Prepared by Mary Denise Robb, May 10, 1991; updated by Penny White October 2013
1 document case, 2 record storage boxes, 2.33 cubic feet, 11th floor
The Twin Coach Company was founded in Kent, in 1927, by brothers William B.
and Frank R. Fageol. The brothers originally started their business in Oakland,
California in 1916 and manufactured trucks for World War I use, as well as
pleasure cars for domestic use. They brought the first model of their "Safety
Coach" east in 1923, and settled in Kent in 1924 as the Fageol Motor
Company. The company was sold to American Car and Foundry Company of Dayton,
Ohio, in 1925. During 1927, however, after the Fageols' development of the new
form of public transportation called the "Twin Coach",
the brothers re-established themselves in their original Kent location as the
Twin Coach Company.
The Fageol Motors and Twin Coach companies were instrumental in the history
of public transportation in the United States. The dual-motored "Twin
Coach" was the first urban transit or streetcar-type motor coach designed
and built by anyone. The Twin Coach Company ranked second in urban bus
manufacturing for approximately twenty years, and it sold to major corporations
across the country. It also broadened its scope to include the manufacture of
airplane parts and machine engines, as well as a new house-to-house mail
delivery truck called the "Pony express".
In 1958, Twin Coach sold its marine engine business and moved its
headquarters to Cheektowga, New York. In 1962, stockholders approved a name
change for the company, and the Twin Coach Company became the Twin Industries
Charles A. Blair came to the Twin Coach Company from Detroit, and stayed
with the company for many years. An engineer and inventor, he developed safety
devices for large-scale machinery and received national acclaim in his field.
By the 1950's he had reached the position of Plant Superintendent.
Scope and Content
The diversified records and objects in the Twin Coach Company collection were
donated to the Kent State University Archives by Laurel Wilcox on December 1,
1983. Wilcox had previously purchased the collection at a garage sale, and decided
that KSU was the best place to house the records.
The metal grill plate and pin were donated to the Archives by Frank Klein.
Additional items were donated in 2004 by Joseph H. Lipscomb whose father, also
Joseph H. Lipscomb, worked for the Company's purchasing department from 1926-1943.
The materials in the Twin Coach Company collection have been broken down into
the following series:
Regarding the Twin Coach series, employee records include a list from the
Twin Coach Company and a list from its subsidiary company, the Fageol Safety
Coach Company, and property records range from real estate holdings to specific
pieces of machinery. Specifications pertain to factory equipment and coaches,
and include the previously titled "Standard Coach Specifications" file
in its original order.
Publications include those of the Twin Coach Company, the earlier Fageol
Motors Company, and other outside publications. The outside publications are
significant to the collection because of specific Blair correspondence relating
to it, or because of the articles they contain regarding the Twin Coach Press
Brake Safety Device and/or Roller Shear Guard. Photographs are divided into
three basic categories --- property, machinery, and miscellaneous--- and include
the photographs which appear in articles from the California Safety News
Monitor publications in the collection.
The last component of the Twin Coach series consists of various metal
plates, one of which is stamped with Charles Blair's name and company
identification. The others appear to have had the purpose of being attached to
Twin Coach and Fageol vehicles. Two of the plates (one of which is from the
Akron Multi-Truck company of Akron, Ohio) are in separate boxes at the back of
the collection because of their design.
The Charles A. Blair series begins with his correspondence: general
correspondence, correspondence specifically related to his involvement with the
Roller Shear Guard and Press Brake (another previously created file, titled "Roller
Shear Guard and Press Brake") which includes copies of Blair's replies, and
Twin Coach company letters of which Blair received a copy but was not the
primary recipient. Further correspondence (of a different nature) follows,
with materials and exercises from the two correspondence courses in which Blair
was enrolled. His patent records include drawings and correspondence directly
related to those records. The bulk of this file relates to his Railroad-Tie
Patent No. 1, 112, 100 (included).
The blueprints, drawings, and miscellaneous papers which complete the series
are all of a miscellaneous nature -- they range from areas of personal interest
to those of company business. Because of the large format of some of the
blueprints and drawings, and the lack of space for flat storage, it is necessary
for them to remain folded inside their folders, or rolled and kept outside and
next to the box in which the rest of the collection is stored. These rolled
drawings are arranged first by size, and then in chronological order. Subject
matter is not taken into consideration -- drawings range from a child's toy to
the framework for a steel house. The miscellaneous papers which close the
collection include a 1915 map of Detroit streetcar lines, a 1954 Twin Coach
directory, and various non-dated Fageol Motor Company forms.
Series 3 -- Fred Ziegler CollectionThis part of the collection was purchased from Frank Klein, bookdealer. The
collection was previously owned by Fred Ziegler, an employee of Twin Coach. It
contains many advertisement promotions, blueprints, specifications and manuals
pertaining to Twin Coach. Materials cover dates during the 1950's with the
exception of the Goodyear Zeppelin material which covers 1929-1932.
Folder -- Contents
Fageol Van Truck-1953 Advertising and Promotional Program
Annual report: 1952
Annual report: 1953
Certified Dimensions for Miller Fluid Power Stock Cylinders
Correspondence: Inter Office memoes, blueprints: 1956-57
Diesel notes: 1954-55
Engineering procedures and relation to production: 1952-53
Ensign Liquefied Petroleum Gas Carburetors Manual 105
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