Allis Employee/Dealership Registry
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Minning and Forestry Equipment
Pumps and Turbines
Other Industrial Equipment
I joined Allis-Chalmers out of high school and was lucky enough to go into the machine shop. at the time Allis-Chalmers had a tuition refund program if you got "c's" or better, so I went to the midnite to 8 AM shift and enrolled in the local jr college. It was a little tiring trying to do both, but I managed. I had a great shop foreman named Russ Applegate and the inspector of the finished products was named Burris, I don't remember his first name. In 1967 Allis-Chalmers had one of their layoffs and I was one of the ones selected, which allowed me to spend most of my time on school. I graduated, went into the Air Force, became a pilot, and went to Vietnam flying OV-10's. I got out of the Air Force and became an airline pilot, flying for PSA first then we were bought by US Airways. All of this was possible because Allis-Chalmers had a tuition refund program. Some of my best memories were made working in the machine shop. I worked on a radial-arm drill that machined the transmission cases for the largest crawler tractor that Allis made. It was lifted by three chains with hooks on the end and my machine was right at the top of the tunnel that went to the outside of the plant. One night while lifting one of those half ton cases out of the fixture one of the chains broke with the case being 6 foot off the ground. I knew it was going to come right at me and I shot down the steps to the tunnel with the case right behind me. I beat it down and after the noise stopped I stopped running. I was saddened to hear about the closing of the plant and when I was back in Springfield and drove by the place I was appalled to see the plant was completely gone, no bricks, no fence, no nothing. Allis-Chalmers will live in my memory as a great place to work and every person I met there was a quality individual. May we all retrain good memories. Larry Bonnet
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