2017 Assembly Joint Resolution 77
Relating to: commending Oshkosh Corporation on its 100th anniversary.
Whereas, in 1916, William R. Besserdich and Bernhard A. Mosling applied for and received two patents designed to improve four-wheel drive capabilities; the first patented component, a transfer case, transferred power from the front axle to the rear, and the second component improved the steering and drive capacity of the front axle; and
Whereas, Besserdich and Mosling did not envision themselves as manufacturers and originally offered their design innovations to several automobile manufacturers to incorporate onto their cars or trucks; and
Whereas, finding no interest in their patents and their strong belief in these designs, Besserdich and Mosling started their own manufacturing business in 1917; and
Whereas, on May 1, 1917, the Wisconsin Duplex Auto Company was founded in Clintonville, Wisconsin, and built its first four-wheel drive truck, known today as Old Betsy, a 4-cylinder, 3-speed, 3,000-pound payload truck; and
Whereas, their 4-wheel drive technology soon gained the attention of investors, and since many of these investors were located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company moved there in 1918 and became Oshkosh Motor Truck Manufacturing Company; and
Whereas, in 1920, the Oshkosh Truck Model A became the first production series of Oshkosh Motor Truck Manufacturing Company; and
Whereas, in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Oshkosh expanded its products beyond the municipal and snowplow markets with industrial utility trucks; the W-Series trucks, which delivered improved power, increased payload capacity and better ride quality, and were the first Oshkosh trucks to be used by the U.S. military; and
Whereas, Wisconsin Duplex Auto grew and evolved over the years through 15 significant acquisitions to form today's Oshkosh Corporation; and
Whereas, on this 100th anniversary, Oshkosh Corporation is the leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of access equipment, specialty military, fire and emergency, and commercial vehicles and vehicle bodies; and
Whereas, Oshkosh Corporation has approximately 15,300 employees around the globe and manufactures vehicles and vehicle bodies at 26 manufacturing facilities in seven countries; and
Whereas, over 2,500 employees are represented by the United Auto Workers, the Boilermakers, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters unions; and
Whereas, Oshkosh Corporation has become one of the largest manufacturers in Wisconsin, providing significant economic impact throughout the state with strong relationships and partnerships in their community; and
Whereas, Oshkosh Corporation is mindful of the importance and contributions of its vast network of dedicated Wisconsin suppliers, many of which are small businesses; and
Whereas, Oshkosh Corporation is a global industry whose products are valued worldwide by our defense forces, rental companies, concrete placement and refuse businesses, fire and emergency departments, and municipal and airport services, where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability, and long-term value are paramount; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the Wisconsin Legislature honors and congratulates Oshkosh Corporation and its employees for 100 years of making a difference in people's lives.