Date: c. 1955
Description: This red, rotary power lawnmower was manufactured by the Rocklin Manufacturing Company. Rocklin began in 1934 after its owner, I. J. Rocklin, took a gamble by leaving his job at Sioux City Foundry to start his own business. At its start the company mainly manufactured farm machinery and farm products. However, Rocklin always had the spirit of an inventor. In the 1940s during World War II, Rocklin Manufacturing provided extensively for the war effort. It ran 24 hours a day, employing women, teenagers and older workmen, manufacturing machine parts for army tanks and trucks. The company was presented with the Army Ordnance Award for its efforts, and in 2005 a warehouse on Gordon Drive was painted with a mural depicting the Rocklin Manufacturing factory during wartime to further honor the company. In the 1950s and 1960s I. J. Rocklin began inventing new products for his company to manufacture and sell, including this lawnmower, affectionately named after the Missouri River. In this time he also invented a machine known as the Rocklinizer, which electronically applies carbide to tools to make them more wear-resistant and increase use life. Today the company still runs out of 110 Jennings Street here in Sioux City, but has expanded globally and markets their products all over the world.
Donor: Lawrence Syrovatka