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Indiana State Library

Library > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > Finding Aid Index > J. D. Adams & Company J. D. Adams & Company

J. D. Adams & Company
1 Manuscript Box; 1 Hollinger Box

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

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Processed by:  Amy C. Belcher, 2003

Organizational Note:

The origins of J.D. Adams & Company are rooted in 1885 when Joseph D. Adams designed a road grader.  Although he had no degree or training in engineering his machine was a useful invention in the process of road creation and maintenance.  By the 1890s he established his own production company to make graders and steel highway bridges, as well as other items.  However, it was not until 1929 that the brothers, William and Roy Adams took over the business and formed J.D. Adams & Co., a corporation.  Until 1940 the brothers ran it together, however in that year William Ray Adams died.

After 1940, Roy E. Adams continued to control the bulk of the business with the help of the board.  On January 1, 1955, J.D. Adams & Company became a division of the LeTourneau-Westinghouse Company, at that time, J.D. Adams & Company stopped producing products and turned into an investment firm.  Roy E. Adams continued the company’s leadership until his death in September of 1956, at which time family members of the original parent company ceased to be present in its management. 

In 1958, the investment firm that J.D. Adams & Co. had become, merged with State Street Investment Corporation.  It became a division of that corporation.  As for the manufacturing that J.D. Adams & Co. originally took part in, it became part of another roadway equipment company and the graders that Joseph D. Adams had originally designed and inspired were continued in production by WABCO.   

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists primarily of three parts.  One part is that of annual, financial and various other business reports.  This portion holds annual reports from 1929 until 1957, as well as other business records.  The second portion of the collection are photocopies of photographs and pictures illustrating the company, its employees and machines from around 1932 until 1974.  The last part of the collection consists of the catalogs that the company used to aid their salespeople and guide buyers to purchase what would work best for their needs.  The catalogs cover are from both J.D. Adams & Co. and WABCO, the company that continued the Adams machine production when it finished running its own production of graders.  

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1.

1. Howard Meeker Retirement information, Oct. 1955-July 1956, n.d. 
2. Annual Reports, 1929-1936
3. Annual Reports, 1937-1944
4. Annual Reports, 1945-1951
5. Annual Reports, 1953-1957
6. Merger J.D. Adams & Co. and State Street Investment Corp., 1957-1958
7. Tributes William Ray Adams, 1940; Tributes and Obituaries Roy E. Adams, 1956 [?]
8. Business Reports, various dates, 1945, 1947, 1954
9. Business Reports, various dates, 1955
10. Business Reports, various dates, 1956-1958 and n.d.
11. Photocopy of Scrapbook photographs; the company, the employees, the machinery
12. Photocopies of photographs, various dates 1932-1936/37, 1947, 1949, 1950-1954
13. Photocopies of photographs, various dates 1955-1959, 1961-1963, 1965, 1968, 1973-1974, n.d.
14. Radio Broadcast Script, 1938; Awards/Recognition 1973, 1975, 1977; Adams’
First Motor Grader information, n.d.

Box 2.

1. Grader Attachment and Upgrade Maintenance Catalogs, n.d. 
2. Grader Catalogs, n.d.
3. Grader Catalogs, n.d.
4. Equipment Catalogs, (excludes graders), n.d.
5. WABCO Motor Grader/Equipment Catalogs, n.d.
6. WABCO Motor Grader/Equipment Catalogs, n.d.
7. WABCO Motor Grader/Equipment Catalogs, n.d.
8. Rivinco Manufacturing Catalogs, 1966

Box 2.  Bound Volumes

 Adams Road Machinery, Catalogs and Sales Guides
 Adams Road Machinery, Catalogs and Sales Guides
 Adams Road Machinery, Catalogs and Sales Guides
 J.D. Adams Company, Catalogs and Sales Guides
 J.D. Adams Company, Catalogs and Sales Guides

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 1 ms box, 1 Hollinger box
Collection Dates: 1929-1977
Provenance: Unknown
Restrictions: None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None
Notes: None