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JD Fate Company

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The JD Fate Company built machinery for the clay and brick making industry. However, its exact origins are uncertain.

One historical account states John Fate founded the JD Fate Company in Plymouth, OH, in 1884. A second account states he and a partner started the Fate & Gunsallus Company in 1882, also in Plymouth, to build clay extruding machinery for brick making and later bought out his partner to form JD Fate Company in 1892.

JD Fate owners Harley and Harry Fate built trucks under the Plymouth Truck Company name from 1909 until 1915. The Plymouth Locomotive Works was founded in 1910 to build the Plymouth line of small gas and, eventually, diesel locomotives.

The JD Fate Company eventually merged with Root-Heath Manufacturing Company to form The Fate-Root-Heath Company in 1919. It produced Plymouth wheel tractors, using designs originating in the locomotive department. The Plymouth was the first tractor designed from the ground up to use rubber tires. Chrysler Corporation sued for rights to the name for motor vehicles; after the suit was settled for one dollar, the Silver King trade name was adopted for the tractors. The suit did not affect locomotive production, and the Plymouth locomotive line continued.

Tractor production continued until 1954, when the Silver King line was sold to Mountain State Fabricating Company, of Clarksburg, WV. Mountain State produced only a few dozen tractors before returning the parts to Fate-Root-Heath, ending the tractor line. Fate-Root-Heath’s subsequent history is unknown.

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