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AGM of Albert Lea and Albert Lea Foundry

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by OMC, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill United States Subscriber

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  2. OMC

    OMC United States Subscriber

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    +1 w/taking the topic elsewhere. Also happy to know CPL/CCS members have interest and access here.

    I'm thankful for progress and following intently. I currently don't have addl. answers and I'm thinking my Qs above suffice (incl Coleman query) for our current mystery.
    I can restate something to clarify. Re my:
    "...the saying "If you can't beat 'em join 'em"... for me, there are indicators that this may apply to
    ALF no longer doing business as ALF ending production of their camp stove
    model(s)
    at some point post 1925.

    There are parts of previous AGM->ALF versions from others that may still have some basis as yet not shared.
    ALF Tourist stove production of the mid 1920s does seem to be brief (w/uncertainty re end of production). What of AGM / ALF lawsuit resolution?
    If AGM did eventually buy out ALF (or portion of) that could be described in ways similar to ..then ALF became AGM.
    thx omc
    No surprise the Queen doesn't camp.
    [horn horn horn] presenting, her majesty...
    The Queen:
    20160409_140208_zpswvvorgz0_opt.jpg

    20160409_134951_zpst1ifp2jn_opt.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  3. OMC

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    ... and a quickie, lil housekeeping from back when Conny brought us all back to c1916 w/AGM catalog, that credit went to outside of CCS.
    Well, in '08 Ross posted an c1916 AGM stove right here on CCS!! She's a beauty aint she.... prec cious
    That brings us to no less than 4 AGM stove models c1916. That's one I feel I should have remembered :oops: .
    tag @Etherman
     
  4. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill United States Subscriber

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    Yet another twist and turn in this company's history - the Prentiss-Wabers (Preway) connection.

    AGM was essentially shut down in 1937 by a strike. Rioting. strikers damaged the plant enough that production was halted, apparently for several months. In 1938 Prentiss-Wabers bought a 51% interest in AGM with the option to buy out the remaining shares in one year. I don't know yet whether that happened. So maybe we can look for similarities in products post 1938?

    Maybe Matt will jump in with what he's found.

    link to Matt's thread, login required
    http://hollowwire.com/viewtopic.php?f=331&t=607&p=769&hilit=agm+and+prentiss+wabers#p769
     
  5. OMC

    OMC United States Subscriber

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    Thx Bill,
    Our fellow stovie Sam for whom I have nothing but admiration for, in 2012 posted PW history. Strange there's no mention of AGM. It was written by a local reporter in 1943, about a local company and at very near the time PW reportedly purchased AGM. and yet no mention of it, hmmm?
    Article does cover PW "Expansion in 1937 The present assembly department was added in 1937, and again the space provided for assembly work was converted to more space for machines and other types of equipment...."
    I see more questions, it's interesting (may be coincidence) but not sure I see answers related to AGM.

    Other than that I'm persistant and still back w/my Qs > post 1925 ALF or > any type merge into AGM (or not).
    Research may be a marathon vs a sprint, pieces may arise a week or year from now.
    Pardon drift but I can also offer to you, 2 PW tidbits that may be news to y'all:
    If Aug 1920 is early for PW, I've seen such an ad
    and
    1920 also involves: PW and a tale of 2 cities: 1920 ad correctly shows PW is in Grand Rapids, WI. In 1920, TWO neighboring towns: Grand Rapids & Centralia WI. became ONE... and the town Wisconsin Rapids was born (so 1920 and earlier PW might say Grand Rapids) thx omc
    tag @idahostoveguy
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  6. Matty Australia

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    I thought I would post this verbatim from the CCF forum.


    "I was invited to view this topic and also the topic of similar nature on CCS and offer an opinion.

    This is indeed a very interesting subject with many differing opinions.

    It is too difficult for me to answer each question/reply one at a time so I will offer an overall opinion and give some facts.

    ALF - I don't know very much about them as I have not researched them per se. I can say that a company, Albert Lea Foundry, first commenced circ 1874 with Paulson, Pratt & Co proprietors. Whether or not that foundry continued on through the years as ALF, I don't know.

    Queen Stove Works - In 1921, F A Trow founded Queen Stove Works. I suspect that around this time he also acquired ALF. Queen Stove Works and ALF remained independent companies despite being under the one ownership.

