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Lyncoach & Truck Corp.; Lyncoach & Truck Co. of Alabama
Lyncoach & Truck Corp., 1954-1972; Oneonta, New York; Lyncoach & Truck Co. of Alabama,1960-present; Troy, Alabama
Associated Firms
Linn Trailer Mfg Corp., Linn Mfg Corp., Linn Coach and Truck Corp., Linn Tractor Co.

The handwriting was on the wall and with its government work winding down, and no new products under development, Great American Industries began looking for a buyer for their Oneonta subsidiary. The April 21, 1954 Oneonta Star reported on the pending closure of the Linn Coach plant and what progress had been made in the search for a buyer:

“New Industry Negotiating for Purchase of Linn Plant Here - May Expand Operation If Deal is Closed.

“Sale of Linn Coach and Truck plant in West End to another industry, which may operate it on a larger scale, is under negotiation, it was announced yesterday by Manager William Buck. Mr. Buck said there is a good chance that the transaction will be completed, and that the plant will continue in operation where Linn leaves off.

“The Linn company will discontinue operation June 1, when existing contracts are completed, Mr. Buck said. The decision was reached yesterday after a two-day visit here by Robert Dunlap of Hartford, Conn., president of Great American Industries, Inc., which has headquarters In Meriden, Conn.

“The West End plant is properly described as Linn Coach and Truck Division of Great American Industries, a name given it when the parent company took possession in 1946. At present the Linn plant is finishing work on two Air Force contracts totaling about $1,500,000. One for ten dental trailers, the other for 818 bomb trailers.

“These jobs will be finished mid-May, Mr. Buck said, and all other odds and ends of work will be wound up by June 1, he added. Since the plant was taken over eight years ago it has lived from one contract to another, mostly government contracts, some for the government of Cuba but most for U. S. government. The plant now has 126 employees, and within the past two months it reached its largest personnel with 160 to 170.

“‘The plant is up for sale, and we are negotiating with an industry, which I can't name now,’ Mr. Buck said. ‘There is a good chance that this industry will take over and operate on a larger scale than we did. Our president has a deep feeling for Oneonta, and would like to see things left in good shape here. The men we employed are fine . . . they are intelligent men and good workers, and the word has been passed along the line, it ought to help in putting this plant under the operation of a new Industry.’”

Three weeks later, the Oneonta Star announced the pending sale of the firm’s assets in its May 10, 1954 edition:

“Two Bids Made for Linn Plant; Deal May be Closed Today - One Firm May Operate Plant, Employ 200

“Two prospective buyers of the Linn Coach and Truck Division plant in West End will meet this forenoon with executives of the parent organization, Great American Industries Inc., in the latter's main office in Meriden, Connecticut. Whether the plant will be bought and operated by a new industry likely will be determined at this conference.

“William Buck, manager of the Linn plant, said one firm wishes to buy only the machinery with intent to move it while the other wishes to buy both the building and machinery with intent to operate a new business employing upwards of 200 persons.

“If a deal is closed, the new buyer will come to Oneonta tomorrow, Mr. Buck said. The firm which wants the building and machinery, Mr. Buck said, is located in Pennsylvania, and is engaged in fabrication of steel. Apparently the other firm which wants only the machinery, is offering a better price for it than the Pennsylvania company.

“Mr. Buck said Great American Industries hopes for sale of both to one buyer ‘so nothing will he moved out of Oneonta . . . they want the business kept here if possible.’

“Announcement was made recently that the Linn plant will close June 1. It was also announced then that the company was in contact with a prospective buyer who might continue the plant in operation.”

The meeting resulted in the sale of Linn Coach’s tools and equipment to the Electric Equipment Company of 63 Curlew St., Rochester, New York (Electric, not Electrical as the paper states below). Founded in 1934 by Irving S. Norry, the firm specialized in purchasing electric-powered tools and equipment of bankrupt firms, which were then warehoused and resold to other businesses.

The Electric Equipment Co. was the sales subsidiary of the Norry Electric Corp. which claimed to have the “World Largest Inventory” of electric motors and generators. A related firm, the Ajax Electric Motor Corp., manufactured new electric motors, starters and transformers which were distributed through the other firms. The Electric Equipment Co. was reorganized as the Norry Electric Equipment Co. sometime around 1970.

Norry also purchased the manufacturing facilities of failed businesses and by the time of his death in 1997 owned commercial and industrial properties in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Although Norry’s electric companies faded from the scene in the 1990s, his commercial real estate investment firm, the Norry Management Corp., remains a major player in the field.

The May 20, 1954 edition of the Oneonta Star announced the sale of the equipment to Norry:

“Linn Plant Machinery Sold. Buyer Also Bids For Building

“Daniel Sutch of Meriden, Conn., vice president of Great American Industries Inc., announced in Oneonta last night that the company had sold the machinery and equipment of Linn Coach and Truck Division, West End, to The Electrical Equipment Co. of Rochester.

“About 300 pieces, Including, jigs and fixtures, are to be moved out by July 1, Mr. Sutch said. Meanwhile, negotiations are under way for sale of the building, but nothing definite has been concluded. “The building has been privately offered, and if not accepted shortly it will offered publicly," Mr. Sutch said.

“The Rochester firm "has indicated they have some interest in the building but they haven't put down any money yet," Mr. Sutch said. From other sources it was learned that “the price was the point at issue and if agreement could be reached the Rochester firm would move in and operate a business in the plant.

“Another possible buyer of the building is a steel fabricating firm in Pennsylvania, but the height of the ceiling is a stumbling block, Mr. Sulch said. A height of 20 feet is desired but the Linn building's ceiling is 15 feet at the highest. The Pennsylvania firm had considered taking the plant, even with its low ceiling, and using it for manufacture of light stuff, but no word has come from the firm in recent days.

“The Linn plant has virtually completed all its contract work, Mr. Sutch said, and will shut down on June 1 as previously announced. Yesterday the plant had 22 men on the payroll, and at its maximum it had 170 employees, Manager William Buck said. Mr. Sutch said all personnel connected with the Linn plant would be severed, including Mr. Buck, who will return to his home in Buffalo. 'The company has made numerous attempts to secure products for the plant,' Mr. Sutch said, 'but these have been unsuccessful, resulting in recurrent prohibitive operational losses.'”

Linn Coach & Truck’s inventory and raw materials were purchased by the Otsego Iron & Metal Corp. of Oneonta. Over the next few months, the firm ran the following classified ad in a number of regional newspapers:

“Liquidating; Having purchased the complete inventory of raw material and parts of the Linn Coach And Truck Co., we are offering same for sale at prices way below manufacturer's cost.

“Tons-Tons-Tons; New prime steel in all shapes and forms. New aluminum sheets and plates. New stainless steel sheets. Diamond plate, etc.

“1,001- Different New Parts For Building Trailers of All Kinds

“Paint: Hundreds of gallons paint, reducer, primers, copper tubing and fittings, electric automotive supplies, hardware, bolts and nuts, all sizes of steel and wood work tables and benches, vises. Many more items too numerous to mention.

“Everything offered subject to prior sale. Otsego Iron & Metal Corp. Rose Ave. Oneonta - Phone 1768”

For all intents and purposes the Linn Truck & Coach Company was gone. However, James M. Friery, the firm’s comptroller and Frank E. Humphries, its chief engineer, saw an opportunity and started making inquiries with the US Government.

Since G.A.I. would not relinquish the Linn name, a similar one, 'Lyncoach,' was substituted on the contracts.

The government was interested and within the month the pair had been awarded a half-million dollar contract. With financing provided by a small group of Oneonta–based investors who included attorney Harold C. Vrooman, Friery and Humphreys formed the Lyncoach & Truck Company and rented a 5,000 sq foot garage at 95 W. Broadway, Oneonta.

July 22, 1954 Oneonta Star:

“Manufacturing Firm Started Here: Government Contract Is Awarded

“By Bob Warner, Star Staff Writer

“Formation of a new firm to preserve the Linn Coach brand name and continue to supply parts, etc., was revealed yesterday by a government announcement of the award of a $33,255 contract for the replenishment of 42 tactical vehicles.

“Announcement of the contract was made, by the field service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, on behalf of the Ordinance Tank-Automotive Center, Detroit, Mich.

“James Friery, plant manager, said that a new company, to be known as Lyncoach & Truck Co. had been organized. It has not yet been incorporated, but probably will become a corporation, Mr. Friery said.

“‘This is not a big thing,’ Mr. Friery said, ‘We are just getting started. In addition to the government contract, we have some smaller orders.’

“The new company, Mr. Friery revealed, also plans to manufacture fire escapes, and has several orders on hand.

“‘A lot of people are going to install fire escapes,’ Mr. Friery commented. He said the new firm is also bidding on contracts for television units.

