Did you know ... Early Decisions     (added November 2014)

At one time during its early years, the Waukesha Motor Company considered expanding into the trucking business. An important customer during those years was the Sternberg Motor Company (later named Sterling). Waukesha designed the first Sternberg truck in their own drafting room. Later they designed another complete truck for the James McAteer & Sons company who were in the wholesale grocery business. Both trucks were a success and Waukesha seriously considered continuing in this line, but decided against it.


The Waukesha Motor Company manufactured cattle barn stanchions as an added machine shop product.


The Waukesha Motor Company manufactured a kick-start gasoline engine in 1935 that powered a refrigerator for use in homes without electricity.


In 1935 Waukesha Motor Company developed the Waukesha Railway Ice Engine Unit. Prior to 1935, air conditioning in railway coach cars were powered by steam supplied by the locomotive or by power generated during the movement of the train. When the train stopped so did most of the air or in some cases, all of it. Waukesha developed a propane burning gas engine with a compressor that operated automatically and independently of locomotive power. Each car had its own unit and fuel supply tank. Within three years, fifteen major railroads were equipped with these units.


Prior to World War I farming had to be mechanized to keep up with the demand for food production in the face of increasing manpower shortage on the farm. Horsepower was replacing horse power. Waukesha concentrated its output on engines for farm tractors by supplying over thirty tractor builders with its dependable engines. In a 1914 tractor demonstration Waukesha engines powered eleven of twelve of the tractors being demonstrated.


Cliff Borgstrom, Historian


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