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Industrial Works in the News.
Saginaw Street (btwn. 11th & Columbus), Bay City

1887 - New cutting machine. - Added Aug., 2011.

The Michigan Engineer, Jan. 25, 1887.


(Excerpt) At a later date the president of the Michigan Central railroad made inquiries as to a machine that could be used in cutting off the battered ends of some English rails laid on the Canadian division of his road. The Industrial Works of Bay City, Michigan, decided to investigate and inspect what had been accomplished in rail sawing machinery by different railroad companies; and finally a design for a Portable Steel Rail Saw was submitted to Mr. J. D. Hawks, chief engineer of the Michigan Central Railroad. The design was approved, and a guarantee was made by the Industrial Works, that the machine would cut 100 rails at both ends, and re-drill and straighten them in ten hours.

The machine was constructed and delivered to the Michigan Central railroad abot the first of March, 1886, and has been in operation since, with little breakage or delay, and has thus demonstrated the practicability of the portable plant. About 20 miles of re-cut steel has been re-laid. In one day of ten hours 300 rails have been cut at both ends, re-drilled, and where necessary,straightened.

1890 - News article (Added Jun., 2006)

Bay City Daily Tribune - October 14, 1890



An entire Block to be Utilized by the Concern, and it is Learned on Good Authority that Cars, Locomotives and Other Heavy Machinery will be Manufactured.

It was currently reported a year ago that the Industrial Works of this city was seriously considering the matter of removing its plant to Detroit, and it was heard with regret by all. Time passed away, however, and still the prospects are that instead of going away the concern will in the near future, become one of largest manufacturing institutions in the state of Michigan. At the present time between 180 and 200 men are employed about the establishment the year round, and if things pan out in the direction aimed at the number of hands will be more than doubled within the next few months. The entire block opposite the present plant between Eleventh and Twelfth streets is to be occupied by , well the company doesn’t care to make this known at present, but it is safe to state that the addition will be a grand acquisition to Bay City.

The gas light plant will be removed and buildings erected in which, it is surmised, cars, locomotives and other heavy machinery will be manufactured. Such an institution would be worth more to Bay City than ten saw mills, because the men would be employed the year round.

This season has been an unusually busy one for the Industrial Works. There has been more work on hand than the capacity of the works could turn out and now the orders are far behind. Among other orders recently taken in are one ten ton and one fifteen ton traveling cranes; seven ten and twenty-five ton jib cranes; three pile drivers; one rail saw and four transfer tables. William Clements has retired from the superintendency of the business and is now the traveling agent. His place is taken by Ernest Perry, of Ann Arbor, who has been in the drafting department during the past year. He is a capable young man and is well liked among the employees. The Industrial Works has handled nothing but heavy machinery for some years past and its business is constantly increasing, which makes the move referred to absolutely necessary. THE TRIBUNE will take pleasure in announcing to its readers what the new concern will be as soon as the plans are completed, which may be looked for in the near future.

1897 - New contract. - Added Aug., 2011.

Chicago Journal of Commerce - July, 1897.

The Metal Industries.

The Industrial Works, Bay City, Mich., have received an order for a duplicate of the 30-ton capacity cranes which they built some time ago for the Pennsylvania railroad. The works are running full time with full working crew. Orders for heavy machinery are being filled for the Vermont Central Railway, Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe, Pittsburg, Bessmer & Lake Erie, Boston & Maine, Norcross Bros of Worcester, the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company and others, making work for several months ahead.

1901 - Expansion. Added Aug., 2011.

Railroad Age, Vol. 32, Dec. 31, 1901.

The Industrial Works of Bay City, Mich., manufacturers of locomotive crans and wrecking equipment, have made an addition to their power house, which will be supplied with Babcock & Wilcox boilers, and they have also completed a new erecting shop, which will materially increase their facilities.

1921 Ad. - Added July, 2009.

Condense Catalogues of Mechanical Equipment,
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1921

Bay City, Mich.

Branch Offices: 50 Church St., New York, Widener Bldg., Philadephia, McCormick Bldg., Chicago and Book Bldg., Detroit.

Builders of Locomotive and Wrecking Cranes; Gasoline Coaling Cranes; Gantry Cranes, Piller Cranes, Transfer Cranes, Pile Drivers; Transfer Tables; Portable Rail Saws; Grab Buckets, Lifting Magnets; and Pile Driver Steam Hammers.

Agents: J. G. Miller, Mo.; C. B. Davis Engineering Co., Birmingham, Ala.; N. B. Livermore & co., San Francisco, Cal.; Landes & Co., Denver, Colo.; and Salt Lake City, Utah; El Paso Bridge & Iron Co., El Paso, Texas; Northwestern Equipment Co., Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash.; F. H. Hopkins & Co. Ltd., Montreal, Canada, and Toronto, Canada; Copeland & Klingel, Minneapolis, Minn.

