“This Flag Dips To No Earthly King!”

I am sure a lot of us are glued to our televisions watching our countries at the XXX Olympics. The modern Olympics started in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The original Olympics date back to ancient Greece when the city-states competed against each other. The games were revived in the late 19th century and commenced in the ancient city of Athens, where they originated. The United States has had an interesting niche in Olympic history, besides the amazing athletes that broke records and medaled in the last 30 games, concerning the nation’s flag. At the Parade of Nations in 1936, the U.S. Team and its flag bearer began, consistently, refusing to dip the U.S. flag to foreign leaders and the tradition was kept alive at the 2012 Olympic Parade of Nations.

There is some confusion of the legacy of this tradition. The first time an incident with the U.S. flag occurred was at the 1908 Olympic games, ironically, held in London. American shot-putter, Ralph Rose, refused to observe the custom of dipping the flag to the host country’s leaders. It is not clear whether the incident was fueled by anger over the U.S. flag not being displayed at the stadium, or was it resentment that the Irish-American athletes held against the British? It is a hazy area of history that remains a mystery, but this is where the tradition has its roots. However, our flag did dip in the 1912, 1924 and 1932 Olympics. The consistency of refusing to dip our flag came in 1936. It was the year of the XI Olympiad held in Nazi Germany’s capital city, Berlin.

1936 Olympic Games (Artatm)

1936 Olympic Games

Some individuals in the Unites States tried to stage a boycott of the 1936 Olympics and insist on not sending U.S. athletes to the games. Their argument was by sending athletes to Berlin to compete was only showing support for the Nazi regime and its anti-Semitic policies. Many Jewish organizations pushed for the boycott of the game as well, but in the end the Unites States sent its athletes and refused to let political issues interfere with the Olympics.

Lighting the Olympic Cauldron 1936
(Stanford University)

Adolf Hitler and his propaganda machine wanted to use the Olympics as a stage to show the world what Germany had transformed into. When visitors poured into Berlin, the city was clean and there were no signs of anti-Semitic sentiment. Free press had returned for the duration of the Olympics and Hitler urged the host country to treat their international guests with hospitality. Hitler had transformed Berlin into a fascist “utopia” and used the Olympics as an opportunity to show it before it turned back into a hardened police-state once again.

American Athletes Refuse to Dip Flag to Adolf Hitler

The opening ceremony was marked with cheers of “Sieg Heil”, the  showcase of the stiff-armed Nazi salute and the Olympic banner over powered by the waving red, white and black swastika flag of the Nazi Party. Nation by nation marched in showcasing their athletes and presenting their country’s banners to the crowd and Hitler. Each country dipped its flag as a sign of respect to the host country’s Führer. As the United States of America walked by the box of Adolf Hitler, the Stars and Stripes flew high and never dipped to the fascist leader. This marked the consistent beginning of the Unites States refusing to dip its flag to a foreign leader. It was the one way our country symbolically defied the Nazi’s.

So there you have, it all started in 1936 when the United States athletes refused to dip the nation’s flag to a foreign leader. In the case of 1936, it was a sign that the United States would not dip its flag or show respect to a dictatorial nation. After the Berlin incident, it was only solidified as the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were engaged in a war of ideology and arms race. Some view it as a disgusting display of Americanism or disrespect to others nations, while others see it as a sign of pride of America, a democratic nation, that will stand tall and never dip or bow to other nations. On July 27, 2012, as the American Flag streamed passed the box of the Queen it did not dip, maintaining the 76 year tradition.

What do you think? Should the Unites States give in and show some respect to foreign leaders at future Olympic games, or should the policy of “Never Dip” be continued?

Allis-Chalmers Acquisitions & Growth

Here is a list of the factories and firms across the world that made up Allis-Chalmers and the vast amount products they made. This can be found in Norm Swinford’s book Allis-Chalmers Construction Machinery & Industrial 
Equipment. I think there might be a couple more that should be added, but these are the ones that he has listed in his book.



Bullock Electrical Mfg. Co.





Indianapolis, IN

Flour Mills


Pittsburgh Transformer Co.

