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Prepared by Mary Denise Robb, May 10, 1991; updated May 2019; Last updated: September 2022.
Inclusive Dates: 1914-1956
Extent: 3 cubic feet (1 document case, 2 record storage boxes, 1 oversized document tube)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Historical Note: The Twin Coach Company was founded in Kent, in 1927, by brothers William B. and Frank R. Fageol. The brothers originally started their business in Oakland, California in 1916 and manufactured trucks for World War I use, as well as pleasure cars for domestic use. They brought the first model of their "Safety Coach" east in 1923, and settled in Kent in 1924 as the Fageol Motor Company. The company was sold to American Car and Foundry Company of Dayton, Ohio, in 1925. During 1927, however, after the Fageols' development of the new form of public transportation called the "Twin Coach," the brothers re-established themselves in their original Kent location as the Twin Coach Company.
The Fageol Motors and Twin Coach companies were instrumental in the history of public transportation in the United States. The dual-motored "Twin Coach" was the first urban transit or streetcar-type motor coach designed and built by anyone. The Twin Coach Company ranked second in urban bus manufacturing for approximately twenty years, and it sold to major corporations across the country. It also broadened its scope to include the manufacture of airplane parts and machine engines, as well as a new house-to-house mail delivery truck called the "Pony express".
In 1958, Twin Coach sold its marine engine business and moved its headquarters to Cheektowaga, New York. In 1962, stockholders approved a name change for the company, and the Twin Coach Company became the Twin Industries Corporation.
Charles A. Blair came to the Twin Coach Company from Detroit, and stayed with the company for many years. An engineer and inventor, he developed safety devices for large-scale machinery and received national acclaim in his field. By the 1950's he had reached the position of Plant Superintendent.
Scope and Content: This collection includes a variety of records originating with Twin Coach including photographs, technical materials, blueprints and drawings, employee information, correspondence, and artifacts.
Acquisitions Note: The diversified records and objects in the Twin Coach Company collection were donated to the Kent State University Archives by Laurel Wilcox on December 1, 1983. Wilcox had previously purchased the collection at a garage sale, and decided that Kent State University was the best place to house the records. The metal grill plate and pin were donated to the Archives by Frank Klein. Additional items were donated in 2004 by Joseph H. Lipscomb whose father, also Joseph H. Lipscomb, worked for the Company's purchasing department from 1926-1943.
Arrangement: The materials in the Twin Coach Company collection have been organized into the following series:
Series 1: Twin Coach Company records
Folder -- Contents
Series 2: Charles A. Blair papers
Series 3: Fred Ziegler collection
Acquisitions Note: This part of the collection was purchased from Frank Klein, book dealer. The collection was previously owned by Fred Ziegler, an employee of Twin Coach. It contains many advertisement promotions, blueprints, specifications and manuals pertaining to Twin Coach. Materials cover dates during the 1950's with the exception of the Goodyear Zeppelin material which covers 1929-1932.
Folder -- Contents
Series 4: Joseph H. Lipscomb Papers