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!

The Michigan Railroad That Was Never Used

The Old Kilmanagh General Store

Abandoned Blaine Street Synagogue, Detroit

Abandoned Stone Building in Bay Shore

Abandoned Calumet Radar Base

Abandoned Deer Acres Fun Park

 

 

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