Hackney Brothers Body Co. - 1854-1996 - Wilson, North Carolina
Hackney Brothers Body Co. of Wilson, North Carolina – building wagons since civil war. First commercial motorized vehicle was a Model T with a Hackney horse-drawn milk truck body. Offered numerous cabs and bodies for Ford Model T & TT trucks. Stand-up drive milk trucks mid-late 1930s. Later specialized in beverage truck bodies as well as insulated bodies. 1940 beverage truck on Chevrolet chassis. 1954 Silver Book (Corporate history by J.M. Daniel Jr. “Hackney: the History of a Company” 1979) Hackney Brothers, Inc., began manufacturing buggies in Wilson, N.C., in 1854. After the automobile became popular, the company expanded its product line to include ambulances, house trailers, hearses, portable storage rooms, temporary bleachers, car-top sleepers, and school buses. The company patented the first carbon dioxide-based refrigeration system in 1931 and began a profitable specialization in refrigerated cars and carts. Milk trucks became its most important product. After success in the milk-truck industry up until the mid-1980s, the demand for the product sharply declined. TTI, a private company owned mostly by the H.I.G. Investment Group, bought Hackney Brothers, Inc. In 1996, TTI closed the company and moved production to Hackney and Sons Company in Washington, N.C., which was founded by a relative of the Wilson Hackneys. WILLIS NAPOLEON HACKNEY, 1823-1887, of Nash County, North Carolina, who founded the forerunner of Hackney Brothers Body Company in 1852 in Wilson to build coaches and wagons. As the business grew, Hackney moved to Rocky Mount, and with the popularity of the automobile, the product line was expanded to include ambulances, school buses and refrigerated trucks. Today, Hackney produces and refurbishes a wide range of vehicles including aluminum beverage truck bodies, trailers and emergency vehicles at its manufacturing facility in Washington, North Carolina.Hackney Brothers (1854 - 1996) - Although it started as a wagon building business in 1854 and turned out about 200 buggies and 100 wagons a year by 1885. The firm began making truck bodies in 1910s, later expanding the company's product line to include ambulances, house trailers, hearses, portable storage rooms, temporary bleachers, car-top sleepers, and school buses. The company patented the first carbon dioxide-based refrigeration system in 1931. Refrigerated trucks became their most important product. It was sold in 1993 to Hackney & Sons located in Washington, NC. Then in 1997, TTI bought the entire Hackney firm and merged its operations with another subsidiary, Kidron.
ad in 1953 Silver Book pp70
Built woody wagon bodies between WWI and WWII.
Hackney built school bus bodies from 1921 through 1962. According to a company history, the firm built school bus bodies in the summer so they could be ready for the fall, and refrigerated bodies during the remainder of the year. As demand for refrigerated bodies grew, Hackney dropped school buses because they were less profitable to build.
Hackney built ice delivery bodies similar in style to other firms auto service bodies in the mid thirties. A metal handrail was included that ran along the op of the body and curved downward towards the rear of the box.
By the late 1930s, insulated bodies began to take on very pleasing aerodynamic shapes, and Hackney bodies were no exception. They were often styled to match the "Moderne" styling of the cab and chassis produced at that time.
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