    In 1950 Queen Stove Works (Queen Products) acquired AGM. Again, the companies remained independent with AGM continuing business as usual but with F A Trow as President. ALF too, continued as an independent business.

    In 1957 King Seeley paid $5,000,000 for Queen Stove, The sale included ALF and AGM to King Seeley. F A Trow was appointed to the King Seeley board but indicated he wished to retire in 1958. F A Trow was 68 when he sold out to King Seeley in 1957.

    I think it's important to understand that going on all the evidence, despite AGM being bought by Queen they continued independently as AGM. So, they developed their lamps and their lamps naturally progressed as AGM products.

    I believe the same can be applied to AGM after the King Seeley buy out of Queen Stove. I believe AGM continued independently until 1960. From 1960 I lose interest in the subject.

    AGM - As pointed out AGM commenced operations under Hans C Hanson & possibly C D Edwards in 1894. In 1899 Hanson bought out his then partner C D Edwards. Personally, I think Hanson bought an existing company that did gas lighting plants from the 1880's. I don't have enough interest in the matter to try and prove or disprove that theory.

    The AGM history is quite complicated and involves many companies directly or indirectly. Those companies include Akron Lamp MFG, S F Appliances, Prentiss-Waber, Coleman and as discussed companies such as Queen Stove and King Seeley etc.

    Prentiss-Waber indeed took control of AGM in late 1938 with a 51% mandate and options to purchase the entire stock. Prentiss-Waber placed Ralph Wiltrout as General Manager, Treasurer & Director of AGM. Mr Wiltrout was also the General Manager and Treasurer of Prentiss-Waber at the time. Prentiss-Waber also installed Prentiss-Waber Directors, C F Krugar & E W Ellis as Directors on the AGM board.

    The AGM factory had been closed when Prentiss-Waber took control and the AGM factory was re-opened in early 1939. It should be noted that Prentiss-Waber didn't change their name to Preway Inc until 1953 so it is wrong to say that Preway had control of AGM. It is unlikely that Prentiss-Waber ever took up the option of buying out AGM completely as in 1941 American Gas Machine were re-incorporated under different ownership.

    AGM - S F Appliances This is quite tricky to decipher.

    AGM first used the term Sun Flame in 1933. It is in 1938 when American Gas Machine organised a brand new purpose built warehouse and office space to be built in New Jersey. AGM entered into a long term lease arrangement and were to take possession once the warehouse was completed in 1939.

    Obviously, after AGM had organised the warehouse, they ran into financial difficulties with their factory being closed in late 1938 and only re-opening in early 1939 once Prentiss-Waber took control.

    It seems obvious that the Prentiss-Waber owned AGM board decided to change track and to not take possession of the New Jersey warehouse. A company was formed in 1939 by Elmer R Murphy, S F Appliances, that then sub-leased the AGM, New Jersey, warehouse. to S F Appliances. It seems clear that wasn't the original intent by the the early 1938 AGM board. The warehouse was to be an AGM distribution warehouse.

    S F Appliances created a mantle factory in New Jersey (different building) and eventually bought out Akron Lamp MFG but closed the plant a short time later though they leased the Akron stove manufacturing plant to a 3rd party for a period of 5 years. That plant was removed from the Akron factory and the stoves were manufactured elsewhere. I have the details listed on my site. Those details are outside the scope of this topic.

    Hopefully what I have written will be of some use and help."
     
  7. OMC

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    Matty,
    THANK YOU. In a word: excellent.
    You hoped it will help. The details within your good explanations certainly are helpful. Gathering details, sorting them and presenting them all takes time and effort and it's much appreciated, thank again.
    From above, sub-topic: > ALF and any connection to AGM.
    For me, a suggestion is building by omission.
    More and more details of AGM history join the discussion that are not revealing any ALF connection. With that, AGM absorbing ALF in it's entirety is seemingly less and less likely. An ALF and Queen Stove Works connection as described above still leaves post 1925 ALF (or portions of) a mystery. Might portion(s) go to AGM, there's nothing so far indicating that (broken record, sorry, I'm still w/my Qs above).
    ALF being joined w/another manufacturing company is a different viewpoint. Just ending ALF production or ending production 1 product at a time (/selling -off production line(s), equipment) can happen internally in an uneventful way (no buildings closing, massive lay-offs can be minimized, products can shift-over etc). thx omc
    tag @Matty
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  8. Matty Australia

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    OMC, ( I can't work out the Tag thingy)

    It to me, seems pointless in trying to find a ownership connection between ALF and AGM prior to 1950. F A Trow owned ALF and Queen stove up until he bought AGM in 1950.

