Early Logging and Earthmoving Products
From trolley car parts it was a natural jump to logging locomotive parts. Sawmills and timber operations were important early customers. The company expanded production to include cast steel alloy products, and the company’s first proprietary product, the Bardon’s chocker hook, quickly became a logging industry standard, helping ESCO survive its first decade.
In the 1920’s, Electric Steel Foundry Company began pouring Hadfield’s manganese steel, an alloy ideally suited to high-impact applications such as crushing, mining, and construction. It was 1926 when the “ESCO” trademark was first used. The following year, ESCO's first dragline bucket was produced, followed by earthmoving product lines that would eventually be the “bread and butter” of the company.
In 1929, an historic spin-off occurred. C.F. Swigert’s son, Ernest, was put in charge of a separate business venture specializing in log and lumber equipment. Originally called Willamette-Ersted Company, the firm became Hyster Company, a world-class producer of lift trucks and materials handling equipment.