Gustav Schaefer Wagon Co. - Schaefer Body Co. - 1880-1977 - Cleveland, Ohio
SCHAEFER BODY, INC., initially specializing in custom-made wagons and
carriages, grew with the automotive industry, building auto and truck bodies
and supplying related services. From its beginnings as Schaefer & Eckhardt
in 1880, immigrant Gustav Schaefer, a skilled wagon-wheel maker, acquired
$800 in working capital and organized the Gustav Schaefer Wagon Works on
Lorain Ave. to produce wagon bodies. By 1913 the firm was also making
automobile bodies and in 1917 it incorporated as the Gustav Schaefer Wagon
Co. In the 1920s the company responded to the changing times by building
commercial auto and truck bodies of all types and adding services such as
wheel repairing and auto painting and trimming. The company name was
shortened to the Schaefer Body Co. in 1926. After a fire destroyed the plant
in 1927, the company, crippled by the Depression, went into receivership and
had its assets sold at public auction in 1935. Financed with Cleveland
capital, the company reorganized as the Schaefer Body, Inc., with Gustav's
son, Henry, as president, and relocated to Superior Ave. on the east side.
By 1964 Schaefer had augmented its custom body work by repairing truck, trailer, and auto bodies and providing contract maintenance for fleets. It was also a major sales and service outlet for new equipment. Although new management tried to strengthen Schaefer Body's distribution and service operation in 1972, the company had a variety of problems and closed in 1977. All assets, including equipment and machinery, were liquidated.
Gustav Schaefer was a German-born wagon maker who came to Cleveland just after the Civil War. After work at stone quarrying, barrel making, and in various local wagon and carriage shops, he realized the dream of owning his own firm in 1880. Though he began by producing many different styles of horse- drawn vehicles he eventually specialized in heavy drays and wagons.
Schaefer built truck bodies, semi-trailers and farm wagons for Fordson Tractors.
An early (1917) builder of semi-trailers that could be attached to modified Model T chassis. Built totally-enclosed, insulated van, flareboard-side and flatbed trailers that could be pulled by Ford chassis and Fordson tractors.
May have been associated with a Cleveland Ford/Fordson dealer.
Schaefer Wagon Company Building of 1914 is a designated Cleveland Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. - Architect: E.F. Gibbons.
Gustav Shaefer, a German immigrant who started out making barrel hoops for John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Co., turned his carriage and wagon building business, begun in 1880, into the Schaefer Body Co,, a major automobile parts manufacturer, which was in business until 1977.
Advertised in 1920's HR Hooper Implement/Equip Sales Manual as supplier of Fordson Tractor equipment. Hooper was an equipment dealer in Youngstown, Ohio.
Catalog contains lots of literature along with many nice photos of various items several different companies had to offer for the Fordson Tractor (i.e. Plows, Trailers, Harrows, Cutters, Loaders, Hitches, Wheels, Air Compressors etc). Names include Oliver, Roderick Lean, American Seeding Machine Co., Stover Manufacturing & Engine Co., Swayne, Robinson & Co., Thomas Mfg. Co., Wood Brothers Thresher Co., Blue Ridge Mill Co., Dearborn Tractor Appliance Co., "Hi-Clearance" Manufacturing Co., A.B. Hulsebos, The Tractor Appliance Co., The Standard Tractor Control Co., Ersted Machinery Mfg. Co., The Buddie Equipment Co., Hertzler & Zook Co., Moorewood Saw Co., The Gustav Schaefer Wagon Co., Hesse Mfg. Co., J.L. Clark Manufacturing Co., Handy Governor Corp., Dallmann Machine & Mfg. Co., Safety Release Clevis Co., The Full-Crawler Co., The Hadfield-Penfield Steel Co., Kelsey Wheel Co., Inc., Whitehead & Kales Co., T.W. Meiklejohn Co., Lessmann Loader Mfg. Co., Miami Trailer Co., Oklahoma Engineering and Foundry Co., Owensboro Ditcher & Grader Co., Hughes & Curren Co., Guardian Lock Wheel Co., and Reed Manufacturing Co.
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