Re: History of the Forklift

Bill Parks

On Sun, Aug 28, 2022 at 08:55 AM, A&Y Dave in MD wrote:
I would expect them to be regularly visible during or after WWII
I would say instead that "they became more visible during or after WWII".  

What would need to be looked at (and is beyond the scope of this group - more appropriate for the Ry-Ops-IndustrialSIG group) would be when did specific industries shift to using pallets.  I doubt it was an overnight event that impacted every industry, instead was probably spread over the decade (and maybe even into the 60s).  As one of the other articles related to the link in the OP states, pallets were originally used more for internal shipments, as shippers weren't always aware if the consignees could handle pallets, and also the desire of getting the pallets sipped back to them for reuse.

As an example, fresh produce was still being shipped in ice bunker reefers, which generally had 4 1/2 foot wide doors, and were loaded/unloaded manually with hand carts. So a forklift a packing house would be out of place.

However, frozen foods, which took off during the 50s was shipped in mechanical reefers with wider doors (and some ice bunker reefers built with heavier insulation and wider sliding plug doors) was shipped using pallets (same can be said of canned and other preprocessed foods that would use bunkerless reefers or insulated boxcars).

As an aside, the other thing that happened during this period was the shift away from crates to cardboard boxes as the primary way of packing goods.
Bill Parks
Cumming, GA
Modelling the Seaboard Airline in Central Florida

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