“The company has rented the new building of Angelo Scavo on West Broadway, with 5,000 square feet of floor space.

“‘We are just getting organized,’ Mr. Friery said. ‘We will employ some of the old workers, but right now we have no idea how many we can employ.’

“Some of the necessary welding operations, he said, will be sublet to other concerns in the city or area, and if necessary, other operations may be sublet. He said the firm hopes to be able to do much of its own assembly work.

“Frank Humphreys, who also was connected with the old Linn Coach & Truck Division, has joined the new firm as chief engineer.”

September 7 1954 issue of the Oneonta Star:

“New Industry Has Five Army Contracts, Bids For Six More; 'Coming Along Nicely’ Says James Friery

“The newly formed Lyncoach & Truck Co., at 95 West Broadway, which began operation July 15, now has five Army Ordnance contracts and is bidding on six others.

“‘From a small beginning, we're feeling our way,’ Manager James M. Friery said, ‘and things are coming along fine.’

“Already a contract for 42 gunmount trailers is more than half completed, Mr. Friery said, and work is progressing on four smaller contracts. The five contracts run over $40.000.

“Mr. Friery has rented the large new building that has 5,000 square feet of floor space, and has bought some of the machines from the former Linn Coach & Truck Division in West End, with which he had been associated.

“Frank Humphreys, a former chief engineer of the West End plant, is working with Mr. Friery in the same capacity. Seven men are employed at the plant now, and some of the special machine work is sublet to firms in Syracuse.

“The personnel naturally will fluctuate with the contracts, Mr. Friery pointed out. He said he was keeping his fingers crossed on the bids he has made, and while hopeful, he would not indulge in expansive prophecies.

“‘We have plenty of room for expansion,’ he said, ‘and we plan to do some special all-make bodies and complete trailers. But I want to repeat that we are not talking in big terms, we're just making a start and hoping, and things are looking pretty good.”

April 5, 1956 Oneonta Star:

“Revived Industry Give Oneonta Shot-in-the-Arm; Lyncoach to Expand Operations

“It's hard to keep a good man down. In fact, one of Oneonta's world known products is proving that it is practically impossible.

“Linn Coach & Truck Co., established many years ago to make trailers on a new idea, made a good product, but had difficulties, and was taken over by Great American Industries.

“During the war and immediately thereafter, the division blossomed into a major industry for the community, but as military orders and orders for specialized trailers from other governments and public bodies tapered oil, it again ran into difficulties.

“But its products was sound - finely crafted equipment for specialized mobile units. James M. Friery, who was comptroller of the Division, and Frank E. Humphreys, its chief engineer, still had confidence in the soundness and desirability of their product. Alter the division closed its doors and sold both the plant and its equipment, they joined forces and formed Lyncoach & Truck Co.

“The two men made no attempt to carry on a business on a big scale. Their ideas was to be able to service the products of the former concern, and to take on specialized jobs as they might be able to get them.

“A few of the master craftsmen who had been with the old company were welcome employees of the new. This small firm started off well, and gradually grew, calling back more and more of the men who knew the fine work necessary.

“They acquired quarters at 93 West Broadway. The staff grew to about 23 men with a weekly payroll of $2,000. Not content with sitting back and waiting for business to come to them, they started out to find types of enterprises where their product could be utilized profitably.

“For example, veterinarians of the nation were circularized with a questionnaire to determine what type of mobile unit would be most valuable to their profession. On the basis of several hundred replies to that questionnaire, Lyncoach developed a veterinary trailer which many veterinarians have purchased. In the meantime, the big plant in West End stood virtually idle, stripped of its ponderous machines.

“Soon it will be humming again, because Lyncoach is going home.

“Mr. Friery and Mr. Humphreys have leased the main building from its purchaser, Donald Sutler, and about May 1 will transfer their work to the old plant. Ail their equipment is new and modem, and Mr. Friery said the company has a substantial backlog of orders which will keep the men busy for a long time. Moreover, they are bidding on at least six government contracts, and, Mr. Friery said, ‘we are sure we will get our share of them.’

“Mr. Friery has consistently maintained that he would rather have a slow, steady and healthy growth for the company than a recurrence of the ‘boom and bust’ days of the past. But he admitted that the main reason for the move back to the old location is to provide room for increased work. He expects that within a short time his work force will double—meaning jobs for about 50 men.

“The company’s careful, specialized work has, during the past year or two, established a reputation at one of the foremost producers of mobile equipment for such industries as television.

“A new dental office trailer illustrative of the equipment now produced rolled off the lines the other day, and yesterday was put on display on Main Street in front of Oneonta Department Store.

“In the new plant, the firm will be able not only to produce its specialized equipment, engineered to meet the particular needs of its different customers, but also will be able to produce standard bodies on more of a mass production basis Lyncoach is on the way up— a revived industry contributing to the sound economy of Oneonta.”

Lyncoach’s old West Broadway plant was subsequently leased to the King Products Co., a Carterel, New Jersey-based manufacturer of variegated lighting fixtures.

September 21, 1956 issue of the Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Doing Work For Brazil: Medical Coaches Cost $200,000

“Six Vehicles Will Promote Public Health

“Oneonta's department of foreign relations that being Lyncoach & Truck Co., is now doing business with Brazil.

“From the improvised assembly line in West End, combination medical and dental coaches are moving down to Rio, there to fan out into countless small villages to extend a broad program of public health to the natives.

“Into these big mobile units, each bearing the stamp, ‘Made in Oneonta,’ will troop many thousands of Brazilians to have their chests and teeth x-rayed and otherwise get medical examination.

“Already three of these units have been completed and sent to New York for shipment below the equator, and three more are under construction.

“James M. Friery, president of Lyncoach, explained that his firm receives the x-ray equipment ready-made, and that he installs it in the coaches which he makes. He estimated that each coach, when built and equipped, costs around $35,000, the total thus approximating $200,000.

“The units are similar to the seven dental coaches which Lyncoach made for U.S. Air Force. The coaches for Brazil were designed and sold by *Medical Coaches Inc., 16 Dietz St., about which a feature story will appear soon in these columns.

“Last year, Lyncoach made three smaller medical coaches for the Canadian government. Mr. Friery had no idea what part of the world would be their destination until they were finished. Then he was notified to deliver them to New York City for shipment to Ceylon.

“The made-in-Oneonta vehicles are now bringing better health to the hinterlands teeming with millions of Ceylonese.

“Oneonta coaches also have gone to Egypt, Cuba and other foreign lands. Altogether, about 30 have been turned out since Mr. Friery and Frank E. Humphreys founded Lyncoach & Truck Co., following the closing of Linn Coach & Truck Division of Greet American Industries.

“Starting with four men they now have about 30, and from a relatively small location on West Broadway they have moved back into the original Linn plant in West End.

“While wining up the contract with Brazil, Mr. Friery and Mr. Humphreys are doing some U.S. Government work in a small way as a preliminary to bidding on some big work.”

*Originally founded in 1949, Medical Coaches Inc. was a New York City-based marketer of portable medical vehicles to domestic and international public health agencies. The firm sub-contracted the actual manufacture of the vehicles to the Linn Coach & Truck division of Great American Industries, which was located in Oneonta, New York.

Business increased to the point where Linn Coach & Truck created a separate mobile health division to oversee the vehicle’s manufacture. When a strike forced the closure of Linn Coach & Truck in late 1953, manufacture of the firm’s Medicoaches was taken over by Linn Coach & Truck’s successor, the similarly named Lyncoach & Truck Co. Inc.

Medical Coaches relocated to 16 Dietz St., Oneonta in 1955 in order to more closely oversee the manufacture of their products.

February 23, 1957 Oneonta Star:

“A made-In-Oneonta product was seen in the traffic stream moving up Main Street yesterday. It was the Nestle's Hospitality Caravan, designed and sold by Medical Coaches, Inc., 16 Dietz St., and manufactured by Lyncoach & Truck Co, West End. The big blue and cream coach is to tour the country, giving away samples of Nestle products. It was delivered two weeks ago and yesterday happened to come back through Oneonta on its ‘Hospitality’ Tour. Last year another one like it was made and delivered to Nestle.”

January 29, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Purchases Sales Rights

“The Lyncoach and Truck Co., Inc., of Oneonta, has purchased the manufacture and sales rights for aluminum truck body kits from Reynolds Metals Co., together with all existing inventories, tooling, and assembly fixtures.

“The sale was announced jointly by David P. Reynolds, vice-president in charge of sales for the aluminum firm, and Lyncoach President James M. Friery. The action was taken, Mr. Reynolds said because the Reynolds truck body program ‘has achieved its objective of stimulating wider use of aluminum on the truck and trailer industry.’

