Turner Mfg. Co.

Turner’s “Simplicity” engines were very well known. In 1915, the Turner “Simplicity” tractor came onto the market in two sizes, the 12-20 and the 14-25. Sales were good in 1916 and in 1917 but with the end of World War I, the reconversion of manufacturing plants from war material back to tractors created unbearable competition.

Manufacture Logo


Western Malleable & Gray Iron Manufacturing Company was established in Milwaukee in 1872. Iron castings were the chief livelihood until 1900 when they got into the gas engine business. By 1902, they built gas engines exclusively. The company moved to Port Washington, Wisconson in 1909, and in 1911 the name was changed to Turner Manufacturing Company. L. M. Turner designed the engines and apparently was in control of the company when the name was changed. Turner Manufacturing Company went into receivership in 1918 with heavy losses to its stockholders. The liquidation was completed in 1920. Upon liquidation, William J. Niederkorn, Turner’s former sales manager, and a partner, Francis Bloodgood bout out the remaining inventory and the “Simplicity” name for $11,000. In 1921, they formed the Simplicity Manufacturing Company to build cylinder boring machines. In 1937, Montgomery Ward asked Simplicity to build a small garden tractor. It was very popular and before long, Simplicity had a complete line of lawn and garden equipment with a nationwide dealer network. A riding garden tractor came out in 1939, and a riding lawn mower appeared in 1958. Simplicity began building riding lawn mowers for Allis-Chalmers Company in 1961, under the Allis-Chalmers name, and in 1965, Simplicity was sold to Allis-Chalmers.


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