    Here are a couple of sample articles I have for the sale of Queen Stove (Products) in 1957. The 3rd article is when Queen Stove bought AGM in 1950
    1957KingQueen.png kingqueen1.png

    FATrowAGM.png
     
  9. Matty Australia

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    Here is an extract from a 1927 court case held in the United States. It states that Mr Trow became president of ALF in 1922. He either bought ALF and became president or bought ALF at a later date but buy it he did.

    "The Albert Lea Foundry Company entered into the business of manufacturing and selling Imperial furnaces, sold some of the furnaces purchased from the furnace company, and collected some of its accounts. In May, 1922, McDowell sold his stock, and from that time on had no connection with the foundry company. Mr. Trow became its president. June 30, 1922, defendants paid the interest on the two notes in suit to plaintiff. The second check for interest was for some reason held up and not paid. October 18, 1923, Mr. C. H. E. Boardman, an attorney of Marshalltown, representing creditors of the defunct furnace company, wrote the foundry company, explaining to it fully how the money collected on the notes was to be used, and stating that McDowell and he were each to have a commission of 10 per cent. on the moneys received by the creditors of the furnace company. This was the first intimation defendants had of any agreement for a commission to McDowell. November 20, 1923, defendant foundry company served a notice of rescission on Boardman and plaintiff as follows:"
     
  10. OMC

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    Matty,
    Finding AGM / ALF connection pre1950 seems pointless for you, ok.
    For me, interest in ALF camp stove production timeline continues:
    IE a production run timeline for their Tourist model (unknown to-date) is a point of interest, granted the details have proven to be elusive.

    Tourist and Coleman No.1 are quite similar. Additionally to-date I'm alone w/another point of interest as to:
    pre-1926 Coleman suitcases (just the case) [production beginning] -and-
    pre-1926 Albert Lea Foundry Tourist suitcase (just the case) [production ending].
    Both companies were then under dogs competing with AGM's (and PW) well established camp stove manufacturing / market share. thx omc
     
  11. Matty Australia

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    @OMC

    The earliest suitcase stove I can find a sketch of is this from 1917. Kamp Kook ones were about the same time.

    1917AmericanStove.png


    I'd like to share what is an opinion, nothing more, of how the tourist stove came about.

    I think there is a very good chance that the Tourist was a kind of MilSpec stove that many companies manufactured for troops of the ally countries during WWI. Of course, why you don't find these stoves in numbers in America etc, is the fact they were used on the battlefield mostly.

    I have seen many articles mentioning company stove production for various armies from 1914.

    Because ALF manufactured the Tourist doesn't mean they had anything to do with AGM. It also doesn't mean that ALF manufactured the stoves after the end of WWI.

    One of the biggest problems in finding out whom made what, stove wise, from 1917 to 1921 is the fact that companies seemed to be making the stoves for 3rd parties e.g, hardware stores. Until 1921 the manufacturing companies didn't seem to advertise their own suitcase stove products very often, if at all.

    The above is speculation and opinion only.It is where my research is leading me but I have zero proof of what I say.
     
  12. OMC

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    Hello again Matty,
    On whole I feel you've contributed mightily and again I appreciate it.
    I also welcome speculation after extensive research. Re that fwiw
    earliest you can find suitcase is 1917... above in this post Conny shared w/us a 1916 AGM catalog page including same illustrations and the way the text describes No.3 is not "new", it is established "on the market" imo. An origin to WW1 is news to me. I've not et seen military connection, the timing fits so that piece may yet unfold. BUT on contrary I do see mid teens -to- mid twenties (and beyond) demand for stoves etc is from growing domestic interest in camping trips / camping equipment.
    re "...doesn't mean that ALF manufactured the stoves after the end of WWI."
    Tourist was manufactured later than WW1, I would very much like to know when production began and ended. Examples are posted placing the model pre c1924, 1925. thx omc
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  13. Matty Australia

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    That's not exactly what I said. I said with sketch.

