Mullins Body Corporation - W.H. Mullins Co. - Mullins Metal Stamping Co. 1894-1974 - Salem Ohio
|Mullins Body Corporation - Salem,
Ohio - Manufactured Car Bodies - Incorporated in New York, July 21, 1919, to
acquire the W. H. Mullins Company, organized in Ohio, January 1, 1905.
Company manufactures, buys and sells automobile bodies and other automobile
parts, small steel boats, teardrop trailers and various other metal
products. Plant is at City of Salem, Ohio, equipped with necessary
MAIN OFFICE, 120 Broadway, New York.
Mullins made the Peerless automobile Aluminum bodies w/ wood frames pre-1910, a 1,000 car contract
Later Mullins did the aluminum stampings for the Franklin auto company.
The Mullins Body Co. was incorporated in 1919 as a successor to the WH Mullins Co., whose business as originally established in 1872
W.H. Mullins, Mullins Body Corp. and Mullins Manufacturing
During WWII Mullins manufactured fuel drop tanks for the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang. The were also famous for their "Auto-Drive" metal boats and for hundreds of large custom-made honorary statues they made for municipalities featuring the respective communities founding fathers.
The Mullins Metal Stamping Company, located in Salem, Ohio made all types of
products by the metal stamping process. As far back as 1894 they were
producing metal roofing, skylites, embossed ceiling panels, all types of
architectural building products, elevator cabs and large stamped metal
statues that are still seen in parks to this day. In 1906 they started
producing stamped steel boats in two sizes, 9' and 15' in length, the 9'
boat sold for $50.00 and the 15' for $110.00.
History of the Mullins Trailer
The following is a brief history of the Mullins Trailer and the company that manufactured it.
The Mullins Metal Stamping Company, located in Salem, Ohio made all types of products by the metal stamping process. As far back as 1894 they were producing metal roofing, skylites, embossed ceiling panels, all types of architectural building products, elevator cabs and large stamped metal statues that are still seen in parks to this day. In 1906 they started producing stamped steel boats in two sizes, 9' and 15' in length, the 9' boat sold for $50.00 and the 15' for $110.00.
In 1911 the company was busy stamping various parts for the many automobile companies that were just starting in business.
During World War I, it produced aircraft parts and parts for gas masks. After the war, the demand for statuary and ornamental sheet metal fell off.
By 1919, business was devoted almost entirely to stamping bodies and parts for the automobile industry, and the company name was changed to Mullins Body Corporation.
In the mid twenties, body stamping declined due to competition and major auto companies developing their own stamping facilities.
In 1925, the company developed a new cold process for stamping washing machine tubs rather than the hot process that was previously used.
With the decline of their automobile business, the name was changed to Mullins Manufacturing Corporation in 1927.
The depression also took its toll on company sales.
Company founder W.H. Mullins died in 1932 and at that time the primary products were radiator covers and metal sinks. 1935 saw an end to the metal boats which had been in production since 1906.
The Mullins trailer was developed as a a way to produce just another product that could be marketed. It was produced during 1936 and 1937, and sold new for $119.50. From serial numbers on surviving trailers, it is generally agreed upon that a total of approximately 2000 trailers were manufactured. The trailer was not a big success as evidenced by its short two year production.
The Company merged with Youngstown Pressed Steel in 1937.
It is rumored that the original dies for the trailers were in existence until the 1960's, then sold for scrap.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 1974 and was bought by American Standard in 1975.
Years of use, abuse and neglect have taken there toll on the surviving trailers, that are obviously more popular today than when they were new, it has also made obvious, some of its design flaws. The frames were made from 11 gage "U" channel which is notoriously weak at a point at the front corners of the body. The tongue was to short for anyone except an experienced driver to back the trailer without jack-knifing, for these reasons, almost every original trailer will have either a bent or broken frame at the front corners of the body, this usually also creates a kink in the body at this location. The tail gates usually leaked, and with the front of the trailer being lower than the rear, water would run to the front, and over a period of time would cause the front of the body to rust out. The rear locking latch, as most people know are the same as the 1936 Ford Humpback trunk latches, these and the front hinges were made of pot metal, and on most original trailers these are usually badly pitted or broken. Another potential problem is the wind catching the lid when in the open position and flipping it over on to the tow vehicle.
The reproduction trailer has a much stronger frame and longer tongue. The fiberglass body will never rust, the solid tailgate eliminates any potential leaks, although it can be easily converted to have a tailgate. The reproduction hinges and latches are made of modern alloys for strength and are chrome plated. The lid is restrained to prevent it from ever flipping over onto your car. Recent ads in automotive magazines indicate that restored Mullins trailers have an asking price of anywhere from $3500.00 to $4200.00.
William Mullins was the owner of a sheet metal works based in Salem that existed in the late 19th century. His products included Victorian decorations such as gargoyles, weathervanes, roofing, and statues just to name a few. Located on a spur off the Pennsylvania Railroad Pittsburgh-Ft. Wayne line, Mullins was ideally situated to deliver his goods to all points.
1902 saw the start of the automobile body business for Mullins, using presses to make body parts for the new horseless carriage industry.
Mullins Boats moved to Oil City Pennsylvania in the mid thirties where the line finally died sometime later. The name changed to the Champion-Mullins Boat Company in 1943, Champion Boat and Folding Bed Company in 1945 continuing on until 1950 with "boat" deleted from the company name.
For more information please read:
David T. Dufresne - Mullins Steel Boats - ACMS Rudder, Summer 2001 Issue
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