BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JACOBSEN
In 1891, Knud Ferdinand Jacobsen immigrated to Racine, Wisconsin, from Denmark. A skilled woodworker,
Jacobsen established a pattern-making shop where he made metal and wooden patterns for automobiles, agricultural
electrical equipment. His customers included J.T. Case, Harley
Davidson, and the Wisconsin & Waukasha Motor Company.
Jacobsen restructured his business as the Thor
Machine Works in 1917. In 1921, Knud Jacobsen and his son Oscar cofounded the Jacobsen Manufacturing Company. In
1921, the Thor Company released the 4-Acre
self-propelled gasoline-powered reel mower marketed through Jacobsen
Manufacturing. The 4-Acre Mower was followed by the Estate Mower in
1923 and the Power Geensmower in 1924. The Jacobsen Company continued
to produce mowers for estates and golf courses
throughout the 1920's and 1930's and was not affected adversely by the
Great Depression. Knud Jacobsen retired in 1939 and was
as President by his son, Oscar.
1945, Jacobsen Manufacturing purchased the Worthington Mower Company of
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, which produced gang mowers for golf
courses, parks and airfields. In 1949, the Worthington Company began making
Model G tractors using Ford tractor components, mostly for use in parks
and golf courses. The Worthington Company introduced new products
during the 1950's, such as a
tractor-mounted air compressor issued in 1955. Lawnmowers for golf
course maintenance and residential use were manufactured and
sold under the Worthington brand
name until the mid-1960's.
Jacobsen Company acquired the Johnston Lawn Mower Company of
which made light-weight hand mowers. Jacobsen used this division to
enter the residential mower market. Reel-type engine-powered mowers
introduced after World-War II included the Lawn Queen, the Lawn Prince,
the Lawn King, and the Estate, followed by the Manor, Pacer amd Park.
1948, Jacobsen purchased the Standard Manufacturing Company of Lebanon,
Indiana, a pioneer in the field of rotary lawn mowers.
1950's was a period of expansion into the homeowner market for
the Jacobsen Company. Products included trimmers, snowblowers,
electric starters for lawnmowers, grass catchers, and riding lawn
Javelin Riding Mower was released at the end of the 1940's, and the
Jacobsen Chief Garden Tractor was introduced in 1961. By the
mid-1960's, Jacobsen was making garden tractors for Ford, Oliver, Farmhand, Minneapolis-Moline, Cockshutt, Homelite and White, as well
companies. Jacobsen also made light tractors aimed
at the farm market, with innovative attachments to make the tractors
more useful and qualify them for tax breaks.
Jacobsen Company offered stock to the general public in 1952 to
raise capital needed for expansion. Also in 1952, the Jacobsen
Johnston lines were merged to reduce administrative expenses. In 1960,
the Johnston and Worthington Companies became divisions of the Jacobsen
had a strong presence in the international market. Exports began in 1924; by the late 1960's,
the company was shipping its products to over 75 countries. In 1967, a seperate export sales department was established.
Jacobsen line of products was greatly expanded and upgraded during the
1960's. During this period, the world's largest golf-course mower was
introduced--the Jacobsen F-20. The F-20 consisted of a 100 HP tractor
pulling nine cutting units capable of mowing a 19.7 foot swath and
12.35 acres per hour. Also during the 1960's, diesel engines became
available in some Jacobsen tractors.
1968, the Jacobsen
Company acquired the Rogers Manufacturing Company of Olathe, Kansas.
The Rogers Company produced institutional turf-care products such
as sweepers, aerators, tractor-powered blowers, and off-road
vehicles. In 1969, Jacobsen purchased Gamma, Inc., of Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Gamma made sod cutters, sand-trap edgers,
top-dressing spreaders, greens aeretors and machines for laying
underground irrigation system pipelines.
The Jacoben Company merged with Allegheny Ludlum in 1969.
Jacobsen around 1975 but continued to produce Jacobsen garden tractors
into the 1990's. During the 1990's, Textron was sold to the John Deere
Company and operated under its Homelite subsidiary. Homelite was sold
to an Asian group of investors in 2001. Textron continues to sell large
turf care and
maintenance equipment under the Jacobsen name.
The above information was taken from:
Jacobsen, Oscar Thorkild. The Jacobsen Story. Self published, 1977.
Wikipedia, The Free
H., III. Garden Tractors. Tractor Legacy Series. Voyageur Press, 2009.
A detailed history of the Jacobsen Company may be obtained by
clicking on The