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This is the first edition of the history of the Springfield, Ohio manufacturer of Springfield lawn and garden equipment in the 1950s and 60s. As I uncover more information I will add to the history and republish the article.

I believe Quick MFG, Inc. to have been founded and run by James L. Quick, of which I can find very little information about. The only connection I have found between James L. Quick and Quick MFG was a patent he applied for in 1954 and received in August 1958 involving a garden tiller. In the patent (No. 2,847,924) there was a sentence stating that "James L. Quick of Springfield, Ohio assigned said patent to Quick MFG, Inc. of Springfield, Ohio." I am not certain as to what other interest James L. Quick would have to assign his patent to Quick MFG other than that he was an owner, and probably a founder of the company.

Update, found a book from 1959 with one line in it naming "James L. Quick as the President of Quick Manufacturing Company in Springfield, Oh."

Quick MFG, Inc. began at the address of 3372 S. Limestone St. in Springfield, Ohio. I obtained the address from the earliest ad I could find which was in the April 1951 edition of Popular Mechanics. Upon looking this address up it appears to be residential currently, which would make me believe that Quick MFG was operated out of a basement or garage in the beginning. The next address I found was from an ad in the January 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics which was 3257 E. Main St. and seemed consistent for the next several years, with exception to renumbering of the street addresses in the late 1950s. I have located a 1950s picture of this structure (above) and have found the building to still exist. JMS Composites are the current occupants of the old Quick MFG building that is now 3240 E. National Road.

The third and final location of Quick MFG was 256 Linden Ave., which no longer has a building on it. So far I have been unable to locate any pictures of the building on Linden Ave. from any time period. I have yet to determine when Quick MFG moved their operations to the Linden Ave. address because all of their ads in the late 50s and then into the 60s used "The House of Power" as their address. I know all of their manuals had the actual addresses printed on them but I have yet to acquire enough to make the actual determination. My best guess would be that operations moved around 1960 when they introduced their "Model 36" riding tractors (with a 36" mowing cut). Update, I purchased a pile of Springfield service bulletins and the earliest one I have is 1957, in which they mailed it from 256 Linden Avenue, so they were operating at that location in 1957.

Quick MFG had a vast array of equipment available including walk-behind tractors, rotary tillers, rotary mowers, snow throwers, riding mowers, and garden tractors. They even had a 3 wheeled golf cart in 1961, which I have yet to find in real, but have seen a manual for it in the Manuals section of Garden Tractor Talk. The majority was sold under the "Springfield" brand name with exception to some of their garden tractors. Quick MFG had some deal with Montgomery Wards around 1964 in which they were selling their tractors in the Montgomery Wards line-up as "Squire" tractors. The only noticeable difference for those models is a gold paint scheme and unique cast iron grill. I have also seen some of Quick MFG's garden tractors branded as "Farmcrest." They also sold them through Western Auto branded as "Wizard," but I have yet to find any examples of this in my travels. Most of the Quick MFG equipment was painted a reddish-orange color until 1965 in which they went to orange. There was usage of other colors including green, white, and possibly yellow as well, making for an array of color schemes in the history of the equipment Quick MFG produced.

When it came to parts selection Quick MFG outsourced the bigger items such as engines and transaxles. The engines they used on their equipment were Clinton, Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, and Tecumseh in either vertical or horizontal shaft orientations depending on the machine it was going on. When it came to the transaxles on their riding mowers and garden tractors Quick MFG chose Peerless to produce the transaxles for them. As for tires, the choice on the majority of the tractors, at least the riding tractors, was Goodyear brand, with exception to Montgomery Wards versions, which used MW's Riverside branded tires. I have not investigated any more of the parts sources for Quick MFG as like most manufacturers of the era the suppliers of their parts were shared, with mainly proprietary differences in the overall designs of the machines utilizing the parts.

The downfall of Quick MFG, Inc. began with the lawsuit in July of 1964 in which Simplicity Manufacturing sued them for a patent infringement on one of their rotary tillers being produced. The infringement was for the power-reversing function of the tines to allow the tiller to back up under its own power. Unfortunately for Quick MFG they did not win this lawsuit and had to pay Simplicity's legal fees as well as a fee for every tiller that they sold that was ruled in violation. They also had to cease production on said tiller and had their own legal fees to pay. In January 1966, Quick MFG appealed the case against them from Simplicity, but the decision in 1964 stood. Quick MFG applied for a rehearing in March but were denied their request. I would guess that this was the final nail in the coffin for Quick MFG as they sold their operations to Toro which was effective August 1, 1966 (I have a letter to a customer from Toro in 1968). Toro continued to produce the Springfield equipment under the Toro name for several years to come.

Written by: Casey Shive

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