“Mr. Friery said that the newly acquired tools and inventory will enable Lyncoach and Truck Co., to ‘greatly enlarge the scope of its operation.’

“For a number of years Lyncoach coach has been a leading designer and manufacturer of custom built coaches, medical units, trucks and trailers for both industry and the armed forces.

“Frank E. Humphreys, vice-president and chief engineer of Lyncoach, advised that the jigs and fixtures were now being assembled at the Lyncoach plant and shipments of truck bodies would begin in late January to former Reynolds dealers and to new dealers set up by Lyncoach.

“The Reynolds program which has been carried out to approximately 40 dealers was built around aluminum kits and fabricated parts for two basic types of truck body kits - an outside post model and a beaded panel model. Optional items included smooth panel sides, aluminum doors, and truck flooring.

“The program, according to Mr. Reynolds, was successfully promoted on the basis of aluminum's light weight ‘reducing dead load by as much as 40 percent.’ The minimum maintenance required because of its freedom from rust and its heat reflectivity, which helps keep interiors as much as 13 degrees cooler.

“He said that Reynolds, as a basic producer will continue to supply aluminum to manufacturers of truck and trailer bodies. He predicted that the industry will grow in importance as a market for aluminum.

“According to the contract, Lyncoach will supply service parts to all former Reynolds' Truck-Body Dealers.”

May 10, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“Army Lets $650,000 Job To Lyncoach Plant Here

“Jupiter Job Awarded To Oneonta Firm

“An Army contract of approximately $650,000 has been awarded to Lyncoach & Truck Co. Inc., West End.

“The contract is for electrical equipment trailers which will be used in the Jupiter missile program. The announcement was made yesterday in Rochester by Lt. Col. W.B. Loomis, commanding officer of U.S. Army Ordnance District.

“The commanding officer said the ‘selection of this company to make the trailers was based on quality of work of the company in making vehicles previously for use in the Jupiter missile program.’

“The contract is to be carried out this year and may start within 30 days. It is for manufacture of big four-wheel trailers. Elsewhere they wilt be fitted with electronic equipment.

“In carrying out about $2,000,000 of government work last year, Lyncoach & Truck Co. made a lot of trailers. Inspectors gave the trailers a superlative rating, and on the basis of this, the company got another contract without having to enter into competitive bidding.

“The company, headed by James M. Friery, has Frank E. Humphreys as engineer. Both were with the original Linn Coach and Truck Division of Great American Industries.

“When that firm closed its plant at Chestnut and Oneida Streets, Mr. Friery and Mr. Humphreys formed a new company and began operation in a small way on West Broadway.

“They made mobile dental units and other custom vehicles, starting with a hall dozen men. Soon they had expanded to 25 men. Then they needed more space and moved into the quarters in West End where the original Linn Plant had been.”

June 17, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach To Expand Overseas

“Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc., is extending its operations into the foreign markets, James F. Friery, president, announced yesterday.

“‘Our new export department,’ Mr. Friery said, ‘will take Lyncoach Mobile Health Units and our Aluminum Truck Bodies to the four corners of the world.’

“This new department will be under the direction of Joseph H. Sanchez, who has had over 15 years experience in the Export Field.

“It was also announced that exclusive distribution contracts covering the Latin American markets were signed with the firm of Oscar D. O'Neill, Inc., of New York City.

“This firm, long established in Latin American Trade circles, over the years has represented such highly regarded companies such as Ritter Co., Westinghouse Electrical International, Hamilton Mfg. Co. and many other leading U. S. manufacturers.

“‘Working together with our export department,’ Mr. Sanchez said, ‘the O'Neill organization will represent Lyncoach throughout South and Central America. The highly trained resident and traveling, force of technical and sales personnel maintained by O'Neill will assure our clients of the highest caliber on-the- spot assistance possible for the effective development of their Mobile Health programs.

“Arrangements for the distribution of Lyncoach units in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Near East are presently being developed.”

August 16, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“First Atomic Lab Made Here

“A made-in-Oneonta contribution to the International Atomic Energy Exposition is on the high seas, bound for Geneva, Switzerland, there to become a world celebrity. It is a mobile radioisotope laboratory costing about $56,000, made at Lyncoach and Truck Co. Inc., 443 Chestnut St. The big vehicle is the first of its kind and is one of two which United States is presenting to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“It was completed Monday and driven to New York City, there to be hoisted aboard a ship Thursday with Joseph Sanchez of Lyncoach present. Work on another has started at Lyncoach.

“Two technicians, Harry E. Kimball and Harry Williams of Oak Ridge, Tenn., were here for two weeks representing the Institute of Nuclear Studies. Both checked out of Oneonta Hotel Tuesday.

“This nuclear classroom on wheels will be part of the U. S. display at the Second International Exhibition of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy - a commercial exhibit. The United States Atomic Energy Commission provided The Oneonta Star with the following information:

“After the exhibition closes, the laboratory, which is completely equipped for basic training in radio isotopes handling techniques, will be sent to IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

“The commercial exhibit will be presented in the Palais des Expositions in down town Geneva September 1 to 13 at the same time that the United Nations Second International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy is in progress at the Geneva Palais de Nations.

“The two laboratory units were offered to IAEA by United States as part of the atoms-for-peace program proposed by President Eisenhower in a speech before United Nations December 8, 1953.

“The laboratories will enable IAEA to initiate, for interested countries, a program similar to the radioisotopes training courses offered by the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) at Oak Ridge, Tenn., thus enabling foreign universities and research institutions to give such instructions.

“The mobile units were designed by ORINS at the request of the Atomic Energy Commission. The first unit was put aboard the S.S. American Archer of the United States Lines and will arrive at Rotterdam, Holland, August 24. From there they will be driven to Geneva.

“Equipment in the laboratory includes:

“Medical spectrophotometers, radium safe or vault, latest equipment to measure and count radio isotopes, air conditioning and heating, three fume hoods, compressor and pump, 120-gallon gasoline tank, 60-gallon water tank, 40-gallon stainless steel waste tank, special venting system for fume hoods and special retractable smoke stack which can be raised above the unit to disperse radioactive fumes so as not to contaminate the unit.

“Lyncoach was given just 30 days to build the unit so as to meet the shipping date. The designer mentioned in the AEC new release furnished the layout, telling what he wanted, not how to do it. The problem of designing the equipment, such as the fume hoods, retractable smoke stack, etcetera, had to be solved by Lyncoach.

“The second unit is to be ready in about one month.

“The self-contained, bus-type unit is about 35 feet in length and carries its own 10-killowatt generator to provide power for the training equipment. It will accommodate six students at each session. The total cost of each laboratory, including the equipment, will be paid from the Mutual Security funds which have been made available to the commission by the United States International Cooperation Administration.

“A model of the laboratory was presented to Sterling Cole, director general of the IAEA in Vienna on April 29, 1958, by Robert McKinney, head of the United States delegation to the IAEA, at the time that he announced the United States offer to the international agency.”

August 29, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“For State of Idaho Oneonta Firm Manufactures Mobile Dental Laboratory

“Lyncoach & Truck Co., West End, is manufacturing a mobile dental laboratory for Idaho State Health Department, according to James M. Friery, president.

“The unit is similar to others, which the Oneonta firm has turned out for states and foreign countries.

“When this job is completed, Mr. Friery said, work will start in on the second mobile radioisotopes laboratory for U. S. Atomic Energy Commission.

“The first made-in-Oneonta atomic laboratory was completed and delivered August 14 to Pier 74, Manhattan, there to be loaded onto a freighter which arrived Saturday at Rotterdam, Holland.

“The lab proceeded under its own power to Geneva, Switzerland, for public viewing at the Second International Exhibition of Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.

“The $56,000 self-contained, bus-type unit is about 35 feet long and carries its own 10-kilowatt generator to provide power for the training equipment. It will accommodate six students at each session.

“It is completely equipped for basic training in the techniques of handling radioisotopes. After the Geneva exhibition it will go to Vienna, Austria, to the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

December 8, 1958 Oneonta Star:

“For Rural Service Oneonta Firm Builds Medical Unit for State Health Dept.

“The State of New York is planning to extend its public health program into rural areas, and to that end a mobile medical screening unit is being manufactured at Lyncoach & Truck Co. Inc., West End.

“The spacious 35-foot vehicle likely will be finished in January, and may see initial service in Oneonta area.

“It is being made for the Department of Chronic Diseases and Geriatrics, State Health of Health, and will be equipped for:

“Screening and diagnosis of diabetes, mass chest x-ray examinations, electrocardiograms, dental x-ray examinations, topical fluoride treatment (painting teeth with fluoride), and complete medical examinations.

“Dr. Hermann E. Hilleboe, commissioner of health, and Dr. Frank Reynolds, head of the Department of Chronic Diseases, State Department of Health, are pushing the program.

