Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Fraser & Chalmers
Fraser & Chalmers

Fraser & Chalmers

Fraser & Chalmers Catalogue, c.1876
In 1872, Thomas Chalmers founded this Chicago manufacturer of mining machinery, boilers, and pumps. The company employed more than 170 workers in 1880, making engines, boilers, and other products worth $600,000. By 1890, when, under the leadership of William J. Chalmers, it had expanded its manufacturing to England and its sales worldwide, the company employed about 1,000 workers at its Chicago plant and had become one of the world's largest manufacturers of mining equipment. In 1901, Fraser & Chalmers (along with the Gates Iron Works of Chicago) merged with another leading machinery maker, Edward P. Allis & Co. of Milwaukee, to form Allis-Chalmers Co. This company, based in Milwaukee, soon became a leading manufacturer of farm equipment. The company's Chicago works were closed in the 1910s, but after World War II, Allis-Chalmers became a leading employer in the Chicago area. As late as the mid-1970s, it had over 4,000 workers around the Windy City. By the 1990s, Allis-Chalmers was part of AGCO Corp., a farm equipment maker based in Georgia.