Business History  »  Winkler Brothers Manufacturing Company

Location: 308 E. LaSalle

Fred and Lenhard Winkler began a horse shoeing and wagon repair business in a log cabin on E. LaSalle in 1877.  They began manufacturing wagons and carts in 1881-1884 when coal and wood were added to their product offerings.  The log cabin was replaced in 1885 by a two-story brick building facing LaSalle.  Two subsequent three-story additions dating from 1887 and 1894 were added to the south of the first building.

On May 7, 1892 the firm was granted a patent on their Sprinkler Wagon, a street wetting and cleaning vehicle.  Winkler Brothers also manufactured platform spring wagons, delivery wagons, carriages, sleighs, and many other kinds of carts and wagons.  Their sprinkler wagon patent was sold to the Studebaker Brothers for $25,000 in 1899.

Winkler Brothers Manufacturing Company was incorporated on November 10, 1902, at about which time they relocated to the western outskirts of South Bend along the New York Central rail line.  Their new three-story structure was eventually bought by the Bendix Aviation Corporation and is surrounded today by newer Honeywell Aviation (which purchased Bendix Aviation) buildings.  The old structure on E. LaSalle housed small manufacturers, such as Sanitary Felting and Mattress Company (1917) and fell vacant and was eventually demolished. {{1}}

[[1]]Goldstein, Deborah May.  Made in South Bend/Mishawaka.  Discovery Hall Museum, 1980.[[1]]

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