Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lincoln Lubrigun

According to the Wikipedia entry, the Lincoln Engineering Company started out in 1910 as the Steel Roof Truss Company in Valley Park Missouri.  In 1915, the name became the Lincoln Steel and Forge Company with a change to the production of coal mine cars.  Eventually, they began to focus on ways to lubricate these cars and by the 1930's the company had moved into automobile lubrication.  In 1936, they unveiled the Lincoln Island Battery for use in service stations (see pic below).  They developed the first lever grease gun during World War II, and "Lubriguns" were issued as standard equipment for Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycles (although the company didn't file to trademark this name until July 1947). During the war, the company also made 20mm high explosive aircraft rounds as well as boosters (ignition sources) for 105 and 155mm artillery shells.  They also standardized the 55 US-gallon drum.  After the war, they marketed a "multi-luber" in which a car driver could push a dashboard button every day (or every 50 miles) and automatically lubricate each of the car's bearings.  By 1950, the average number of grease fittings on automobiles had dropped from 24 to 12, so the company explored other revenue sources, including the invention of a vacuum-operated record changer for vinyl records  (Bing Crosby bought five!) continuing with this product into the mid-60's. Company ownership has passed through several hands, and in 2010 was bought by SKF for $1 billion.

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