Horton coming up on 60

Horton Inc. will celebrate its 60th anniversary in September and tells us its humble beginnings in 1951 were three employees and no machines. But Horton actually dates back to 1902 as a builder of wagon bodies. In '51, Hugh K. Schilling (pictured) and some investors purchased two unexpired patents on variable-speed clutch pulleys. Schilling eventually created a fan drive for heavy-duty trucks in 1964.

Horton Inc. will celebrate its 60th anniversary in September and tells us its “humble beginnings” in 1951 were three employees and no machines. But Horton actually dates back to 1902 as a builder of wagon bodies. In '51, Hugh K. Schilling (pictured) and some investors purchased “two unexpired patents on variable-speed clutch pulleys.” Schilling eventually created a fan drive for heavy-duty trucks in 1964. But it was “a product before its time,” says Horton's son Hugh Schilling Jr. “It was environmentally friendly, reduced engine noise, and saved fuel and money. Those weren't really concerns until environmentalism grew and fuel prices began to rise in the early '70s. Then the fan drive turned out to be the right product at the right time.”

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