Pittsburgh, PA



Monarch Tractor Company

Springfield, IL

Crawler Tractors


LaCrosse Plow Company

LaCrosse, WI



Stearns Motor Company

Cleveland, OH



Condit Electrical Corp.

Boston, MA

Electrical Equipment


Advance Rumely

LaPorte, IN

Tractors & Combines


Ryan Mfg. Co.

Chicago, IL

Road Graders


Brenneis Mfg. Co.

Oxnard, CA

Deep Tillage Equipment


Gadsden Works

Gadsden, AL

Cotton Pickers


Essendine Plant

Essendine, England

Harvesters & Tractors


Canadian Allis-Chalmers LTD.

Lachine, Quebec, Canada

Heavy Equipment


LaPlant-Choate Mfg. Co.

Cedar Rapids, IA

Motor Scrapers


Buda Company

Harvey, IL

Engine & Lift Trucks


Gleaner Harvester Corp.

Independence, MO

Self-Propelled Combines


Baker Company

Springfield, IL



T.C. Pollard Pty. Ltd.

Newcastle, Australia

Motor Graders


Industrial Dufermex

Mexico City, Mexico



Micromatic Hone

Detroit, MI

Diesel Engine Equipment


S. Morgan Smith

York, PA

Hyrdraulic Turbines


Tractomotive Corp

Deerfield, IL

Wheel Loaders


Allis-Chalmers Italiania

Cusano, Italy

Crawler Tractors


Valley Iron Works Corp.

Appleton, WI

Paper Machinery


Establissements de Constructions Mecaniques de Vendeuvre SA

Dieppe, France

Engines & Generators


Schwager-Wood Co.

Portland, OR

Electrical Equipment


New Factory

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Loaders & Lift Trucks


New Factory

San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Lift Trucks


Simplicity Mfg. Co.

Port Washington, WI

Lawn and Garden


Henry Manufacturing Co.

Topeka, KS

Industrial Tractors


Standard Steel Corporation

Decatur, IL

Asphalt Plants


New Factory

Little Rock, AR

Electrical Motors


New Factory

Matteson, IL

Lift Trucks


New Factory

Wichita Falls, TX

Industrial Controls


Penn. Electric Coil Corp.

Pittsburgh, PA

Motors & Generators


Fabrica de ACO Paulista

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Crusher & Screens


New Factory

Jackson, MS

Electrical Products


New Factory

Sanford, NC

Electrical Products


New Factory

New Orleans, LA

Electrical Products


Fiat S.p.A of Italy(Fiat-Allis)

Carol Steam, IL

Construction Machinery


Stephens-Adamson Inc.

Aurora, IL

Material Handling


Sudbury Metals

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Ore Processing


American Air Filter Inc.

Louisville, KY

Air Filter Systems


Barron Industries Inc.

Leeds, AL

Fans & Dust Collectors


Hartman Metal Fabricators

Victor, NY

Computerized Storage

The Peoples Brewing Company: America’s First Black Owned Brewery

My version of “Peoples Beer” logo

In one of my earlier posts I talked about the Oshkosh Brewing Company, but there was another great brewery in my college town that last a few years longer than Oshkosh Brewing Company. The Peoples Brewing Company made history when it became the first brewery in the country to be owned by a Black man, an event that ruffled a few feathers in Oshkosh.

The Peoples Brewing Company was founded in 1911 when Oshkosh area residents, led by  Joseph J. Nigl, came together to form a new business to compete with other breweries. Pabst, Schlitz and Oshkosh Brewing Co. had a hold on the local beer market, so these men formulated a plan to start their own brewery to compete with the big names. Out of 11 names considered, “Peoples” was the name chosen for the new venture. Nigl was named president of Peoples Brewery, and construction got underway to build the new brewery in Oshkosh.

The Peoples Brewing Company
(Oshkosh Beer Blog)

By January 1920, Prohibition was in effect and breweries across the country were either closed or forced to make other products. The Peoples Brewing Company survived the dry years by making soft drinks, but once Prohibition was repealed the breweries were back to making beer.

