P&H Cranes have aided various corporations in lifting and moving heavy machinery, equipment, loads, and products. This innovative piece of technology has transformed how establishments move equipment and improve assembly time. When Curry Supply began to expand, a need for additional hoists became crucial in our shop relocation strategy.

P&H Cranes History

P&H Cranes was founded by two innovative men, Henry Harnischfeger and Alonzo Pawling. Henry immigrated to the United States as an experienced toolmaker who worked on sewing machines and other tooling machinery. Henry traveled to Milwaukee to work at Whitehill Sewing Machine Company, where Alonzo was employed as a patternmaker.

Alonzo left Whitehill to pursue a partnership with Maurice Weiss, a toolmaker from Whitehill, and started the Milwaukee Tool and Pattern shop. This business partnership only lasted a year due to the need for more capital and machining expertise, leading Alonzo to seek out Henry for a new partnership under Pawling and Harnischfeger in 1884. In the initial stages, P&H was able to secure patterns for casting industrial components while carrying out repair work and bringing innovative ideas for inventors to life.

It was not until 1887, after Edward P. Allis Company was destroyed by fire, that the new foundry was initiated. The Allis Company’s rope-driven overhead traveling crane was equipped with a two-rope-driven pulley system, which fell, killing its operator and injuring laborers. P&H replaced the rope-and-pulley mechanisms of the crane with a system of motor transmissions, a simpler model applied to the crane hoist, trolley, and bridge-drive functions. The immediate performance and reliability of P&H Crane brought in manufacturing firms and railroad maintenance shops, in hopes of purchasing one of their own. This breakthrough led them to expand their product line and changed how companies ran their assembly lines.
Curry Supply and P&H Cranes

The Curry Supply manufacturing shop (located in the Degol Industrial building) was built in 1952 and was initially owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Curry Supply moved its manufacturing operations to this faculty from Curryville at the end of 2021. Nine P&H Cranes have been installed in these shops since 1954 to lift everything the company manufactures, from raw steel components to locomotive cabs, on and off-road tanks, and everything in between. As Curry Supply expanded, so did the need for innovation and efficiencies in production, with the additional nine cranes at the new location instead of the original three at the Curryville facility, nearly tripling the production process.

Over the years and during the relocation process, replacements and updates have been made with the help of our maintenance team and Kone Cranes. The three cranes in Curry Supply’s assembly have had hoist motor and trolly motor upgrades. The cranes were initially controlled in the cab car above and have been upgraded to remote control, with the option of the old-fashioned way. The cranes are strategically positioned throughout the shop; the three in the final assembly area have a twenty-five-ton hoist and a seven-and-a-half-ton auxiliary hoist per crane. On the manufacturing side, four cranes have the same features, and the other two have a fifteen-ton capacity with no auxiliary.

Like P&H Cranes, Curry Supply believes in expansion and evolution of strategy. Both Henry and Alonzo saw a need for improvement in safety and production. With the implementation of the additional cranes in an expanded manufacturing facility, Curry Supply found a way to triple production while safely improving the use of manual labor.


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