Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Pettibone Mulliken Corp.
Pettibone Mulliken Corp.

Pettibone Mulliken Corp.

Organized in 1880, this company was a leading manufacturer of railroad track equipment such as such as frogs, crossings, and switches. The company's main railroad equipment plant was on Chicago's West Side. In 1945, when most of the company's business was still related to railroad supply, the West Side plant, which then had about 1,700 workers, was Pettibone's only manufacturing facility. During the postwar era, however, the company added new plants around the country and began to focus on making construction and foundry equipment such as graders, lifts, and loaders. Annual sales passed $100 million during the late 1960s. Sales rose from $42 million in 1957 to $94 million in 1965, when there were about 3,000 employees nationwide. In 1961, Pettibone Mulliken grossed $38 million in sales and employed 2,000 nationwide. During the 1970s, when the company was still based in Chicago but had few local workers, it became known as Pettibone Corp. After a series of ownership and name changes (including Nucorp Inc. and Hako Minuteman Inc.) in the early 1990s, the company was purchased by a privately owned holding company called Heico Corp. in 1994; its name became Pettibone Corp. once again. By 2000, Pettibone was based out of Des Plaines, Illinois, and manufactured construction, forestry, foundry, railroad, and scrap-processing equipment. It claimed revenues of nearly $130 million but did not employ a large workforce in the Chicago area.