hooven, Owens, Rentschler, and Company manufactured steam and diesel engines in Hamilton, Ohio. Because the firm was frequently known by its initials, H.O.R., the Hooven is sometimes incorrectly rendered as Hoover, and the Owens may be mistaken for Owen.
The LS-1000 is a diesel-electric switching locomotive built between May 1949 and April 1950, by Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio, United States. The LS-1000 is a 1,000 hp switcher, which became the standard for Lima's designs. By changing fuel rack settings, the LS-1000 was upgraded to the LS-1200, producing 1,200 horsepower from the same turbocharged Hamilton T-89-SA four-stroke, eight cylinder inline diesel engine, a Westinghouse generator and 4 Westinghouse traction motors provided the 74,508 lbf of tractive effort.
The Alco 251 is a 4-stroke diesel engine that was developed by the American Locomotive Company to replace the 244 and 539 engines. The 251 was developed to be used in diesel locomotives, as a marine power plant in ships and as a stationary power generator.
The Fairbanks-Morse 38 8-1/8 is a diesel engine of the two-stroke, opposed-piston type. It was developed in the 1930s, and is similar in arrangement to a contemporary series of German Junkers aircraft diesels. The engine was used extensively in US diesel electric submarines of the 1940s and 1950s, as backup power on most US nuclear submarines, as well as in other marine applications, stationary power generation, and briefly, locomotives. A slightly modified version, the 38ND 8-1/8, continues in service on Los Angeles-, Seawolf-, and Ohio-class nuclear submarines of the US Navy. The 38 8-1/8 has been in continuous production since its development in 1938, and is currently manufactured by a descendant of Fairbanks-Morse, FME, in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Wayne appreciates that in his youthful exuberance [in his original 'Gas Engine Magazine' article from 1981] he may have gotten a few facts wrong, chiefly the introduction of the Z series, which he dated to September 1916: It’s believed to have been introduced two years earlier, in July 1914.