ASME-Landmark:Rumely Companies' Agricultural Products


Beginning with the 1853 blacksmith shop of German immigrant Meinrad Rumely (1823-1904), this successive family of firms invented and produced a line of agricultural equipment that played a vital role in the evolution of farming, from the muscle of humans and animals to the power of the steam and ultimately to the internal-combustion engine.

The M. & J. Rumely Co. became the M. Rumely Co., and then the Advance Rumely Co., and the Allis-Chalmers Company acquired the business in 1931. Although Allis-Chalmers is known for other products, such as gas engines and turbines, the company today is one of the country's largest producer of plows, discs, harrows, planters, self-propelled cotton strippers and cultivators. The 112-acre plant, which includes some of the original Rumely buildings, is located on Pine Lake Ave. A memorial stone, which includes ASME's landmark plaque, marks the original site of the blacksmith shop at La Porte Hospital (since 1972) on Lincolnway.

In addition to their contributions to agricultural equipment, the Rumelys served the railroads, and other products have included baby carriages, bicycles, wagons, wool, bread, slicing machines for the food industry, pianos, radiators, office furniture, picture frames, doors and windows, air ventilating machinery, machine tools, castings for jet engines, boxes, industrial film, plastic materials, rollers for printing presses, plastic containers, cans, and airplane wings and tanks during the years of World War II. As Allis-Chalmers, it closed its La Porte plant in 1982. The La Porte County Historical Museum and the La Porte County Library have collections on Rumely. See ASME website for more information