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Allis-Chalmers History

Next Page The Birth of Allis-Chalmers
1844 Thomas ChalmersGates Iron WorksThomas Chalmers, an immigrant from Scotland, begins work with P.W. Gates of Chicago. Gates builds a variety of equipment including the first steam powered sawmill in the country.
1846 Edward P. AllisMilwaukeeEdward P. Allis arrives in Milwaukee and quickly establishes himself in the business community.
1847 Edward P. AllisThe Reliance Iron Works of Milwaukee opens for business. Under the ownership of Decker & Seville, the business mostly does repair work and various custom jobs centered around flour and lumber milling equipment.
1860 Edward P. Allis purchases the bankrupt Reliance Iron Works and soon revitalizes the company. Under his leadership, the company begins to develop it's own products and expands rapidly. Flour milling equipment, pumps, and stationary steam engines are among the early successes. Edward will remain active in the company until his death in 1889.
1872 Reliance Iron WorksThomas Chalmers forms the Fraser and Chalmers company. The firm manufactures mining equipment, boilers, and pumps. Later, stationary steam engines were added to the line. The Chalmers family remains involved with the Gates Iron Works, which now manufactures a line including rock crushers and cement milling equipment.
1873 Steam EngineDuring a financial panic, Reliance Iron Works enters bankruptcy a second time.  Fortunately, Allis is able to secure new backers and the company is soon reorganized as the Edward P. Allis Company.
1901 1901 Allis LogoIn a three-way merger, Edward P. Allis, Fraser and Chalmers, and Gates Iron Works are combined to form the Allis-Chalmers Company.
1902 West Allis factoryA new Allis-Chalmers factory opens just West of Milwaukee Wisconsin.  The area is soon renamed West Allis. This same site will be the company's home for the next 80 years.
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