The Peoples Brewery survived Prohibition, but 2 more storms were brewing at plant. In 1970, the brewery was bought by Theodore Mack, a Black Milwaukeean who would make history. It had been Mack’s ambition to keep the brewery operating in Oshkosh, but to also tap into markets in Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana. He had also hoped to score a contract with the U.S. Military to supply beer to bases. Mack received a fair amount of resistance from the residents in the Oshkosh area. The media penned him as the “Milwaukee Negro” who came to fire whites and  hire only black workers. Although Mack faced opposition, there were those who appreciated his efforts to keep the brewery running.

It seemed the hysteria over Mack coming into Oshkosh and buying a brewery had subsided, but more hard times lay ahead. Mack’s ambition to gain a contract with military failed. He did manage to spread the brand to other states and even got his beer at popular Milwaukee venues. In November 1971, The Peoples Brewing Company announced that it had acquired the defunct Oshkosh Brewing Company. Even though Mack was pushing to make the small brewery a big player in the national beer market, his efforts came to a screeching halt in September 1972. The IRS filed a suit against  Peoples Brewing Company for not paying its excise and withholding taxes. The brewery was broke. Mack tried desperately to keep it open, but his efforts were futile. Two months later, Mack officially announced that Peoples Brewing Company had stopped production. Peoples Brewing Company was the last big brewery in Oshkosh. All the other breweries had succumb to the pressures of changing times.

For more information on brewing in Oshkosh, check out Oshkosh Beer Blog. http://oshkoshbeer.blogspot.com/

The IV Series of the Allis-Chalmers D-17

A common question/problem people have with the Allis-Chalmers D-17 is identifying the differences between the 4 production series that were made. There are certain cosmetic and operational features that switched between each production. While cosmetic details can betray the untrained eye, the mechanical features don’t lie. Let’s take a look at the differences so that you will be better educated on the D-17 Series I, II,III & IV.

Series I

The D-17 Series I (Never officially designated that) was introduced in the fall of 1957. There were 2 different cosmetic looks in the 1st series of the D-17. Production of Series I started at serial no. 1001 and ended at 31625 in 1960

D-17 (1957-1959)

D-17 (1959-1960)

Cosmetic Characteristics

  • Persian Orange #1 Paint
  •  Silver Decals (oval decal) 1957-1959
  • Orange Grill 1957-1958
  • Black Boarder and Bar Grill with Black and White Decal 1959-1960
  • Lights Radiator Shell
  • Round Muffler
  • Metal Seat
  • Black Steering Wheel


  • Snap Coupler Hitch
  • Oil Bath Air-Cleaner
  • High Pressure Hydraulic Pump on Main Drive Line

Series II

The D-17 Series II, (again, never officially designated) came out in 1960. Production started at serial no. 32001 and ended with 41540 in 1962.

D-17 Series II


  • Persian Orange #2 Paint
  • Cream Paint on Wheels, Grill & Steering Wheel
  • Headlights on Grill Shell
  •  Tin Nameplate.
  • Metal Seat


  • Snap Coupler Hitch
  • Oil Bath Air-Cleaner
  • High Pressure Hydraulic Pump on Main Drive Line

Series III

The D-17 Series III was introduced in 1962. This was the first time the “Series” designation was put on the tractor. The previous two production series were unofficially coined Series I & II. Production started with serial no. 42001 and ended with 72768 in 1964.

D-17 Series III


  • Persian Orange #2 Paint
  • Long Cream Hood Decal
  • Series III Designation
  • Headlights on Fenders
  • Oval Shaped Muffler
  • Seat Cushion


  • Snap Coupler Hitch
  • Dry Air-Cleaner
  • High Pressure Hydraulic Pump on Main Drive Line
  • Power-Director Oil Filter and Lines.
  • Heavier Front Axle

Series IV

The D-17 Series IV was the 4th and final installment of the D-17 line. Production started in 1964 with serial number no. 75001 and ended with 89213 in 1967.

