The White Motor Company was an American automobile, truck, bus and agricultural tractor manufacturer from 1900 until 1980. Before World War II, the company was based in Cleveland, Ohio. White Diesel Engine Division in Springfield, Ohio manufactured diesel engine generators, which powered U.S. military equipment and infrastructure, namely Army Nike and Air Force Bomarc launch complexes, and other guided missile installations and proving grounds, sections of SAGE and DEW Line stations, radars, combat direction centers and other ground facilities of the U.S. aerospace defense ring, such as the Texas Towers. During the Vietnam era, the company retained its position within the Top 100 Defense Contractors list . Its production facilities, such as the Lansing truck plant in Lansing, Michigan and the main plant in Cleveland were engaged in production, inspection, engineering services and maintenance of thousands of military/utility cargo trucks M39, M44, M600, and M602 series trucks.
About 1898, Thomas H. White purchased a Locomobile steam car and found its boiler unreliable. His son, Rollin, set out to improve its design. Rollin White developed a form of water tube steam generator which consisted of a series of stacked coils with two novel features: the first was that the coils were all joined at the top of the unit, which allowed water to flow only when pumped, allowing control of the steam generation; the second was pulling steam from the lowest coil, closest to the fire, which allowed control of steam temperature. This second point was critical because the White steamer operated with superheated steam to take advantage of steam's properties at higher temperatures. Rollin White patented his steam generator, US patent 659,837 of 1900.
Rollin H. White patented his new design and offered it to, among others, Locomobile. Finally, he persuaded his father, founder of the White Sewing Machine Company, to allow the use of a corner in one of his buildings to build an automobile.
White Motor Company ended car production after World War I and began producing trucks. The company soon sold 10 percent of all trucks made in the US. Although White produced all sizes of trucks from light delivery to semi, the decision was made after WWII to produce only large trucks. White acquired several truck companies during this time:
Diamond T , and
White also agreed to sell Consolidated
Freightways Freightliner trucks through its own dealers.
White produced trucks under the Autocar nameplate following its acquisition.
Diamond T and REO Motor Car Company became the Diamond REO division, which was discontinued in the 1970s.
In 1967, White started the Western Star division to sell trucks on the west coast.|
En 1932, Brockway Motor Trucks Co. vendit l'Indiana Trucks Corp., de Marion, dans l'Indiana, a White et demenagea la production a Cleveland. From 1932 to 1934, White went into partnership with Studebaker Pierce-Arrow , and assembled trucks in Cleveland for them.
En 1951, White passa un accord (qui dura jusqu'en 1977) avec Freightliner LLC Corporation pour vendre et entretenir ses camions sous le nom White-Freightliner. Aussi White acheta les actifs de Sterling Trucks , et pendant une courte periode des camions furent vendus sous le nom de Sterling-White, mais en 1955 la firme ceda le nom Sterling a Daimler-Benz.
En 1953, la firme reprit Autocar Company qui survecut comme marque a part entiere dans l'organisation White.
En 1957, Reo Motor fut l'acquisition suivante, et un an plus tard ce fut Diamond T. White fusionna ces deux compagnies au nom de Diamond-Reo. Mais en 1971, White vendit la nouvelle division a Francis L. Coppaert de Birmingham, Alabama, proprietaire de Osterlund Incorporated.
En 1967, White forma Western Star pour desservir le marche de la Cote Ouest et en construisent une nouvelle usine a Kelowna, en Colombie-Britannique, au Canada.
En 1981, White dut deposer son bilan et fut absorbe par Volvo Trucks , sous le nom Volvo White Trucks Corporation. Mais ce rachat ne comprenait pas Western Star qui fut repris par deux compagnies de Calgary, Alberta,
En 1986, Volvo trucks acheta la division poids lourds de GMC. Et pendant une courte periode, les camions sont signes Volvo White GMC.
En 1995, les noms de White et de GMC disparaissent et depuis tous les camions sont signes Volvo excepte pour Autocar.
En 2001, Volvo a vendu Autocar et maintenant la compagnie se specialise dans la production de camions municipaux et de travaux publics
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