Allis-Chalmers, History

Allis-Chalmers & Civil Defense Part II

As a follow-up to my previous post, I would like to fill you in on some new information that I received from the National Archives. I sent an inquiry to the archives about Allis-Chalmers’ involvement with the development of the National Emergency Alarm Repeater system (NEAR). If you haven’t read that post yet, click here.

This is the information I was able to uncover via the National Archives. Allis Chalmers was given a government contract to build and test three generators. I already mentioned the one at the Dairyland Power Cooperative near La Crosse, Wisconsin. Here are the details of the other two test sites.

    • A medium-sized city in the Rocky Mountain area to determine the problems inherent in providing complete coverage in a municiple [sic] power company embracing an area of approximately 100,000 population– Size 50 KVA
    • A large private power company in the southeastern section of the United States. The primary purpose of the installation is to test the propogation [sic] of the signal in areas subject to turbulent weather conditions and heavy power loads. — Size 200 KVA–
**from the National Archives file RG397 :DEFENSE CIVIL PREPAREDNESS AGENCY OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE,Box 1, FolderNEAR Signal Generator Manufacturers”.**

The National Archives more than likely has many more files about NEAR and Allis-Chalmers’ involvement with it. If I ever make it out East, I will have to swing by for a day to research this topic further. I still have the Milwaukee County Historical Society’sinformation to research as well. As I mentioned in my last post, that historical society has archival material relating to the NEAR project and Allis-Chalmers building equipment for it. More to come.

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