McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Co.
Long Broom Snow Sweeper

Single Truck, Double End Cars

HO Scale Kit - n/a             S Scale Kit - McGC-LBSS-S

 
 
THE COMPANY
The McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company, a combination of the McGuire Manufacturing Company and the Cummings Car & Coach Company, had its beginnings in Chicago, IL, possibly as far back as 1870 when William McGuire began a manufacturing business. We don't know whether this business initially took on the name of the McGuire Manufacturing Company, or whether that name came a little later. We do know it had that name by 1893.

One of McGuire's first products, if not the first, was a power truck for streetcars and interurbans. It appears McGuire made his first electric trucks in 1888. The McGuire firm may therefore be the first in the United States to manufacture these essential components of trolley cars. But, by 1893, it was not the only one. An article in the Chicago Tribune dated February 5, 1893 tells how McGuire Manufacturing Company, "the largest electric truck manufacturer in the world," had beaten out "every truck manufacturer in America" for a contract to build 75 trucks for an electric road being built along the Niagara River from Niagara Falls to Queenstop, Ontario. The article states that McGuire won the contract based on "the grounds of general superiority." Electric trucks were not the only thing McGuire was building by 1893. On June 25, 1889, William McGuire was awarded a U.S. Patent for a grain car door. This area of McGuire's business would be sold off in 1889 to the newly-formed American Railway Equipment Company. We can't be sure just when McGuire expanded into the construction of complete cars, including snowplows and sweepers.

By 1902, McGuire had built a subsidiary plant in downstate Paris, IL, and was building freight and passenger cars for steam railroads as well as electric cars. The McGuire Manufacturing Company became McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company on January 1, 1904. William McGuire died just 3 months later. John J. Cummings of Chicago was President of the new concern. It appears that John Cummings may have had his own company, the Chicago Car Company, from about 1887 to 1890 (and perhaps as late as 1905). One point of interest concerning the organization of the McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company on January 1, 1904 is that it names BOTH the McGuire Manufacturing Company and the Cummings Chicago Car Company (entities we would have though had previously given way to McGuire-Cummings).

The 1908 Paris, IL city directory lists John J. Cummings as President of McGuire-Cummings. It further notes that the firm's offices are in Chicago and it manufactures cars, trucks and snow plows from a "branch factory" in Paris. While McGuire built cars for steam railways as well as for electric railways, their catalog for 1911 shows only electric railway equipment.

McGuire-Cummings moved its main plant from Chicago to Paris, IL in 1919. The 1921 Paris city directory lists the firm simply as McGuire-Cummings Company. On October 31, 1925, McGuire-Cummings was reorganized as the Cummings Car & Coach Company, operating from its plant in Paris, IL, but with offices at 111 W. Monroe St., Chicago. The factory covered 25 acres and produced street cars, passenger cars, city & interurban cars, sweepers, car trucks, gas & electric snow sweepers, snow plows and gas & electric buses. Electric locomotives were constructed and shipped worldwide. A 1930 Paris city directory shows the firm operating as the Cummings Car & Coach Co., "Builders of Street Cars, Gas, Electric Busses and Snow Fighting Equipment." Cummings quit building rail cars about that same time, but apparently continued to stock and supply parts until 1943. It was probably about that time (during the 2nd World War) that the factory became Midwest Body & Manufacturing Division (of McGuire-Cummings?), as it is so listed in the 1944 Paris city directory. During the war it manufactured bomb skids for the war effort.

THE MEN
William A. McGuire (1840-1904) was born in Niagara, Ontario, Canada, where he received his education and began his business career. He came to Chicago in 1863 where he engaged in the iron manufacturing business and founded the McGuire Manufacturing Company. John J. Cummings (1875?-1917?) was born in Illinois and educated at Armor Institute of Technology.
THE CARS - SNOW SWEEPERS
Standard Single Truck Sweeper with Long Brooms.
This machine is 28'-3" long (over all) and 10'-7" in height from the top of the rail to the top of the cab, which is a straight vestibule type. The machine is built to suit any gauge of track. The under framing is made entirely of steel, with the side sills consisting of 8" I beams. The end sills are 8" channels and the cross beams are 6" channels, diagonally braced with angles and held together at the corners with suitable gussets and heavy corner bands. All components are riveted together with 5/8" and 3/4" rivets.

The brooms are 32" in diameter, filled with the best grade rattan and made in 4 segments each. The broom driving shaft, located inside the cab, is of a diameter to suit the motor used. The broom pedestals are made of malleable iron. Brooms are raised and lowered by means of hand wheels, which are conveniently located on the inside of the cab. The side plows are built up of 1/4" steel, the standard being 24" in height and 6'-6" in length. They are arranged to be raised and lowered 8" and to clear a space of 4' on the outside of the rail. They are designed for instantaneous operation by means of hand wheels and levers on the inside of the cab. Sand boxes are of manufacturer's standard design and located in diagonal corners of the car.

This machine is exceptionally rigid. The ends of the car, which project beyond the trucks, are substantially braced with pipe braces, extending from the journal box pedestal to the diagonal corners of the underframe. The trucks are of the pedestal type using the standard 33" cast iron wheel, with a tread, flange and gauge to suit the track. Axels are of open hearth steel and are key-scaled to suit the motors which may be specified. The jam-tight design brakes are connected to the brake staffs located in each end of the car. Two 25HP motors are required to propel the car and one 25-30HP motor to operate the brooms. This machine weighs approximately 20,000 pounds, complete but without electrical equipment.