Concrete Mixer Story

Concrete Mixer

Content Tools

6613 State Route 158, Millstadt, Illinois 62260-1741

I have a concrete mixer sold by Sears Roebuck & Company, to my father and his brother in the early 1920s. It had an Economy engine, with a Wico mag.

I remember this outfit at about the age of 10 and thereafter. From the age of about 16, 1 mixed many a load of concrete on the home place, as well as when it was loaned out to several farmers to pour foundations for chicken houses. My father would send me along with the mixer as I had a knack for keeping the engine running, and my help shoveling in the aggregate was always welcome. The mixer stayed in the family greenhouse business until 1987, when it passed on to the new owner. After seven years, I was able to purchase it back in October of 1994.

It was very well worn, and the last seven years, really much abused. I must have removed 65 pounds of concrete in and out of it. The lower half of the mixing drum was worn very thin and was rusted out badly, so the three sections were replaced with new 14 gauge material. Four new drum rollers and shafts were turned in my South Bend lathe to replace the old worn ones. About six welds were made to repair cracks in the cast iron parts. Also a bronze bearing for the main drive shaft was made to replace the worn out Babbitt bearing.

The restoration process was finished June 1995. If my memory serves me correctly, the original Economy engine, another Economy (used) like it, a 5 HP B & S, a ? HP electric motor, plus some tractor power by belt, furnished power for this mixer in the past.

I now have a Hercules 1 HP engine on it as of September 1997. The serial number is 304676. The engine looks identical to the Economy, except that it has a crank guard, which the Economy did not. The mounting bolt pattern on the Economy was 5 x 16 inches, while the Hercules is 5 x 20 inches. All cast iron parts of the mixer have an AM prefix. The large round main frame that supports the four rollers has A M 1 E on it. The rest of the cast iron parts are A M 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14.

I wrote to Sears Archives for information on the mixer and the engine. They sent me two copies from their 1928 Concrete Machinery Catalog, as well as a copy from their main catalog showing the earliest Economy 1 HP engine with Wico mag, in the 1924 issue. The mixer as seen on the copies is very much like mine, however: (1) My main frame channel is 4'. (2) My mixer never did have grease cups anywhere, only oil holes. (3) Never had a manufacturers name plate. (4) Mine had a Babbitt bearing on the main drive shaft. (5) Mine has cast iron rims and hub with steel spokes for wheels.

I would like to know where this mixer was made, as well as the years. On the bottom of the trailer model copy, it says, 'shipped from factory in Ohio.'