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Entries : Link-Belt Co.
Link-Belt Co.

Link-Belt Co.

A few years after the end of the Civil War, an Iowa farm-equipment dealer named William D. Ewart invented a new kind of detachable-link drive train. In 1875, with the aid of John C. Coonley of the Chicago Malleable Iron Co. and other investors, Ewart established the William D. Ewart Manufacturing Co. In 1880, he founded a sister enterprise, the Link-Belt Machinery Co., based in Chicago. The company manufactured conveyors and other machines for use in agriculture and industry. In 1906, Ewart Manufacturing merged with Link-Belt, bringing a family of companies under a single Chicago-based head. By the 1920s, the company operated plants in Chicago, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Over the next several decades, Link-Belt employed over 1,000 people in the Chicago area. In 1967, Link-Belt, with annual sales topping $200 million and about 10,000 workers nationwide, was purchased by California-based FMC Corp., which moved its own headquarters from California to Chicago in 1972. See also FMC Corp.