The American Chocolate later known as Walter was an American-assembled automobile.
The Walter Automobile Company was founded in New York in 1902 and built luxurious automobiles, including one called the Waltmobile, until 1909.
After 1910 Walter was building 4 X 4 trucks, which were used by the military and municipalities.
At that time, cars were abandoned for trucks and the Walter Motor Truck Company was formed in New York City. The first 4x4 debuted in 1911 and was reminiscent of a French design by Latil . It used a spur-and-ring gear-axle design similar to the early Duplex and the later Jeffery/Nash Quad . Walter went on to build a succession of large 4x4 trucks that were used both commercially and by the military during WWI, WWII, and later. The Walter company remains in business today, building 4x4 trucks in upstate New York.After World War I Walter truck switched from the brand's own four-cylinder motor to the Waukesha engine, and the company moved to a new location on Long Island in 1923. The company would be finally absorbed by Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp (KME) in the late 1970s.
William Walter, a Swiss immigrant, came to the U.S.A. in 1883 and established himself as a manufacturer of candy and confectionery machinery. He built himself a passenger car in 1898 and from 1904 to 1909 made highquality cars, at first in New York City and later at Trenton, N.J. Truck production began in 1909 a t the New York factory on West 66th Street, and in 1911 the first 4-wheeldrive trucks appeared, which were to become the staple product of the company. Based on the French Latil and of similar appearance with radiator behind engine, they were made in sizes from 1 ½ to 7 tons. Conventional rear wheel drive and also front wheel drive trucks were also made, all with internal gear drive to the wheels. Engines were Walter's own make up to 1920, then mainly Waukesha during the 1920s. Gradually the rear-wheel-drive models were phased out, although a 15/25-ton rwd tractor with 5speed gearbox was made as late as 1924. By the mid-1920s Walters had assumed their characteristic appearance with engine projecting ahead of the front axle; in 1929 the first Walter Snow Fighter appeared, and this was a field in which the company later became well-known, as well as for highway maintenance work and carrying cement mixers. During the 1930's Walter supplied a number of fire engines to New York City. Articulated dump trucks were used in open-cast coal mining, and Walters were also seen in the logging industry. By 1940 there were six models, all with 4-wheel-drive, of 3 to 12 tons capacity. Engines were 6-cylinder units by Waukesha, Hercules and Cummins, the latter a diesel.
During World War II Walter supplied 4 X 4 artillery tractors with 672ci 6-cylinder Hercules engines to the U.S. Army, and also snow removal trucks with Waukesha engines to both U.S. and Canadian forces. After the war the 4-wheel-drive trucks were continued, and Walter entered a new field with the building of airfield crash tenders. These were developed in conjunction with the Federal Government, the Port of New York Authority and the National Fire Protection Association. Current production includes crash tenders with single and twin engines, refuse collection trucks and the familiar 4-wheel-drive trucks and snowplows. LA
The Walter Double Reduction Drive axles divide drive forces and reductions between the drive wheels and is the only system that provides a real positive drive to each wheel at all times, thus the Walter term 100% traction.
One of the goodies built into the Militor was the clever ring-gear drive pictured next which not only kept the drive line up out of things, but also added another level of gear reduction at the hub. Cool though it was, it wasn't a unique system. The Nash Quad used a similar one and the Walter Motor Truck Co. (Later makers of the famous Walter Snowfighter, plow-trucks) even used a spur and ring-gear as their logo.
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