Managing Growth and Decline: The Rise and Fall of the Adams Wagon Co

Managing Growth and Decline

Managing growth and decline book cover
Managing growth and decline book cover

The Rise and Fall of the Adams Wagon Co

After the Adams Wagon Company evolved over the years into the Brantford Coach and Body Company, the old factory on Mohawk St. was replaced by a new modern plant in Cainsville on the easter outskirts of Brantford.  The company, and the new plant were then purchased by Trailmobile Canada ltd in 1966. When that plant closed in 1995, a clean out of archival material included some of that relating to Adams Waggon Company which had been transferred from the Mohawk St. factory to Cainsville in 1966.

Included in that material was preliminary data accumulated by the former Brantford Carriage Co. executive Mr. J.P. McTaggart.  He was preparing a history of the Cockshutt Plow Company and its subsidiaries under the instruction of then Cockshutt president, Harry Cockshutt.  These executive notes, letters and mini histories were the basis on which I later researched and wrote the Trailmobile history, “From Wagon to Trailer.’

Adams wagon built in 1885
Adams wagon build in 1885
Additionally, an original large hardbound corporate Minute Book came to light containing hand written Board of Directors minutes for the Adams Wagon Company Ltd. from 1900, when the company moved from Paris to Brantford, up until 1924.   This book has since disappears but fortunately I had the opportunity to copy all the contents of the minute book to my computer, providing much of the material for the basis of this book.

Adams plant in Paris circa 1900
Adams plant in Paris circa 1900

Between entries of the minutes, we have added further details covering some of the reasons leading up to the decisions made, and the implementation of the Board’s decisions in the management and day-to-day operation of the Adams Waggon Co. Ltd. for that period.  It covers great growth years of that company through to the gradual decline of the wagon and sleigh production as the internal combustion engine age developed and grew.


Available by sending a check or money order for
$12.00 plus shipping ($5.00 Canada/USA, $10.00 overseas) to:

Mike Hand
29 – 587 Cranbrook Road,
London, Ontario, Canada
N6K 2Y4

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