Wednesday, October 20, 1965
Trail-A-Sled Off to Banner Year
53 Employed; 20 Units a Day
Story from The Crosby-Ironton Courier
Busiest industry in the area at the present time is Trail-A-Sled, Inc.
With the motorized snow sleds, trade-named "Scorpions," now in peak demand by dealers and individuals, the local firm is operating around the clock to fulfill orders and transport the vehicles to destination points.
Shown in accompanying photo are 34 crated Scorpions stacked outside the company plant ready for shipment to Seattle and New York. Shipments are made by company-owned trucks and commercial freight lines. Crates are manufactured by Woodland Container, another local firm.
According to company official Dick Harrison and office manager Earl Hamilton, production since mid-summer has exceeded 300 units, the greater number of which have been contracted for by Sears-Roebuck Co. and other dealers. A number have also been sold to individuals.
Two models of the Scorpion sleds are now in production. A 10 hp., 250 c.c. 2-cycle JLO - alternator standard and a 13 hp., 300 c.c. 2-cycle Hirth - alternator standard. The molded rubber and fabric track with linked steel inserts used on the sleds, bears a Trail-A-Sled copyright and is claimed to be a unique feature of the Scorpion over other comparable makes of sleds. No other manufacturer has been able to duplicate the durability and quality of the Trail-A-Sled track.
At present 53 full-time employees are actively engaged in producing the sleds at the company's two local plants, the former Middleton building and the former Schultz building at Third avenue west, they informed. Also that they are averaging about 20 units per day.
"Our biggest production problems at the moment," said Harrison and Hamilton, "are limited plant space and acquiring materials and supplies on schedule." Stressing the market, they said: "If current demand for the sleds is any criterion, we could probably dispose of 4 or 5 thousand of the units if we could produce them."
Trail-A-Sled, Inc. had its humble origins in a small garage building in Lakeview with the only notable assets of the concern at the time being the ingenious inventive talents of Eugene Harrison and Glen Gutzman. First product of the alley-garage manufacturing plant was an aluminum-type air sled. Though a few of these propeller driven snow-craft, now of fibreglass construction, are still manufactured by the company, the big item now is obviously the Scorpion.
From the original air sled, Gutzman and Harrison went into fibreglass moulding and designed and manufactured a number of fibreglass products, including watercraft and sleeper cabs for trucks, before finally hitting on the now popular snow sled.
Since incorporating the firm, Gutzman serves as president, Harrison as vice president and Dick Harrison, son of Eugene, secretary-treasurer. Earl Hamilton is presently office manager for the company.
Photo Caption: SCORPIONS ... CRATED AND READY FOR SHIPMENT TO SEATTLE AND NEW YORK