Fruehauf Trailer

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

Moderators: Moderator, Administrator

User avatar
Notch 8
Veteran
Posts: 1524
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:48 pm

Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Notch 8 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:13 pm

The former Fruehauf Plant on Pontiac Street, What was is prior to Fruehauf Facility ? Was it part of the PRR Shops, Couple years ago we installed some cranes of the portion that is now occupied by Deister Machine. The boiler room out back still stands and did burn coal at onetime. I assume that the coal came in by rail ? Any know any history of the buildings that i'm referring too ? Midwest Pipe is in the west end of the complex that i'm referencing.

Thanks

User avatar
Howard
Veteran
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:54 pm
Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Howard » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:17 pm

I don't know any history or when Fruehauf came to town, but looking at the aerials, it seems unlikely that this was railroad property as their shops were all on the other side of the main. This 1937 aerial shows nothing RR on the south side of the main and the Fruehauf buildings were considerably smaller. Expansion and the power plant appeared in the 1957 aerial.
Fruehauf.png

User avatar
Bob Durnell
Veteran
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Fort Wayne IN

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Bob Durnell » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:03 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if the coal was delivered by rail. The plant had a good bit of trackage running through the west end, and some of it is still in the pavement and building floors. Looking at the setup, I would say that at least some if not most raw materials came in by rail at one time. I would be curious to know if any new trailers ever left by rail. I get into Midwest Pipe & Steel fairly regularly, and it's neat to kind of poke around and see what you can see.
If my opinions offend you, you should see the ones I keep to myself........

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:35 pm

Notch 8 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:13 pm
The former Fruehauf Plant on Pontiac Street, What was is prior to Fruehauf Facility ? Was it part of the PRR Shops, Couple years ago we installed some cranes of the portion that is now occupied by Deister Machine. The boiler room out back still stands and did burn coal at onetime. I assume that the coal came in by rail ? Any know any history of the buildings that i'm referring too ? Midwest Pipe is in the west end of the complex that i'm referencing.

Thanks
Here is an excerpt from the 1924 city map, showing ownership of a portion by DA Wallace, and an adjoining parcel by C Edgerton
Image

User avatar
Notch 8
Veteran
Posts: 1524
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:48 pm

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Notch 8 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:06 am

There are so many things I wish I could know about FW, Not sure when Fruehauf come to Fort Wayne or who built the building that Fruehauf occupied, Did the Pennsy build this buildings ?

User avatar
Bob Durnell
Veteran
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Fort Wayne IN

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Bob Durnell » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:56 am

As far as I know, the plant was built by Fruehauf, and what little information I was able to find indicates that this plant existed by 1936, but I haven't confirmed that. I don't believe there is any connection to the Pennsylvania RR, other than a location next to the yards. Keep in mind that in that era, that part of town was the major industrial corridor of the city. Nearly all heavy industry in the city was probably within a mile of Piqua Yard.
If my opinions offend you, you should see the ones I keep to myself........

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:55 am

Notch 8 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:06 am
There are so many things I wish I could know about FW, Not sure when Fruehauf come to Fort Wayne or who built the building that Fruehauf occupied,
The question of when Fruehauf came to Ft Wayne is likely answered in volume 2 of this set


https://acpl-cms.wise.oclc.org/wise-app ... n%20Branch

Volume 1 being a fairly comprehensive local history, while Volume two is more of a history of local businesses. I used to have this set. but regrettably loaned it to the wrong person. But most of the local library branches have at least one set, if anyone is headed that way anytime soon.

User avatar
Notch 8
Veteran
Posts: 1524
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:48 pm

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Notch 8 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:53 am

The Fruehauf building seems to be way overbuilt to have been originally to build semi trailers.. there is BIG overhead cranes in these buildings, bigger than what is needed to build semi trailers. We have put several overhead cranes in the very east building and the equipment we took down was built in the 50's

Fort Wayne may have gotten Larger.. but I don't think that it has become better !

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:10 pm

Fruehauf got involved in quite a bit of Dept of Defense contracting work too, I believe.
https://archive.org/stream/missilesrock ... 9/mode/2up

Not sure if it's even relevant to this discussion or not, but I did a little internet search on this yesterday, and came upon a discussion in a genealogy forum mentioning that members of the Fruehauf family moved to Ft Wayne from Detroit in the mid 1930's.

Of course August Fruehauf died in 1930, so a plausible timeline could be drawn from that, but there is no guarantee of cause and affect.

User avatar
Bob Durnell
Veteran
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Fort Wayne IN

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Bob Durnell » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:54 pm

Notch 8 wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:53 am
The Fruehauf building seems to be way overbuilt to have been originally to build semi trailers.. there is BIG overhead cranes in these buildings, bigger than what is needed to build semi trailers. We have put several overhead cranes in the very east building and the equipment we took down was built in the 50's

Fort Wayne may have gotten Larger.. but I don't think that it has become better !
What we probably need to do is reach out and find some former employees from the plant, which shouldn't be too hard. I know the owner of Hoosier Trailer and Truck Equipment, and he was the Fruehauf branch manager years ago, I'm sure he was probably in that plant back in the day. Maybe he can shed some light. I can't remember what the rating is on the larger cranes in the Midwest Pipe section of the plant, but I wonder if they were set up to lift complete semi trailers and move them down the line. This plant seemed to concentrate on stainless steel and tanker trailers, I don't think conventional aluminum sided dry vans were ever built there, but I could be wrong.
If my opinions offend you, you should see the ones I keep to myself........

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:43 pm

Okay, so ya wanted to know a little bit about Fruehauf, you say?
Well feast on this: http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/f/fruehauf/fruehauf.htm

According to their narrative, the Ft Wayne plant was one of several acquisitions that occurred "after 1936"



Excerpt:
Image
direct link https://i.imgur.com/TwJjJYI.jpg




After you read through that, be sure and do a search for "Labatt's streamliner".....I really had no idea they made something like this.

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:21 pm

Freuhauf began operations in Fort Wayne in 1942, moving into the East Pontiac facility previously occupied by Kopper's Western Gas division.

Western gas also had a good sized facility further west along the PRR tracks between Anthony and Winter.

User avatar
Bob Durnell
Veteran
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Fort Wayne IN

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Bob Durnell » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:18 pm

OK, Now what did Kopper's Western Gas do there? Of course Kopper's is a big conglomerate, but I did some quick searching and found nothing connected to Western Gas. It also begs the question whether any of the buildings still there were part of Koppers or were built new for Fruehauf. I found a couple of pictures on line from probably the late 40's or the early 50's taken at another Fruehauf plant and it looks remarkably similar on the inside to Fort Wayne.
If my opinions offend you, you should see the ones I keep to myself........

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:49 pm

Western Gas made industrial-scale coal gassification plants. Their market got pruned away from them as natural gas pipelines arrived on the scene.

The Nipsco plant over at Reidmiller and Hale avenues started out as a coal gassification plant, before the pipeline arrived..

User avatar
Hotbox
Veteran
Posts: 799
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 am

Re: Fruehauf Trailer

Post by Hotbox » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:52 pm

I'm just guessing, but I suspect that the two buildings shown in the 1938 aerial photo above, were Western Gas.... JMHO

Post Reply