History of Schramm Inc.

Christian Schramm and Henry Schramm began the legacy of Schramm Inc.
Bill Vossler
February 2011
Add to My MSN

Note the fine detail work on the Schramm name on this 1957 Schramm 125 Pneumatractor.
Photo by Bill Vossler

Content Tools

Related Content

Profiles: Jensales Tractor Manuals

Jensales Inc. offers tractor manuals from current to obscure.

Looking to Learn About Little Liz

Bill Peeples is looking for information on the Little Liz gas engine 

July 6 to 7: Ohio, Michigan and Indiana

Trace the adventures of a group of intrepid Australians as they cross the U.S. from east to west — d...

Help Heartland Acres Celebrate the 100th Birthday of the 1912 Ford Brass C Model T

Were you born in October? Heartland Acres will help you celebrate your birthday by giving you half p...

According to Schramm: The Legacy of 100 Years by Thomas W. Brientnall, Christian Schramm and Emil Maerky formed a partnership on Jan. 2, 1900 to repair stationary gasoline engines for elevators in the Philadelphia area. “Armed with lots of knowledge, enthusiasm, a lathe, a shaper, a drill press, two vises, a work bench, a few hand tools and a 1 hp gas engine,” Brientnall writes, “the two men set out make money.” 

Elevators broke down regularly. With few competitors, the company became very profitable. Henry Schramm joined his father’s enterprise during a growth period when the workforce was expanded.

Two years later, the Schramms bought out the Maerky interest. Five years later, a Wilmington, Del., concern approached the company about constructing a portable air compressor to use in cutting marble. The result was a gasoline engine modified to produce compressed air for pneumatic tools.

The company produced three sizes of compressors, all popular with stonecutters. Eventually Schramm moved to West Chester, Pa., where it remains in business today.

“In 1918-19, Schramm was largely converted to the manufacture of captive balloon hoists (French balloon windlasses) for the U.S. Signal Corps,” Brientnall writes. “The balloons had a range of 1,600 feet and provided important information for the army.” Schramm also assembled special low-pressure compressors for diving and salvage work.

By 1944, the company was bringing in 250 railroad cars of material a year to manufacture products (including Schramm tractors) for the federal government.

According to the Smokstak.com forums, Schramm conversions were done with other engines, turning them into air compressors like Ford and Continental 4-cylinder engines, Ford Flathead V-8s and other 6-cylinder conversions. With each engine, half of the cylinders were used to provide power to the tractor and the other half to compress air. Other engines included Rock Island, Domestic and Wisconsin 4-cylinder engines, where two were used for power and two for air compression. Schramm made its own engine, as well.

Schramm also produced the Model 60 crawler (known as the Fordair 60), an 8-cylinder machine that used four for power and four for air compression. It appears that just 150 were built. FC 

Post a comment below.


3/8/2012 5:54:15 PM
I have a fordair mobel 60 air compresser complete short of radiator, would anyone out there have any idea where i could fnd one to fit this unit? Haven't found anything in a car radiator the fits as of yet.

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Every month Farm Collector brings you:

  • Windmills to cream separators
  • Hog oilers to horse-drawn equipment
  • Implements to engines to farm toys

If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.