“The unit being made here represents a pilot program, if it works out satisfactorily the state may order four others, one a year for four years making five in all.

“Joseph R. Sanchez, manager of the mobile health division of Lyncoach, said the unit under construction is more complete than the one made several years ago for International Ladies Garment Workers Union.

“Work was begun on this unit soon after Lyncoach completed and delivered its second Mobile Radio Isotope Training Laboratory for U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

“The new unit is now at Oak Ridge, Tenn., where portable equipment is being installed. Mr. Sanchez said the word he got is that the unit will be exhibited in Washington, D. C., then sent to South America.

“The first AEC lab was delivered in August and sent to Geneva, Switzerland, for the huge exposition sponsored by the International Atomic Agency.

In 1958 Medical Coaches Inc.’ deemed that business was sufficient to justify the establishment of their own manufacturing facility. They purchased the assets and intellectual property of Lyncoach and Truck Co.’s mobile health division and moved into their own factory at 300 Country Club Rd, Oneonta.

May 19, 1959 Oneonta Star:

“AP Says Oneonta Got $43,000 in Military Contracts

“Lyncoach Head Says Figure Much Higher

“Oneonta was one of 22 labor-surplus areas of New York State which received almost 1½ billion dollars worth of prime military contracts last year, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

“The amount listed as spent in Oneonta was $430,000. The industry was not identified, but Lyncoach & Truck Co. Inc., West End, is known to have had military contracts.

“James M. Friery, president of Lyncoach, said:

“‘That (the $430,000) was just one contract that came out of the general office in Washington. We had a lot of other contracts. All the rest came out of district offices, and each branch of service has its own districts.’

“Mr. Friery did not state the total of business which Lyncoach had from government contracts but indicated it was considerably more than the amount mentioned in the Associated Press story.

“The balance of the AP article:

“The total of $1,471,843,000 accounted for nearly one-sixth of the value of all military supply, service and construction contracts of the nation, $10,000 or more distributed last year in 342 labor-surplus areas of the nation.

“Only California, which received contracts totaling $1,827,926,000, topped New York.

“The figures were contained in recent testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee that studied Defense Department budget requests.

“New York City received the lion's share of the New York State contracts - $1,019,307,000. Syracuse with $183,739,000 worth was second.

“Other labor-surplus areas in the state and the total value of military contracts they received included:

“Binghamton $25,457,000; Kingston $6,796,000; Newburgh-Middletown-Beacon $998,000; Oneonta $430,000.”

December 22, 1959 Oneonta Star:

“Oneonta-Born Plant Shows Steady Growth, Expansion

“Lyncoach & Truck Company Has 3-Phase Operations Extending to Space Age

“Space Age Feels Impact of Lyncoach Missile Launching and Tracking Trailers

“Lyn Mobile Clinics Bring Better Health Services to People - the World Over.

“These headlines typify the diversification of Oneonta's largest industrial firm - Lyncoach and Truck Co., Inc. The Oneonta-born industry, now mushrooming into a huge operation, produces prefabricated aluminum truck bodies, fills complicated and important government contracts and constructs mobile health units now used throughout the world.

“‘It's really a three-phase operation,’ Joseph Sanchez, export director and manager of the mobile unit division, explained in an interview.

“And the three-phase operation has paid off. Today, it's not surprising to see a Lyn manufactured mobile dental health unit, chugging through the small hamlets of Venezuela.

“Nor is it surprising to see a Lyn missile launching and tracking trailer at the Jupiter missile launching site.

“Nor is it surprising to see a Lyn prefabricated truck body being assembled in Dayton, Ohio.

“Nor is it surprising to see a truck body bound for the Far East, being fitted together here in Oneonta.

“For the last two years, a progressive manufacturing and sales expansion program has been developing at Lyncoach.

“First step in this direction came in December of 1957, when James M. Friery, president of the corporation, announced the purchase of the manufacturing and sales rights for the aluminum truck body kits from Reynolds Aluminum Co. together with all existing inventories, tooling and assembly fixtures.

“Directed by Chief Engineer Frank Humphreys, a production line was set up in the Oneonta plant and shipment of truck body kits began to 12 former Reynolds dealers.

“Rapid Growth

“From this humble beginning, the operation mushroomed and today there are more than 180 franchised dealers serviced by seven Lyncoach field representatives, to insure that the Oneonta-made product can be distributed all over the US and Canada.

“Special working agreements were developed with leading trailer manufacturers, whereas Lyn could supplement their trailer models.

“Charles MacLean, sales manager, commenting on the operation said ‘The Lyn truck body kits are completely prefabricated at our Oneonta plant. Outstanding design and construction features make Lyn bodies stronger, more durable.’

“‘Designed for easy on-the-spot assembly by local Lyn body dealers, Lyn body kits save many man-hours of labor and ship easily. Mass production facilities assure prompt delivery of customer orders.’ He continued, ‘and we have just completed a 30 ft. by 120 ft. addition to our factory to warehouse over $250,000 worth of Lyn truck body kits ready for immediate shipment.

“Further to assure prompt regional deliveries and reduce inland freight charges, more than $100,000 worth of Lyn bodies are warehoused in central distribution depots in Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia and Grand Prairie, Texas.

“Second Largest

“National distribution of a better truck body for less money supported by aggressive national advertising has enabled Lyncoach to achieve its position as the world's second largest manufacturer of Aluminum truck body kits.

“And the progressive budding industry, keeping up with the times, sailed straight into the ‘space age.’

“Over the years Lyncoach engineers have designed and developed many special-purpose military vehicles including the M-101 cargo trailer, military mobile television units, 2-ton bomb trailers and electronic trailers.

“In 1958, Lyncoach was awarded over two million dollars in government contracts to manufacture special purpose trailers for Army and Air Force missile bases throughout the United States and the free world.

“In announcing one of these contract awards, Lt. Col. W.B. Loomis, commanding officer of U.S. Army Ordnance Rochester District, said. ‘Selection of this company to make the trailers was based on quality of work of the company in making vehicles previously for use in the Jupiter Missile Program.’

“Even now, 30 of these highly specialized custom-built missile launching trailers are on the Lyncoach assembly line being readied for delivery.

“The importance of the part played by Lyncoach in the development of these weapons-for-peace is best summed up in a letter from Brig. Gen. A.B. Barclay, commanding officer, Redstone Arsenal, Army Ballistics Missile Agency, which reads:


“‘The Army Ballistics Missile Agency wishes to commend you and the personnel of Lyncoach & Truck Co. for the work performed by your company which contributed to the successful completion of the Jupiter Ground Support Equipment Development Engineering Inspection (DEI).

“‘Through your efforts we were able to satisfy the requirements of the fast countdown for missile preparation and to demonstrate same to DEI participants.

“‘The fine cooperation demonstrated by you in furnishing equipment for the DEI is most gratifying. Successful completion of this task, with many inherent, unknown and unpredictable problems and delays, could only have been achieved by the sincere and conscientious effort demonstrated by you on this project.’

“The third phase of the operation is devoted to the construction of highly mobile medical laboratory units. Early in 1958, the Lyncoach Mobile Health Division was set up with Mr. Sanchez as director.

“And the operation was intensified. A Mobile Radioisotope Training Laboratory was built in 30 days ... in time for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission to display it at the Second International Exhibition of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy held in Geneva, Switzerland, in September, 1958.

“Atomic Laboratories

“Two Mobile Atomic Laboratories – nuclear classrooms-on- wheels – built in Oneonta by Lyncoach for the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, were turned over to the International Atomic Energy Agency to enable universities in NATO and South American countries to give instruction courses similar to those conducted in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“In Idaho, a completely equipped two-chair Mobile Dental Clinic, bearing the names . . . Oneonta and Lyncoach . . . brings the benefits of modern dental service to people in sparsely populated areas where dental care was seriously lacking.

“A custom-modified Lyn aluminum truck body, housing complete laboratory equipment, was built for Esso Refineries in Connecticut. Mounted on skids, it can easily be transported to any location.

“In Minnesota, the General Electric Company utilizes a Lyncoach Laboratory Trailer. Here again a Lyn aluminum body was specifically modified to meet exact customer requirements.

“The New York State Department of Health uses a Mobile Medical Screening Unit built in Oneonta by Lyncoach. The most modern and complete unit of its kind in the world it permits the Bureau of Chronic Diseases and Geriatrics to conduct such medical programs as Glaucoma Testing, Diabetes Screening; X- Ray; Hematocrit; Electrocardiographic examinations and many others.

“3 Chair Dental Clinic

“The first three-chair- Mobile Dental Trailer designed to conduct dental care programs for school and pro-school children is operating in Jefferson County, Alabama. Again, built by Lyncoach, this unit includes all the equipment and facilities required to conduct dental diagnostic and treatment programs except orthodontic and extreme prosthetic cases.

