Posted inBreaking

John H. Dwight and the ratchet jack

By Paul Holley John H. Dwight’s idea for a new product – the ratchet jack – helped lead to a Racine company’s 80-year run in the auto parts industry. One day in 1912, Dwight (1881-1933), who had worked at the Mitchell Motor Co., took the opportunity to pitch his idea to William A. Walker (1859-1919) […]

Posted inGadgets & Geeks

Rench, von Schrader and clean carpets

A pair of Racine entrepreneurs turned an unwanted business into a global success that lives on today. Back in 1935, Francis von Schrader (1904-1992) and Harry D. (H.D.) Rench (1901-1980) worked at electric appliance maker Hamilton Beach. The company’s carpet cleaning equipment division was managed by von Schrader while Rench oversaw the Hamilton Beach marketing […]

Posted inGadgets & Geeks

Twin Disc and its role in D-Day

By Paul Holley June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day – a key event in World War II. Starting that day, wave after wave of Allied troops (approximately 156,000) invaded the Axis-held beaches of Normandy, France. A product made by Racine’s Twin Disc was there, too. Virtually every marine gear used by the Landing […]

Posted inGadgets & Geeks

Arthur B. Modine and heat transfer

Paul Holley If you’ve ever ridden in an air-conditioned car, thank Arthur B. Modine – one of Racine’s most prolific inventors, who was awarded 122 U.S. patents during his lifetime and built an international manufacturing business. Modine (1885-1981), a Chicago native, arrived in Racine in 1913. He’d earned a degree in mechanical engineering and was […]

Posted inGadgets & Geeks

Albert Dremel and the rotary tool

Few inventors are fortunate enough to have their invention become known by their name. Racine’s Albert J. Dremel is one of those inventors. Dremel (1887-1968) emigrated to the U.S. from Austria in the early 1900s and became a trained design engineer. Although he held design posts at the J.I. Case Co. and other manufacturers, Dremel […]

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