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American Big Winner No. 31--Road Grader 1 | by David Hoffman '41
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American Big Winner No. 31--Road Grader 1

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The city of Lynchburg, Virginia has on display two antique road maintenance machines—a Galion roller (from 1922) and this American Big Winner No. 31 road grader manufactured by the American Road Machinery Company sometime in the 1880s (probably). The grader was horse-drawn with four or more hitched to the machine to maintain the dirt roads of the late 19th century. A plaque at the site states the grader dates from about 1880, and a metal plate on the grader names the item, the company and location (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania), and the reordering number. However the company did not become American Road Machinery Co until 1889. The company was founded by Samuel and Moses Pennock for the manufacture of agricultural implements (they invented the grain drill in 1841) and the first 4-wheel road machine in 1877. For a convoluted history of the company see Sadly, I don’t know what I have pictures of; I just liked the shapes.


The day I took photos, a group of three people was investigating every part of the machine; finally, I asked what they were doing. It was part of a geo-cache game they were playing. For a brief description of this item in Lynchburg see


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Taken on February 26, 2011