Wagemaker

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Wagemaker Company (Changed from Wagemaker Co., Ltd. in 1906)

The Wagemaker Company was a boat building firm in Grand Rapids, Kent County, beginning in 1899 as a manufacturer of wooden flat-top and roll-top desks, filing cabinets, filing supplies and other specialty cabinet work. The company's boat product line emerged out of its furniture-building business by the early 1950s. It was especially well-known for its molded plywood hulls.

The company's shop was located at 566 Market Avenue, S.W. in Grand Rapids.

Officers of the firm in 1953 consisted of R. O. Wagemaker, president and general sales manager; L. A. Wagemaker, vice-president, treasurer and purchasing agent; J. H. Bushnell, secretary; and J. Van Domelen, treasurer. The company became one of the larger boat manufacturers in the state by 1955, employing 98 males and 30 females.

In the late 1950s it became involved with US Molded Shapes, makers of molded plywood hulls. This company, along with Cadillac Marine & Boat Co. is listed as a subsidiary by 1963.

In 1960, management of the firm consisted of R. O. Wagemaker, Sr., president and general manager; O. I. Wagemaker, Sr., vice-president; Jane Van Domelen, secretary; Robert Moore, treasurer and purchasing agent and Kenneth Urick, sales manager. The company employed between 50-250 males and 20-40 females.

The company also had a plant in Cadillac, Wexford County, in 1960, which produced boats and plastic products.

The company went out of business in 1960.

[see Bob Speltz account in "The Real Runabouts"]

Sources:

Michigan State Archives, RG 61-11, Abstracts of Reports of Corporations, Lot 3, Vol. 4 (1903-1909). p. 690.

Michigan State Archives, RG 61-11, Abstracts of Reports of Corporations, Lot 3, Vol. 5 (1910-1914.) p. 690.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers--1940, No. 2, March, 1940 (Detroit: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1940.) p. 375.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers--1944, No. 3, June, 1944 (Detroit: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1944.) p. 416.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1946 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1946.) pp. 34, 280.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1950-1951 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1950.) p. 11--classified products section.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1953 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1952.) p. 296--classified products section. p. 163-geographic section.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1955 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1954.) p. 365--classified products section. p. 188-geographic section.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1957 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1956.) p. 390--classified products section. p. 205-geographic section.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1959 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1958.) p. 402--classified products section.

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record. The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1960 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1960.) p. 410--classified products section. pp. 193, 336-geographic section.

Carron, Christian G. Grand Rapids Furniture: The Story of America's Furniture City (Grand Rapids, MI: The Public Museum of Grand Rapids, 1998.) p. 224.


Model Information


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Wagemaker Boats in Use


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