The Ruins of the Steering Wheel Plant, Onaway
In 1901, Edward J. Lobdell ventured to Northern Michigan, settling in Onaway. He formed the American Wood Rim Company by merging four high-quality wood rim manufacturers. Lobdell organized the Lobdell-Emery Manufacturing Company to handle a large sawmill and lumbering.
In 1904, thanks to the ever-growing demand for automobiles, the American Wood Rim Company began manufacturing wooden steering wheels. Their experience with bicycle rims helped make a smooth transition to manufacturing steering wheels.
By 1905, the American Wood Rim Company was the world’s largest producer of wooden bicycle rims.
With Charles H. Kendrick’s all-wood steering wheel patent, the American Wood Rim Company became one of the world’s largest suppliers of wooden steering wheels…not just for automobiles, but for bicycles, boats, cycle-cars, and tractors.
The ruins of the Lobdell plant still stand in Onaway and is a mecca for abandoned-site investigators. Take a look at some photos below!
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The Old Kilmanagh General Store
Abandoned Blaine Street Synagogue, Detroit
Abandoned Stone Building in Bay Shore
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Abandoned Deer Acres Fun Park