Industrial Works was founded in 1873 and “Industrial” Cranes of today are the development of over forty-eight years' experience. Satisfactory service under widely varied conditions of service has proved that they are fundamentally correct in design, sturdy in construction and efficient in operation. In size they range from 2-ton hand operated cranes to wrecking cranes of 160 tons capacity.


“Industrial” Cranes, steam, gasoline or electrically operated, are made in capacities of from 5 to 160 tons, and with booms from 20 to 140 ft. long. They are mounted on four or eight when cars for standard or special gauge track, or on boats or gantries. Being self-propelling they can switch several loaded cars.

Caption: A flexible System. Coal may be handled with the crane: 1. From cars to bunkers. 2. From cars to stock pile. 3. From stock pile to bunkers.

These cranes may be used with grab buckets, hook and block, lifting magnets, or arranged for operating with a drag-line bucket, pile-driver leads or a steam shovel dipper arm.

Mechanically, “Industrial” Cranes are not excelled. Every essential part of the entire crane is made, assembled and tested in our own extensive shops. All parts of the crane are accessible for easy examination, a large man being able to pass through the machinery part and car to the ground. Absolute interchangeability of parts is assured by the use of jigs and templates at every possible point in the construction. In convenient bearings are lubricated through oil pipes. The propelling gears on 8-wheel cars are places in or out of mesh from the outside of the car body. The clam-shell bucket work, both drums are independent and the auxiliary take-up drum for the holding line is automatic in its action, requiring no attention from the operator.


In general all sizes of locomotive cranes do the same kind of work, the amount being limited, of course, by their capacities. The 60-ton capacity cranes are used chiefly for erection purposes; those from 20 to 40 tons for erection work or for handling large quantities of material with a bucket or magnet; cranes from 5 to 20 tons are general purpose machines, and are in general use for all kinds of loading and placing of material.

Locomotive cranes are usually rated to their maximum free capacity at the minimum radius (about 12 ft.). The table gives the approximate radius in feet at which various size cranes will hand clam-shell buckets full of coal and sand. (A ˝ – cu. yd. bucket holds approximately one ton of coal.)

To unload material with a grab bucket from the far end of a modern gondola car standing on the same track as the crane requires a 50-ft. boom. In general, the shorter the boom, the easier and faster will be the operation of the crane.


“Industrial” wrecking cranes have been standard since 1883. Built in capacities of 75, 100, 120, 150 and 160 tons.

Member of Material Handing Manufacturers' Association.

Ad, Sept., 1921

Engineering and Contracting, Vol. 38, Sep. 21, 1921.

General Purpose Crawling Tractor Crane.

A new full revolving tractor crane has been placed on the market by the Industrial Works, Bay City, Mich. The crane is built in two types -- the Type BC with a capacity of 20,000 lb. at 12 ft. radius equipped with continuous crawling tractor belts -- and the Type BT with a capacity of 18,000 lb. at 10-ft. radious equipped with four broad gage tractor wheels. Operation is by means of an internal combustion engine. The crane equipped with 30-ft. boom made up of two channels strongly latticed with angles and tie plates. The steering of the crane while propelling is accurately controlled by the operato from his position in the revolving upper works, by manipulation of the friction clutches and brakes controlling the motion of each tractor belt. By means of these clutches and brakers either tractor belt can be readily and instantly disconnected from the motor while the other belt continues travelling at the normal rate of speed. The disconnected tractor belt can be held stationary by applying the brake, can be allowed to coast with the brake and clutch both disengaged, or the clutch can be allowed to slip, thus allowing operator to turn as sharp or as wide a corner as he may select. All the clutches, brakes and lever mechanisms for steering is located in the revolving upper-works where it is simpler and much more accessible than when a portion or all of this mechanism is located on the car-body.

Relate Notes & Pages

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Related Pages:
Pattern Makers Union strike.
Industrial Works
People Referenced
Clements, Wm.
Davis, C.B.
Hawks, J.D.
Hopkins, F.H.
Livermore, N.B.
Miller, A.G.
Perry, Ernest
Subjects Referenced
Ann Arbor, MI
Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe
Babcock & Wilcox
Bay City, MI
Birmingham, AL
Boston & Maine
C.B. Davis Eng. Co.
Chicago, IL
Colorado Fue & Iron
Copeland & Klingel Co.
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
El Paso, TX
El Paso Bridge & Iron Co.
F.H. Hopkins & Co.
Landes & Co.
Michigan Central RR
Minneapolis, MN
Montreal, Canada
N.B. Livermore & Co.
N.Western Equipment Co.
New York, NY
Norcross Bros.
Pennsylvania Rwy.
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburg, Beesmer & Erie
Portland, OR
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Toronto, Canada
Vermont Central Rwy.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.