“Lyncoach mobile health clinics, however, are not restricted to human medicine alone.

“In the field of Veterinary Medicine Lyncoach Mobile Veterinary Clinics, mounted according to customer specifications, are in use throughout the United States.

“Featuring stainless steel sink and work counters, hot and cold water, refrigerator for drugs and vaccines, electric instrument and syringe sterilizers, electric blood testing boxes, portable X-ray and surgical instruments and other needs for treating livestock and poultry in the barn or in the field these customized clinics-on-wheels make it possible for a veterinarian to increase the scope of his service and the radius of his operations.

“Many exports

“Exporting then became intensified and now:

“India, the University of Orrisa operates a Lyncoach Mobile Veterinary Clinic . . . donated by the University of Missouri.

“Guatemala, the U.S. Institute of Inter-American Affairs purchased a Lyncoach Mobile Clinic for the Guatemalan Ministry of Education and Welfare.

“Kuwait, two Oneonta-made Lyncoach Mobile Units form a part of a very progressive Rural Health Program.

“Venezuela, the Ministerio de Sanidad Militar operates a Lyncoach Mobile Dental Clinic in its Army Training Centers.

“Columbia, two made-in Oneonta Lyn Mobile Chest X-Ray Clinics make it possible for the Ministeria de Salubridad to conduct mass chest survey program in rural areas.

“Africa, the African Research Foundation uses a Lyncoach mobile medical screening clinic to bring the benefits of modern health services to natives in remote jungle areas.

“Ceylon, two Oneonta-made Lyncoach mobile medical clinics provide medical care in under-developed areas.

“And so it goes, Iran, Pakistan, and Chile . . . all boast mobile health clinics which have name-plated that rear ‘Made in Oneonta by Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc.’

“In addition to the complete Mobile Health Clinics, the standard Lyn Aluminum Truck Body Kit is also being sold internationally.

“Recently 21 units were shipped to Cuba to help in the reconstruction of transportation facilities torn to shreds by the recent Civil War.

“Other orders are presently being processed for Brazil, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

“That's the story of Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc., owned and operated by Oneontans in Oneonta. As its products continue to find additional markets, Lyncoach will play a role of greater and greater importance in Oneonta's economy by providing more jobs and more income for area people.”

1959 sales office:

“SALESMAN WANTED We require ambitious man to learn truck body business. Excel- lent opportunity to have an exclusive sales territory with top earnings. LYNCOACH & TRUCK CO. 443 Chestnut St, Oneonta, N. Y.”

Gerald ‘Gunnysack’ Gunthrup’s column in the December 16, 1959 issue of the Oneonta Star:

“Frank Perretta and the writer toured the Lyncoach and Truck Co., Inc., yesterday under the guidance of Joe Sanchez and we were amazed at the size of Oneonta’s largest industrial plant, and more so when we were advised the company is now manufacturing missile launching and tracking trailers.”

Lyncoach and Truck Co.’s military vehicle and truck body division was unaffected by the transaction and continued to manufacture trailers and truck bodies in Oneonta through 1972 when the moved all of their operations to their plant in Troy, Alabama, which had been established in 1959.

May 31, 1960 Oneonta Star:

“Public Health Service Puts Oneonta-Made Trailer on Show

“A custom-built dental trailer clinic, designed to bring improved dental health service to thousands of American Indian children in the Southwest, was on display at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare headquarters in Washington, D. C.

“Among those inspecting the unit was Congressman Samuel S. Stratton of New York. Following his tour through the unit Congressman Stratton stated, 'I was very much impressed with this fine coach. It is one of the finest pieces of workmanship I have seen. It is in line with the high traditions of Otsego County, and I am sure that it will be of great benefit in the work of improving the health of the American Indians in the southwest."

“The Division of Indian Health of the Public Health Service has just purchased two of these completely equipped ‘dental clinics on wheels’. One is for use in New Mexico among the Pueblo Indians, and the other on the Papago, Pima and Colorado River Indian Reservations in Arizona.

“These dental trailers, custom-built by Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc., Oneonta, will enable the Division to provide dental care on a regular basis at Indian schools to a large number of Indian children who otherwise would either have to go without care, or else lose considerable time away from school to travel to the nearest Public Health Service Indian hospital or clinic with dental facilities.

“Completely equipped these Mobile Dental Clinics will make it possible for Public Health Service dental officers, with the aid of dental assistants, who are assigned to each unit, to provide all except the most complicated dental treatment and surgery.”

A new plant at Troy, Alabama was opened in 1960 to make aluminum truck bodies and trailers, and this plant made the Lyn Airvan using Ford and other chassis in varying sizes from ¾-ton to 3-tons.

November 18, 1960 Oneonta Star:

“Lyn’s New Plant Opened

“Production of LYN truck bodies is expected to begin shortly at the new 28,000 square foot plant opened recently in Troy, Alabama, by Oneonta's Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc.

“The new plant, located approximately 50 miles southeast, of Montgomery, Alabama, will be operated as Lyncoach & Truck Co. of Alabama, Inc., a Southern manufacturing subsidiary. The company's main operation will remain in Oneonta.

“Lyncoach officials, accompanied by several of their wives, business associates and representatives of Reynolds Metals Co., flew to Alabama last week for official opening ceremonies.

“In recognition of the official opening date — November 10 — the day was designated as ‘Lynday’ by an official proclamation issued by the mayor of Troy. Attending, the ceremonies — which were broadcast over a Troy radio station — were city, county and state officials from the area, representatives of the Alabama Trucking Association, owners of several large trucking fleets in the south, business and industrial leaders from the area, and a number of Lyncoach dealers and sales representatives from the south.

“LT. Governor Present

“Speakers at the opening included Lyncoach President James M. Friery, Alabama's Lt. Gov. Albert Boutwell, the mayor of Troy, and heads of the Troy Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Board.

“In his talk, Mr. Friery explained that Lyncoach selected Troy, Ala., as the site for its second plant ‘because of its strategic location’ in the South. He later added that the ‘tremendous growth of trucking,’ coupled with ‘an increasing demand for Lyn truck bodies,’ made a second operation necessary.

“In his broadcast talk, Mr. Friery praised the local officials for their efforts on behalf of Lyncoach. He compared cities, counties and states to ‘candidates’ in a race to win new industries. ‘Their campaigns,’ he said, ‘are directed by Chambers of Commerce, industrial development organizations and various other groups.’ He concluded by outlining the importance of diversified industry to a community's economy.

“Lt. Gov. Boutwell, the main speaker, praised Mr. Friery and Lyncoach Vice-President Frank E. Humphreys for ‘sparking the rapid growth of Lyncoach.’ The company, he added, is an outstanding leader in its field.

“City officials who spoke at the opening outlined the months of work that went into establishing the Lyncoach plant there, and the vital importance it would have on that area's economy.

“During a radio interview following the ribbon cutting ceremonies, Joseph R. Sanchez, Lyn coach's export manager and director of the firm's Custom Mobile Unit Div., predicted an increase in Lyncoach exports to Latin America. The plant is relatively close to New Orleans and other shipping ports on the Gulf coast.”

May 27, 1961 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Buys Another Plant

“Oneonta's Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc., producers of Lyn aluminum truck and trailer body kits and custom-built vans, Friday announced another major expansion of its operations,

“According to James M. Friery, Lyncoach president, the company has just acquired the Airvan Division of Dayton T. Brown, Inc. a testing engineering and manufacturing firm in Copiague, L.I.

“The acquired division handles the production of aluminum delivery truck bodies, a type used widely by bakeries, laundries, dairies and for parcel delivery.

“Production of the new bodies, to be known as Lyn Airvans, will begin here next month at Lyncoach's Chestnut Street plant.

“The bodies will also be assembled at Lyncoach's recently-opened plant in, Troy, Ala., Mr. Friery said, but not until a later date.

“The Long Island facilities, he explained, will be used by the division for design, sales and service work.

“Dayton T. Brown Sr., president of the Brown corporation, said the Airvan Division was sold to Lyncoach in order to expand his company's other operations. The firm, does extensive testing and evaluation work for the armed forces and manufactures precision sheet metal components.

“Mr. Brown, a leading consulting aeronautical engineer, designed the U.S. Navy's first dive bomber and later combat aircraft. He reportedly used the ‘same aeronautical principles of aircraft construction’ in designing the Airvan truck body. The units are assembled with large pre-formed aluminum sections.

“Acquisition of the Airvan Division marks Lyncoach's third major expansion in less than two years. It recently enlarged its Chestnut Street plant and last November opened a 28,000 square foot southern manufacturing subsidiary in Troy, Ala., approximately 50 miles south of Montgomery.”

