|Popular Mechanics, Feb 1954|
Regarding the Fate-Root-Heath Company, the following is from the Historical Construction Equipment Association:
This company’s origins are uncertain. One account states that John Fate founded the J. D. Fate Company in Plymouth, Ohio, in 1884. A second account states that he and a partner started the Fate & Gunsallus Company, also in Plymouth, to build clay extruding machinery for brickmaking in 1882, that he bought out his partner to form J. D. Fate Company in 1892. Harley Fate and Harry Fate built trucks under the Plymouth Truck Company name from 1909 through 1915. The Plymouth Locomotive Works (Collection 1188) was founded in 1910 to build the Plymouth line of small gas and, eventually, diesel locomotives; its history is discussed under that collection.
Fate merged with Root-Heath Manufacturing Company to form The Fate-Root-Heath Company in 1919. It produced Plymouth wheel tractors, using designs that originated in the locomotive department. The Plymouth was the first tractor designed from the ground up to use rubber tires. Chrysler Corporation sued for rights to the name for motor vehicles; after the suit was settled for one dollar, the Silver King trade name was adopted for the tractors. The suit did not affect locomotive production, and the Plymouth locomotive line continued.
Tractor production continued until 1954, when the Silver King line was sold to Mountain State Fabricating Company, of Clarksburg, West Virginia; Mountain State produced only a few dozen tractors before returning the parts to Fate-Root-Heath, ending the tractor line. Fate-Root-Heath’s subsequent history is unknown.