Clinton Model 494
@ 2500 RPM
in Iowa U.S.A
1945 Don Thomas turned from making tank parts for WW II tanks to small gasoline
engines. By the end of 1946, his payroll had exploded to over 1000 employees and
by 1949 demand for his engines was so great he needed a new factory. In 1950,
Mr. Thomas moved his Clinton Machine Company from Clinton, MI to Maquoketa. The
Clinton Machine Company later became Clinton Engines Corporation with plants in
Maquoketa and, for a time, Clinton, Michigan.
After its arrival in Iowa in 1950 Clinton Engines were producing 2000 to 3000 petrol engines per day. The employees of the plant came mainly from the farms and small towns of the area where tinkering and fixing things with nothing was a way of life. These resourceful people quickly drove the company to be a world leader, eclipsing Briggs & Stratton. More than 18 million engines were produced by the company and more than $550,000,000 pumped through the East Central Iowa economy and the economies of outlying areas in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. Clinton engines were exported to a number of countries, Australia included.