May 9, 1963 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Mobile Units Cover World, Corner U.S. Market

“Oneonta Firm Leads Nation In Building Truck Bodies

“by Frank Perretta, Star City Editor

“The pasty-faced ambulance driver kicked the floor button and the siren screamed as the ambulance speeded down 42nd Street. . .

“Two Dominican Republic natives looked at each other sheepishly, shrugged their shoulders and were off to learn how to vote. . .

“Four burly, sweating workmen loaded the huge, tractor- trailer knowing that the freight must reach St. Louis as early as possible. . .

“The sailor removed his shirt and with his white hat cocked on the back of his head waited in line for an x-ray. . .

“The rugged Missouri farmer gingerly carried the young .girl in his arms . . . her leg dangled uselessly. . .

“The bakery truck driver took four loaves of fresh bread from his racks and walked across the suburban lawn . . .

“The Tunisian merchant shuttled the papers in his hand and t waited to present his argument for a bank loan. . .

“The brown - skinned Arizona Indian, her jaw wrapped in a dirty bandage, waited to see the dentist. . .

“What have all these incidents in common?

“They are all linked together through products made by Lyncoach and Truck Co., Oneonta - whether the units be aluminum truck bodies, delivery trucks, mobile health clinics or emergency vehicles or other specialized units.

“Financial Value

“The firm which employs 140 people — only four women—provides an estimated $600,000 in payroll to Oneonta. Officials of the firm also point out that the local plant spends $250,000 more each year to boost the city's economic picture in the form of necessities used to operate the sprawling, 73,000 square foot plant.

“Joseph Sanchez, manager of Lyncoach, says that the local plant is now the world's largest manufacturer of mobile, custom-built units for a variety of needs — the average American takes for granted.

“He points out that the local firm is also the largest manufacturer of truck bodies in America. And Lyncoach, he says, is now in second place in the manufacture of aluminum, walk-in, delivery-truck bodies.

“The local operation, once geared simply for government contracts, has been diversified through the last five years and now a major portion of the production is slanted toward the commercial market.

“Mr. Sanchez points out that diversification has been one of the key factors in the growth of the local plant.

“He noted that local officials thought it necessary to diversify in order to offset the seasonal slumps brought about by the erratic procurement procedures associated with purchasing of mobile units as well as government contracts.

“It is through this diversification, the manager said, that the local plant can continue stable employment practices throughout the entire year.

“In order to handle the orders and sales of the diversified line, Lyncoach has set up 210 domestic distributors and 39 foreign distributors.

“A map in the sales manager's office resembles a military map with colored pins pointing out where the local firm is represented. There are ‘pins’ located in Latin American countries, the Ivory Coast of Africa, Singapore, Beirut and cities in Europe.

“Military Work

“But even though the firm has diversified its production to accent commercial work, it still handles military contracts. Currently under construction are huge Navy bus-like units which will be used for dental and x-ray clinics.

“‘We like the government contracts because they fill in and are able to keep the men working year round,’ he says.

“Some of the custom built clinics already in operation are enough to tax the imagination of the most imaginative.

“There are mobile clinics - equipped to offer veterinary medicine, now in use in Uganda.

“The audio - visual mobile units in use in the Dominican Republic are credited with causing an 80 per cent vote in the nation's last election — the first one in many years. The units were sent out to show the people how to take part in the election.

“The Missouri Elks lodges purchased the mobile health units in an effort to deal with the crippled children living in remote sections of the state.

“The U.S. Navy purchased the mobile x-ray and dental clinics so that they can be moved from base to base to care for the sailors' health.

“The Airvans - walk-in delivery trucks are all over America.

“‘The world is our market,’ Mr. Sanchez, says, ‘And we have to be aware of many of the political situations and subtleties that exist in foreign countries if we are to sell our products. We're represented in a major portion of the world,’ he added.

“Speaking of the diversification, Mr. Sanchez points out that the construction of aluminum truck bodies is ‘our bread and butter. The construction of the specialized mobile units is the gravy.’

“Mass Production

“To enter the sprawling factory in Oneonta's West End, is similar to stepping from small-town America to the industrial world of mass production.

“For it is in this plant that huge, flat sheets of aluminum are bent and molded into separate entities. The firm uses two to three million pounds of aluminum each year purchased from Reynolds, Alcoa and Kaiser. For a short time, the Oneonta plant was purchasing metal from Austria and Italy because the American consumer showed a preference for the glossy aluminum. But now American producers also process this shiny aluminum sheets at competitive prices.

“The aluminum sheets are then transported into Oneonta by a rail spur that adjoins the plant or by truck.

“But getting some of the products from Oneonta to their destination poses problems.

“‘We're not ideally located and common carriers don't like to transport our products because they are bulky and are light,’ Mr. Sanchez explained. Lyncoach now has three of its own tractor-trailer rigs so that its aluminum kits can be transported to central points.

“Lots of Bustle

“The factory itself is a beehive of activity. Huge sheets of aluminum slide down a ‘jig’ where they are perforated for riveting by a multi-drill machine. Workers also use hand drills.

“The noise in the plant is loud and workers scream to one another to be heard.

“In one section of the plant carpenters are busy making the shelving and other components utilized in both the walk-in trucks and the custom-made units.

“Mr. Sanchez said that the walk-in aluminum delivery trucks can be assembled at a rate of eight to 10 a week. The custom units - depending on their complexity - take from 15 to 60 days.

“The plant is a melee of different sounds and sights. In one section, the clattering riveter dominates the scene. In another, the blinding flash of the welding torches are highlighted. Another scene is punctuated with the whirring noise and sparks of the grinders.

“Final Form

“The final assembly line is different. Here all the piecemeal work takes final shape and the products take on an identity. Here the products are completed. Electrical units are hooked up. A dental chair is bolted to the floor. An x-ray machine is focused and bolted down. The safe is anchored in a banking unit.

“Further down the line, workers swarm over the gleaming aluminum walk-in delivery trucks, readying them for the road.

“Huge bus-type vehicles — in a row — get the finishing touches. It's not rare to see military personnel tour the plant, it was pointed out.

“And then almost forlornly sterile skeletons — truck chassis— await workmen to give them ‘bones, skin and flesh.’

“Ringing Bells

“In another section of the plant are the business offices, where phones ring constantly and conversations with people in exotic lands can be heard. No one blinks an eye when Mr. Sanchez begins talking in fluent sing-song Spanish (he's been known to wave his arms even though the party on the other end of the line is 3,000 miles away).

“One portion of the building is reserved for the engineering department. Here's where the creative know - how and ingenuity are put to the drawing board.

“Chief Engineer is Frank Humphreys. Often it is his ideas that become new units. Often the units are requested by customers. ‘If they (customers) have a program we'll put it on wheels,’ Mr. Sanchez says.

“Earlier, the manager says, Lyncoach developed all-aluminum construction of truck bodies. ‘We promoted the concept and since then it now appears in military specifications.’

“The generating force behind the present operation begun in 1953, is a native Oneontan, James Friery. Since its eady humble beginnings, when Mr. Friery and Mr. Humphreys assembled the units by themselves, the operation has blossomed.

“Two Who Stayed

“Mr. Friery, now 38, was comptroller for the old Linn Plant that was owned by Great American Industries. Mr. Humphreys was engineer. The holding company closed the local plant in 1952.

“Mr. Friery and Mr. Humphreys determined to stay in production and moved to a small ‘plant’ on West Broadway — now used for storing beer.

“In 1956, the pair opened up the West End plant. Mr. Humphreys took over the engineering duties, Mr. Friery handled the operation of the business.

“Native born James Friery doesn't fit the stereotype of grey-flannelled industrial executive. He likes sports coats. And he hustles from one department to another almost on a dead run.

“‘Where's Jim?’ That's a constant question you can hear at the plant. And invariably, the answer is the same — ‘He was here just a minute ago . . .’

“Noisy Conference

“The first session for the interview on this story was held in the ‘conference’ rooms — probably the ‘un-plushiest’ conference room in existence. Outside the conference room, there is a constant flow of human traffic. If you listen closely you can hear the diesel engine on the railroad track adjacent to the building.

“The world is different inside of the plant. The problems are different. Men use a jargon all their own. They speak with familiarity of some of the faraway lands that fill today's geography books. They speak of international trade — what will influence one foreign buyer and not affect another. They trade contacts. ‘I remember him. I met him in the Dominican Republic’.

“But Lyncoach is an industrial organization: in the ‘jungle marketplace’ of the world. It's only when you step out onto the circular drive path outside the plant that you can look around and realize that you're still in Oneonta, New York, United States of America.”

January 30, 1968 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Records Broken During ‘67

“Progress assumed many forms during the past year at Lyncoach and Truck Co. Inc., as government and civilian contracts reached an all-time high.

