Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Dictionary of Wisconsin History

Browse Things

By Letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Or Search Everything...
Search All Terms:

Search All Fields:

Search Results for: the letter 'F', Term Type: 'things'

Term: Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company

Definition: The Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company was founded in Clintonville, Wisconsin in 1909.  The name was changed to the Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company in 1910, and in 1958 to the FWD Corporation.  The company presently (2009) designs, manufactures and markets multi-drive and heavy-duty vehicles, such as fire-fighting trucks, tractor-drawn aerials, and chassis, with offices in Richmond, Virginia, Ontario, Canada, and Clintonville, Wis.
Company founders Otto Zachow and William Besserdich were established owners of a machine shop in Clintonville when Otto developed the first simple and effective design for transferring power to all four wheels of an automobile. Patents were secured and money raised locally to organize  the company, but production difficulties and delays nearly ended it.  With the help and guidance of Clintonville attorney Walter A. Olen, the company was reorganized, funds raised, and the emphasis switched from manufacturing automobiles to trucks.  A 1912 U.S. Army test of  trucks as replacements for mules and wagons gave the company its first major publicity, and the outbreak of World War I opened  new markets in Europe and the United States.
After the war the company moved into new products including highway building and maintenance equipment, earth-moving machinery, and fire trucks.  World War II once more brought increased markets and prosperity to the company.   In more recent years the company has changed hands and in 2009 operates as a subsidiary of the Corsta Corporation of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The Four Wheel Drive Foundation maintains a museum in Clintonville.

[Source: Sources: Howard Troyer, "The Four Wheel Drive Story" (McGraw-Hill, 1954); "FWD Corporation Private Business Information" "Four Wheel Drive Foundation"]

Map It!
Google Map

117 records found

facing (railroads)
factory system (fur trade)
fall (maritime)
Fallen Timbers, Battle of
Falling Waters, Battle of
fallowing (farming)
Falls of St. Anthony
false front or boomtown (architecture)
fantail (maritime)
Fantus Report
farina (farming)
Farmers' Guards (Civil War)
fastening (maritime)
fattigmanns bakkels (food)
federal (architecture)
Federal Guards (Civil War)
feed crops
feldspar (mining)
Fender-boom (logging)
fermented milk (dairy)
fetch (maritime)
fetlock (farming)
fettle, fettling (railroads)
fieldstone (architecture)
Finagle (Civil War)
firebox (railroads)
fireman (railroads)
fires in Wisconsin
First Capitol
first rate (Civil War)
first school in Wisconsin
First [sic] Workers' Compensation Law (Historic M
Fish (logging)
fish boil (food)
fish fry (food)
fishing industry in Wisconsin
fittings (maritime)
flank (farming)
flatcar (railroads)
flitch (farming)
flocculent (farming)
floods in Wisconsin
flookan (mining)
fluke (maritime)
Flume (logging)
fluted (archaeology)
flying junction (railroads)
folle avoine (Fr.)
following (maritime)
Folsom culture (archaeology)
Fond du Lac Badgers (Civil War)
forage (Civil War)
fore (maritime)
forecastle (maritime)
forest fires in Wisconsin
forest products
Forest Union Rifles (Civil War)
Fort Armstrong
Fort Blue Mounds
Fort Catarokouy
Fort Crawford
Fort Crevecoeur
Fort Dearborn
Fort Duquesne
Fort Edward Augustus
Fort Frontenac
Fort Hamilton
Fort Howard, Brown Co.
Fort Kaministiquia
Fort La Baye
Fort LeSueur
Fort Mackinac
Fort McCoy
Fort Michilimackinac
Fort Orange
Fort Perrot
Fort Piankeshaw
Fort Pitt
Fort Shelby
Fort Snelling
Fort St. Antoine
Fort St. Croix
Fort St. Francois
Fort St. Joseph
Fort St. Louis
Fort St. Nicolas
Fort Wayne
Fort Winnebago
forty (survey)
forward (maritime)
four-foot (railroads)
Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company
Fox and Wisconsin River Improvement Company
Fox River Zouaves; North Wisconsin Tigers (Civil W
Fox Wars (ca. 1710-1740)
frames (maritime)
frametops (maritime)
Frank Holton Company
Fredericksburg, Battle of
Free Soil Party
Freedom from Federal Supervision Act (1953)
Fremont Guards (Civil War)
Fremont Rifles (Civil War)
Frisked (logging)
Frog (logging)
Fugitive Slave Act
fur farming
fur trade companies
furloughs (Civil War)
fusee (Fr.)
Fusée (Fr.)
futtock (maritime)

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text