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Harry H. Barber

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Harry H. Barber (1878 – 1948) [1] was an enthusiastic and driven inventor.[2] While Barber is known to many as the co-founder of the Barber-Greene Co., one of his most noteworthy achievements was the first mechanical asphalt paver.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Early Years

Harry H. Barber was born in Fremont, Illinois,[3] in 1878. Due to his upbringing, he was well acquainted with life on a farm. After graduating high school, Barber postponed attending college in favor of employment at the Freeport freight depot of Illinois Central Railroad.[4] When he began his college career, Barber took a summer job with Link-Belt Co. His employment with Link-Beltprovided him with experience in material handling.[5] Upon graduation, Barber accepted a job with Stephens-Adamson Manufacturing Co., of Aurora, Illinois, which was a newer company at the time.

[edit] Founding Barber-Greene Co.

Barber, with his friend and co-worker William B. Greene, set out to establish a business to design and sell standardized materials handling machines.[6] As an initial step, Barber quit his job with Stephens-Adamson; he soon moved into his role of designer and manufacturer. Greene would be responsible for the company’s sales and finances. The Barber-Greene Co., originally focusing on the manufacture of conveyors, was officially founded on October 21, 1916. As the conveyor business began to succeed and expand, Barber, at the request of his former employer Stephens-Adamson, designed a self-propelled, self-feeding bucket loaderloader for handling cement clinkers. By the end of 1916, the Barber-Greene Co. had two product lines. Barber, credited by Greene as being original and ingenious,[7] was named president of the company, and maintained the title until 1945. The company, gaining eventual popularity for its paving machines,[8] would remain in existence until 1976.[9]

[edit] Barber’s Many Inventions

Through the 1920s, Barber continued to invent material handling machines, including portable belt conveyors, self-feeding bucket loaders, vertical boom ditchers, and snow loaders.[10] In 1931, Barber’s most well known invention was introduced: the mechanical asphalt paver, or traveling plant. This machine was designed to evenly mix aggregate and binding materials before they were spread on the roadway, in contrast to its predecessors that lacked the premixing function. It was advantageous as it reduced the cost of paving secondary roads. The first such machine was commercially available in 1934. Barber was also acknowledged as the inventor of the first continuous-mix asphalt plant, the successor of which is today’s drum mixers. Barber's paver and asphalt plant were launched into high demand for the construction of landing strips during World War II, and are credited with the company's most extensive period of growth.[11]

[edit] Recognition of Barber’s Accomplishments

In 1940, Barber received the Modern Pioneer Award from the National Association of Manufacturers.[12] In January 1987, he was inducted into the Hot Mix Hall of Fame.[13] The following decade, Barber was inducted into the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1993.[14] Throughout Barber’s career, he obtained over 70 patents for his designs and inventions of material handling and construction equipment.[15]

[edit] References

  1. Harry H. Barber. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-27.
  2. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  3. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  4. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  5. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  6. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  7. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  8. Haddock, Keith. Giant Earthmovers. MBI Publishing Company: 1998.
  9. William B. Greene and Harry H. Barber. ANBHF.org, 2008-09-27.
  10. Harry H. Barber. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-27.
  11. Barber Greene: 1916-1985. Rodhandeland.com, 2008-09-27.
  12. Harry H. Barber. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-27.
  13. Harry H. Barber. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-27.
  14. Construction Equipment Hall of Fame, 2008-09-27.
  15. Harry H. Barber. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-27.