“Employee ranks grew to 140 people. New equipment and work areas were added as the company continued its expansion and modernization program.

“New dealers and distributors joined the Lyncoach family. The company announced its entry into the milk delivery field.

“In 1967, Lyncoach's government contracts totaled close to $3 million, the largest single contract being In excess of $1.6 million, for 260 specially designed and equipped trailers like the one shown in the leak testing rack.

“Lyncoach's Specials Division recently completed and shipped eight 33 foot semi-trailers, two-chair dental units to Vietnam for use by the Seabees.

“Each unit contained complete diagnostic, x-ray, and treatment facilities. Two fully equipped, modem dental operatories like the one shown, were housed in each trailer. Most recently work has begun on 40 special parcel delivery vans for the Hertz Corporation.

“Lyncoach also announced its entry into the Milk Delivery field with a new line of specialty engineered delivery, vans like the one shown for the Cooperstown Dairy.

“As these production demands increased, Lyncoach kept pace with the addition of five new assembly bays, the installation of new equipment, and a substantial increase in the work force.

“1967 was indeed a Year of Progress at Lyncoach & Truck Co, Inc. The main Lyncoach plant is located at 443 Chestnut Street in Oneonta.”

March 29, 1968 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach official discloses merger with L.I. corporation

“Instrument Systems has 'Superjet’ pact

“James M. Friery, president of" Lyncoach and Truck Company of Oneonta and Troy, Alabama, announced the merger of the firm with Instrument System's Corporation of Huntington, Long Island.

“Mr. Friery said that the 140 man labor force in Oneonta's West End plant will remain intact.

“Lyncoach is one of the city's largest employers and has been a substantial boost to the city's economy for many years.

“Edward J. Garrett, president of Instrument Systems, said that the acquisition represented their first entry into the special purpose automotive market.

“‘I expect that Lyncoach and Truck Company will work closely with our White Electronics Development Corporation,’ he said.

“The White Corporation manufactures learning laboratories in the development of customized mobile language and educational units.

“Carroll said, ‘It will also furnish us with facilities for the manufacture of aluminum components which we will require in fulfilling our recently acquired contract for the intercontinental system for the Boeing 747 Superjet.

“Friery, a native Oneontan who graduated from Hartwick College founded the present Lyncoach Company in 1954 with five people. After the present Oneonta plant was expanded to a labor force of well over 100 persons, Friery then constructed a subsidiary plant in Troy, Alabama.

“That plant — a new one — now employs 140 people also.

“Lyncoach has been involved in the manufacture of aluminum walk-in delivery trucks, aluminum truck bodies and is one of the nation's largest producers of mobile medical dental, x-ray and special units and trailers.

“The Oneonta firm through an international sales staff has placed these specialized units in nations throughout the world.

“’Only 20 per cent of the production of the plant is through government contract,’ Friery said, ‘most of our work is civilian.’

“‘The Oneonta plant will now focus on construction of these educational laboratories — a market that is ever expanding in this country and throughout the underdeveloped nations in the world,’ he said.

“Friery will remain as president of the Lyncoach subsidiary.

“Frank E. Humphreys, a co-founder of Lyncoach in Oneonta, will remain as vice president and chief engineer. The Humphreys and Frierys will continue to live in Oneonta.”

August 17, 1968 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Units Fights Unemployment

“A new approach to the joint problems of unemployment among Negroes and Spanish-speaking minority groups and the lack of effective communication between officials and those they govern has been launched in Islip, Long Island, about 50 miles from the City Department of Community of a mobile interview, recruitment, and referral unit custom-built by Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc. of Oneonta.

“According to Cleveland Johnson, Director of Islip's Department Of Community Affairs, the program marks a first in respect to the fact that a community almost rural in character has recognized, despite the affluence of a considerable number of its citizens, that, like large urban centers, it too has a growing problem in low income, deteriorating areas and is seeking solutions, before the problems get out of hand, by bringing town officials and helpful agencies directly to the people.

“Fully equipped, with seating for 14 at fold-down desks, audio visual aids including projector, screen, and record player, as well as internal and external speaker systems, air conditioning, and fluorescent lighting, the unit has been constructed according to town specifications that will permit its use not only for interviewing of job applicants, but for a wide range of other significant community programs currently being explored, Johnson declared.

“‘These programs,’ Mr. Johnson said, ‘take on special importance in the light of troubles that have plagued other communities which failed soon enough to recognize their problems and failed to improve communications between minority groups and officials.

“‘We have under consideration such additional projects for the unit as job training, the teaching of English as a second language, and using the equipment for private and group meetings at which community officials will be on hand to hear complaints from citizens.

“‘Because the rear doors swing open to full width of the vehicle, we even may wish to use it as a focal point for block parties, with rock and roll band seated inside.’

“Also contemplated, Mr. Johnson said, is the vehicle's use as an information center and to transport industrialists, whom the town is seeking to interest in locating in the area, to sites which are available.

“Likewise, it is expected to serve as a mobile office where those about to be displaced because of neighborhood renewal projects can come to find help in relocating.

“Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc. builds a variety of special purpose aluminum vehicles and is the world's largest supplier of mobile health and dental clinics. It is subsidiary of Instrument Systems Corporation of Huntington, Long Island.”

August 31, 1968 Oneonta Star:

“Oneonta-built units go to Virgin Islands

“A dozen mobile aluminum units, custom-built and equipped so they can bring modern medical, dental, x-ray, and other facilities to all parts of the Virgin Islands, including many of the most isolated areas, have been ordered by the Island government from Lyncoach & Truck Co., Inc., of Oneonta and Troy, Ala., and are scheduled for delivery on a staggered basis between now and the first of the year.

“Lyncoach, a subsidiary of Instrument Systems Corporation, is the world's largest builder of such equipment.

“Many Lyncoach units similar to those for the Virgin Islands, as well as a wide variety of the Company's other custom built special purpose vehicles, have for years been bringing vital 20th Century facilities and services to the almost forgotten people in remote parts of Africa, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and the United States.

“A fleet of ten Lyncoach built audio visual education vehicles have been in service in Santo Domingo, one of its dental units is being used in the Republic of Dahomey, two of its traveling banks provide financial services in rural areas of Tunisia, its mobile clinics are in Uganda, Senegal, Algiers and Kenya, there is a Lyncoach audio visual library trailer in Pakistan, and a dispensary fleet of 23 units, purchased through A.I.D., went to the Republic of Niger, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Mauritania to play an important role in a $2 million measles vaccination program.

“Other Lyncoach vehicles, custom built to meet special requirements, are in Ethiopia, Turkey, Zanzibar, Ceylon, and many other by-ways of the world.

“Because of the nature of the terrain, the Virgin Island units called for special engineering to fulfill the needs of mountain driving where top speed is limited to 35 miles an hour. Besides 4-wheel drive, a special transmission and gear ratio, each unit is being designed for driving on the left hand side of the highway over roads so narrow that the overall width of the vehicles is reduced considerably from those in use in the United States.

“St. Thomas and St. Croix each are getting five units. These are a medical clinic, dental bus, dental trailer, medical trailer, and vehicle especially designed for the testing of hearing. St. John is getting two  combination clinics and ambulances.

“Each dental clinic consists of the latest in dental chairs and chair accessories, x-ray facilities including a developing and dark room, refrigerator, dental lights, and air conditioning.

“Each has a pleasant reception area done in Biscayne blue, with walls carpeted and windows draped. The other units are being designed with the same care and as fully equipped for their special services.”

December 17, 1968 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Receives $1.2 Million Order

“Lyncoach & Truck Company revealed Monday receipt of a $1.2 million contract from Hertz Truck Rentals for 800 semi-special truck bodies built to Hertz specifications.

“Sales Manager Ron Minette said the bodies will be constructed in Santa Ana, California, Alabama and Oneonta according to the contract terms.

“Minette said that to the best of his knowledge, this is the single largest order ever placed for special truck bodies.

“The firm will lease temporary plant space in Santa Ana to handle West Coast deliveries with East Coast deliveries to be handled by the Alabama and Oneonta plants. The present production schedule calls for delivery of the initial vans to be made February 1, 1969, at the California facility. Oneonta production should start April 1. He said the bodies will be similar to those the firm is now producing here for Ryder Truck rentals, a direct competitor with Hertz for the do-it-yourself trucking market.

“The Hertz order tops Ryder's order to Lyncoach by nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Ryder placed their order at the end of October for 575 special bodies. Minette said the contract with Ryder approximates $1 million. The bare bright yellow Ford chassis have become a common sight for motorists passing the West End Plant on Route 23.