    I can find many references to suitcase stoves prior to 1917 but as I said earlier, it is not the manufacturing companies advertising the stoves, it is usually hardware stores etc. Very few of the ads have sketches.[/QUOTE]
     
  14. OMC

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    hello Matty, Thank you, and noted.
    Related but new topic, I know I speak for many fellow stovies, if you have earliest ad (without sketch) of US suitcase camp stove please share that here. A dated ad with catalog name shown and w/link all obviously helps. Absent that, date and name the source, please. If you come thru with new to us info, also on behalf of fellow stovies I thank you for that. an appreciative omc
    edit hindsight given this convo, if there's temptation to lump early US suitcase makers, models/designs together inline w/mil Spec comment. For me that's a stretch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  15. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    Hi Matty

    I love your 1917 advertisement.

    This 1916 advert matches yours.

    AGM Advert 1916 B.jpg
     
  16. Matty Australia

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    Trevor,

    Yes, the 1916 ad is very nice. I have several ads along the same lines but I don't think showing the same item over and is of any help.

    @OMC

    I think placing ads in this topic without a sketch can get problematic. It becomes more of a guessing game rather than facts. For instance, I just found an ad from 1915, describing a company in Ohio winning a contract to provide 25,000 stoves to the army. The ad goes on to state that the allies are in the market for 100,000 portable stoves so the company is expected to make sure the first 25,000 stoves are of acceptable quality.

    It is articles like this and others where I started to get the idea that the suitcase stoves that started to appear 1916/17 may have been first developed for the army then made available to the public. It is firms like ALF that were awarded stove contracts - not that I am aware ALF were indeed awarded a contract. I'm *guessing* it is a possibility that the ALF stoves were possibly army issue.
     
  17. OMC

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    Thanks Trevor,
    Thanks Matty, Another excellent comment and it is well received. I haven't seen it but I hope that the US military aspect does further develop. I'll keep mindful of that as well in the meanwhile.
    I am sorry but I almost feel the need to mention you've jumped between [news] articles and advertisements.
    Your comment re [news] articles where ever they're published book, mag, news paper or even a review in a catalog.... for those I agree entirely w/your comment.
    Not good examples and can be problematic, like many items we find that do not make for good examples to post.

    That said, you had mentioned advertisements, my request is/was for oldest dated advertisement that you come across for a US suitcase stove. Dated *advertisements are quite helpful and less problematic (*for some makers/models/vintage an ad(s) is all we have). You may have found something VERY interesting re ol camp stoves (depending on make/year). Jus sayin'.

    That's an open request to you and others and no hurry as mentioned [stove history puzzle] pieces may arise in a week or a year from now. Thank you so much for input thus far. best regards omc
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  18. Matty Australia

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    @OMC

    Perhaps I'm not being clear enough. The ads are text only. There aren't any descriptive drawings or manufacturers names mentioned. So, from that point of view, they are pretty much worthless.

    I wish you luck on gathering information on Albert Lea Foundry stove manufacturing. I think you are going to need it.
     
  19. Conny C

    Conny C Sweden Subscriber

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    Trevor the 1916 images is not from an ad, it is from an AGM 1916 catalogue!

    /Conny
     
  20. OMC

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    "ads" ... not an article.
    Ads w/no illustration, dated, is totally fine and would be welcome.
    So, you're seeing advertisements (to encourage sale of a manufacturer's item) w/o a manufacturer named.
    Maybe you were clear, this is not something i'm at all familiar with certainly not c1900, 19teens. hmmm ok, well I guess that's that for those then.

    As to wishing me... US luck, thank you.
    Not just ALF, I've invited discussion on 3 fronts:
    AGM history / timeline (esp re stoves :content: )
    Albert Lea Foundry history / timeline
    Any reference that combines the 2

    Credit to you and others much has been learned here, with some luck more pieces can eventually fill in gaps.
    We have ALF manufacturing continuing post 1925, unclear when camp stove production ended.
    thank you best regards omc
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

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