Terex: The Earth-moving Kings

Terex plant assembly line in the 1960s, courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.
Terex assembly line in the 1960s, courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.

Ohio’s rich past in the manufacturing industry is well-known, featuring familiar names such as the Dayton Wright Airplane Company, the Hoover Company, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, and the Firestone and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Companies, just to name a few. This Sunday is an important date for another major Ohio manufacturer, marking the 59th anniversary of ground being broken for the Terex factory in Hudson, Ohio!

Governor O'Neill at the Terex groundbreaking, March 27, 1957. Courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.
Governor O’Neill at the Terex groundbreaking, March 27, 1957. Courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.

Governor C. William O’Neill was in attendance on March 27, 1957, and even operated the earth-mover (at left) that broke ground for the 660,000-square-foot Terex building, which was completed in 1958. An addition in 1961 later added 340,000 additional square feet to the plant. The company employed several thousand people in skilled positions, giving the city of Hudson a strong industrial tax base and encouraging the area’s substantial suburban growth. The name “Terex,” coined from the Latin terms terra, meaning “earth,” and rex, meaning “king,” was a name the company certainly earned throughout its history!

Article from the newsletter Terextra about the company's signature paint color. Courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.
Article from the newsletter Terextra about the company’s signature paint color. Courtesy of the Hudson Library and Historical Society via Ohio Memory.

Operating as the Terex and Euclid Divisions of the General Motors Corporation in Hudson, the company manufactured scrapers, pans, dozers, crawlers, loaders, and other earth-moving equipment between 1958 and the mid-1980s. Terex products were used for a variety of industries, including mining, logging, landfill, excavation, and heavy construction.  Although there have been many changes to its ownership and operations, the Terex Corporation is still in action today, serving a global community but remaining connected to its Ohio roots. An excellent Terex history is available through the company’s website, and you can read more about Terex’s complex evolution in this article from the Historical Construction Equipment Association.

Want to learn even more? Check out materials available from the Hudson Library and Historical Society on Ohio Memory, including promotional watch fobs, pennants, Terex advertisements, and company newsletters. For a look at what else HLHS holds related to the company, they’ve shared an electronic finding aid that describes the collection in detail. We hope you enjoy “digging in” to this bit of Ohio’s manufacturing story!


Thanks to Lily Birkhimer, Digital Projects Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, for this week’s post!

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