“The Hertz trucks will be delivered in two lengths, 12 and 18 feet. The 12's will be fitted with aluminum loading ramps, and many of the 18's will have power lift gates to facilitate loading heavy objects.

“Minette said he did not know exactly how many men would be added to the total work force, which now includes 140 men on the day shift and 30-40 men on the evening shift. The plant has a present need for additional men, and Minette hinted that with both contracts dovetailing, a third shift might have to be scheduled. He added that the new contract will mean an extension until at least June for present employees.

“He said that until Oneonta begins actual body fabrication, it will make parts for distribution to other plants where contract delivery schedules are earlier.”

May 26, 1971 Oneonta Star:

“Storatz is named Lyncoach president

“G. J. Storatz, former managing director of International Harvester of Germany, has been named President of Lyncoach and Truck Co., a division of Instrument Systems Corp.

“Storatz succeeds James Friery, who is no longer associated with the company, an Instrument Systems Corp. release said.

“Lyncoach, which has its headquarters in Oneonta, is a leading manufacturer of mobile aluminum special purpose vehicles, which cover a broad range from mobile health centers, such as X-ray and dental care vehicles, to mobile pollution detection and monitoring vans.

“In addition, Lyncoach manufacturers a wide variety of aluminum truck bodies and vans for many different fields. It has additional manufacturing facilities in Troy, Alabama.

“Storatz, who had 18 years of experience with International Harvester and who has a total of over 30 years in management positions both in the United States and overseas, will be responsible for the complete overall operations of Lyncoach.

“He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and both his M.S.M.E. and M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. He now resides in Oneonta, with his wife, Dorthea. They have one son, Richard.”

The name was later changed to Lyn Arrow, but by the 1970s productions was back to bodies and trailers only, and the Oneonta plant was closed.

October 7, 1971 Oneonta Star:

“Oneonta's Lyncoach lays off one-third of its work force

“Firm calls cutbacks temporary “Forty employees were laid off Friday by Lyncoach & Truck Company, leaving 75 employees in the West End based plant.

“The personnel cutbacks effect about one-third of the company's work force.

“David Birnham, new president of Lyncoach said the 40 persons were laid off from work because ‘after an analysis of the company's operation, it was discovered there was an excess of people on both the direct and indirect level.’

“Birnham maintained there are no plans to shut down the plant's operations.

“‘We hope, in the near future, to start rehiring again,’ he said.

“The pessimistic economic news becomes public just a day after officials of Oneonta's Corning plant issued the most promising reports of the company future since the Corning plant opened here five years ago.

“Area residents and leaders were buoyed by the news that Coming employment is at an all-time high. About a year ago, Corning underwent lay-offs similar to those now taking place at Lyncoach.

“Lyncoach manufactures aluminum bodies for coaches and trucks.

“The firm began operations in Oneonta in 1955, when James M. Friery, Frank E. Humphreys and one employee opened the plant on West Broadway.

“By 1960, the company had 200 employees and government contracts for mobile health units, laboratories and wheels and bomb racks.

“In July, 1960, Lyncoach opened another plant in Troy, Ala.

“Lyncoach is now a division of Instrument Systems Corporation, which has its headquarters at Jericho, Long Island.”

January 25, 1972 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach reorganization means Oneonta plant phase out

“By Mickey Hirten, Star Staff Writer

“The reorganization of Lyncoach and Truck Company is going to include almost a complete phase out of the Oneonta Plant, says David Birnham, company president.

“Late last year, company officials predicted that the reorganization plans would not force production in the West End plant to cease, but sources in the company now feel there will be no work at the plant for quite a while.

“This is a damaging blow to the employment outlook of Oneonta since at one time Lyncoach employed nearly 200 people. In recent years the number of workers had dwindled to approximately 100, depending on the company's commitments.

“There are still contracts which have to be filled by Lyncoach, says Birnham but he indicated these will be farmed to the company's other plant in Troy, Alabama.

“He says there will be some workers employed at the Oneonta division to finish up some of the previous commitments, but the number would be very small.

“A noticeable change in the company's operation, former Lyncoach employees feel, came when Lyncoach was purchased by Instruments Systems Corporation of Jericho, Long Island.

“The take-over, they contend, precipitated a new management relationship, less favorable to the employees, and ultimately responsible for the decision to move the operation from Oneonta. There are many former workers dissatisfied with the policy the company used to phase out its operation here.

“Managerial personnel were reportedly given two weeks' severance pay, and little notice of whether they would be asked to move to the Troy plant area.

“The employees, complaining about this treatment felt for their 10 or more years' service, they deserved better treatment from Lyncoach.

“The operation in Oneonta is now comparatively quiet, as more than 30 workers were laid off last Friday, joining the already silenced sales and engineering departments.

“A count of cars at the plant yesterday revealed only 13 cars in the lot, an indicator of employment picture. Inquiries about future employment brought a sympathetic no, and an explanation that operations were being terminated in Oneonta.

“Company sources did indicate there have been individuals looking at the facilities, with the idea of resuming the operation again, but they would not speculate about the possibilities of such a move being finalized.

“Lyncoach manufacturers aluminum bodies for coaches and trucks. The firm began operations in Oneonta in 1955, when James M. Friery, Frank E. Humphreys and one employee opened a plant on West Broadway.

“In July 1960, Lyncoach opened the Troy, Ala. plant.”

May 13, 1972 Oneonta Star:

“Lyncoach Closing Is Official

“Officials of Instrument Systems Corporation yesterday officially confirmed what has been long knonw in Oneonta. The Lyncoach and Truck Company operation here has been shut down.

“Instrument System’s president J.G. Mitchel said all operations in Oneonta have been switched to the company’s headquarters in Troy, Ala.

“The Star reported last winter on plans to close down the local operation.

“While officially announced the Oneonta closing, Mitchel took pains to say the Lyncoach van body has some new innovations.”

August 15, 1972 Oneonta Star:

“Cooperstown Area Acquires Industry

“By Irene Mozolewski, Star Bureau Chief

“Cooperstown - A new industry, Pan American Body Corporation, which will produce varied medical units, aluminum truck bodies and special purpose units, has located in the township of Otsego, a mile south of the village of Cooperstown on Route 28.

“Reginald Grantier of Central Bridge, Pan American president, said Monday that the firm already employs six men, three of whom left the ranks of the unemployed in Otsego County; will employ 10 within the next three weeks, and by January 1, plans to employ 21 persons in the production of X-ray units, truck body kits, medical units and others.

“‘We hope to produce fiberglass truck bodies in the very future,’ Grantier said.

“Both Grantier and Frank Humphreys of Oneonta, the vice-president, explained that several of the former Lyncoach employees elected to stay north when the company moved to Troy, Alabama.

“The Lyncoach and Truck Corp. headquartered in Oneonta, formally closed its doors in the beginning of this year. ‘We were invited to join the company at their southern plant in Alabama, but I don't like the south,’ Grantier said.

“The firm was incorporated May 11 this year. The new industry indicates an improved employment picture as well as a brighter economic outlook since everything possible is being purchased locally.

“‘When Lyncoach moved from Oneonta, a void was created that our company will attempt to fill,’ both officials stated.

“Pan American Body Corporation have a two-year lease with an option to buy the Daniel Slover building, an 8,000 square feet structure on two acres of ground, allowing ample room for expansion. Formal production started Monday, August 7, Grantier said.

“Grantier was a salesman for Lyncoach from 1965 until 1969. From 1969 until 1971 he was a salesman with the Walsh Body and Trailer Corporation, West Hanover, Mass.

“The company already has two distributorships: The Penn Walk-In Delivery truck, Chicago, and Divco, a snub nose retail milk delivery truck.

“In July Pan American delivered a walk-in delivery truck to be used as an emergency squad vehicle in Glenville Hill, the Pan Am officials revealed.

“Humphreys, the vice president, an engineer, who was 30 years with Lyncoach, first as engineer, then chief engineer and finally vice president of the company, said that he did not want to retire which is why he, Grantier and two other officers of the corporation got together 'after leaving Lyncoach.

“Gary Fisher of Morris is secretary, purchasing agent and comptroller, and Ronald Minette of Oneonta is the treasurer and sales manager here.

“When production attains full swing, truck bodies will go to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, eastern parts of Ohio, and the entire north east including Jersey, New York State and Pennsylvania.”

January 30, 1973 Oneonta Star:

“Commerce Commissioner Says Oneonta Prospects Bright

“A good example of the prevailing optimism was recently provided by Miller Trailer, Inc., a subsidiary of Ryder Systems Corp. of Bradenton, Fla., which announced plans to begin the manufacture of truck bodies in the recently vacated Lyncoach & Truck Building In Oneonta. Eventually this could mean as many as 200 new area jobs in the 78,000 square foot facility.”

© 2014 Mark Theobald for








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