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Clinton Engine Museum


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#1 framesteer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2015 - 04:40 PM

Last week, I was on a trip up to Madison, WI to have an evaluation at the University of Wisconsin medical center.  We try to plan our trips up there so that we can enjoy the walleye dinners at the Main Street Café in Maquoteta, IA.  They have about the best walleye around, fried or grilled.
We had some extra time after lunch, so I asked about the Clinton Engine museum there in Maquoketa.  I had seen some information on their web site last fall.  The waitress directed me to the museum, and it was a very interesting place.
My Dad sold quite a few Clintons back in the 60’s and 70’s.  In his small engine repair shop, we bought cast aluminum rotary mower decks from a company in Kansas City, then put either Briggs or Clinton engines, depending on customer preference.  Complete mowers sold for $62.  As I remember, the Clintons were easier to start and more reliable.
The Clinton museum is run by the Jackson County IA Historical Society.  The location of the museum is in the old Clinton Administration building.  The factory buildings on the site have been torn down.  They have spent a lot of money refurbishing the admin building and have two floors full of Clinton engine displays and information.  They have 100’s of excellent pictures of the factory people at work and many pictures of marketing events.  The people we met at the museum were very knowledgeable and eager to share their stories.
The Clinton operation started there in 1950 and stopped operation in the mid 70’s.  Overall, they produced over 18 million engines.  At one point they had over 3500 people employed and made 7000 engines a day.  No doubt the company was a powerful force in the town of 5,000.  One story was when they had a "public payday".  They distributed the weekly pay on a downtown street, paying the workers in $2 bills.  The Idea was to see how fast and how far those $2 were distributed throughout the community.  What a great publicity stunt.
The museum was first class and very professionally done.  They had many engines on display.  They had interactive displays about company history, engine operation, engine design, engine manufacture and marketing.  They have pictures of many unique engine applications.
All in all, a very interesting afternoon.  If you have an opportunity, I’d suggest you stop by and have a look.  Maquoketa is about 35 miles south of Dubuque, IA.   Here is their web site http://ce.jciahs.com/

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#2 Lauber1 OFFLINE  


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Posted July 11, 2015 - 08:36 PM

ive been there before , its a pretty cool place.

#3 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  


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Posted July 11, 2015 - 10:33 PM

nice story, but where are the pics?



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Posted July 12, 2015 - 07:57 AM

If I ever get to that neck of the woods, I will certainly stop in. Thanks for the tip.

#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 12, 2015 - 10:39 AM

Are you allowed to bring a camera if you go? 

#6 framesteer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 12, 2015 - 02:07 PM

I think so.  I didn't have a camera that day, and my "dumb" phone's camera doesn't take very good pics.  I'll post some pictures after my next trip.

#7 Trav1s ONLINE  


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Posted July 14, 2015 - 09:11 PM

Nice!  I need to stop in and check it out.  

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