D-17 Series IV


  • Persian Orange #2 Paint
  • Long Cream Hood Decal
  • Series IV Designation
  • Headlights on Fenders
  • Oval Shaped Muffler
  • Seat Cushion
  • Corporate Logo Grill Emblem


  • Transmission Housing Cast Modified ( Changed to Accommodate New Drawbar & Hydraulic Setup)
  • Hyrdraulic Lift Cylinders Mounted Externally
  • Snap Coupler or 3-pt Hitch
  • Dry Air-Cleaner
  • Live Hydraulic System
  • Externally Mounted Hydraulic Pump ( Located on Belt Pulley Outlet)
  • Power-Director Oil Filter and Lines.
  • Heavier Front Axel (Same as Series III)

Well, I hope I covered things that can help people identify the different series of D-17s. Remember that cosmetic looks are not everything when you look at these tractors! Many people rig stuff on or put decals and other cosmetics from other series. The surest way to know what series you are looking at is by the serial number. The D-17’s serial numbers were located on the left side on the tractor on the torque tube where the torque tube meets the engine. If you don’t know the serial numbers associated with the tractors, look at the mechanical differences too! That will also be a big help. This is not a COMPLETE list of the changes, but it does help one identify some of the differences between the tractors.

#4 Pittsburgh Works

The Pittsburgh Company was founded in 1897 by Frederick C. Sutter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1910, the Pittsburgh Transformer Company was officially incorporated and boomed during World War 1. In 1927, the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company acquired the firm for $4.5 million and began investing money into renovations and additional buildings. In 1928, the firm was officially part of Allis-Chalmers and renamed the Pittsburgh Works.

Following the acquisition of the Pittsburgh Transformer Co., Allis-Chalmers was under investigation from the Federal Trade Commission. The issue was over whether Allis-Chalmers was in violation of the Clayton Act, which prohibited one firm from acquiring another to eliminate competition and create a monopoly in a product. However, the board dropped the charges after they concluded that no rules were broken with the merger of the two firms. The charges were dropped on the grounds that  only 10.6 percent of the transformer sales in the Unites States would be dominated by the Allis-Chalmers & Pittsburgh Transformer Company merger.*1

A-C/Pittsburgh Transformer Co. Ad

The Pittsburgh Works built smaller transformer units, while bigger and higher voltage units were manufactured at the West Allis Works. Pittsburgh built 5,000 kva single phase, and 15,000 kva three-phase at 44,000 volts, and also transformers up to 4,000 kva single phase and 12,000 kva three-phase at 66,000 volts.*2

Pittsburgh Works

The Pittsburgh Transformer Company proved to be a valuable addition to the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. From 1927-1931, Allis-Chalmers never had sales below $2 million out of the Pittsburgh Works.*3 Allis-Chalmers boasted that every transformer that left the Pittsburgh Works was thoroughly tested before being shipped to the thousands of consumers across the Unites States.

In July 1947, Allis-Chalmers broke ground for a $2 million expansion onto the Pittsburgh Works. The plans called for a new building, called the Columbus Plant, to be erected on a vacant lot next to the existing factory. The addition would add 104,000 square feet to the plant which would surge production by 50% and increase employment by a few hundred people. It was the largest addition, at that time, to the Pittsburgh Works since the firm bought it in 1927. The additions were expected to increase the size of the Pittsburgh Works by 40%.*4

Workers coming out of the Pittsburgh Works

The Pittsburg Works remained an important branch of the AC line for nearly 50 years. The peak employment at the plant was nearly 3,200 workers in 1956.*5 The hard economic conditions of the 1970s brought an end to production at the Pittsburg Works. In spring 1975, nearly 1,000 AC employees lost their jobs when the Pittsburg Works closed and moved production and the remaining equipment to other Allis-Chalmers plants. Company officials said the sellout and closure was due to poor sales in the transformer line and the shift of demand in different parts of the country.

*1 An Industrial Heritage. Walter F. Peterson, pg 217.

*2 Peterson, pg 217.

*3 Peterson, pg 217.

*4 We of Allis-Chalmers. September 1947. Vol 7-No.9, Pgs 2-3.

*5 The Pittsburgh Press – Feb 21, 1975. Pg 2.