State Line Machine Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

State Line Machine celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 11 with a unique and fun open house in Middletown, Del.

📅   Tue June 28, 2016 - Northeast Edition #13
Teddy McKeon


Mike Ritter (L), equipment manager of Melvin L. Joseph Construction Co. Inc. in Georgetown, Del., enjoys the open house with his father, Frank Ritter, a retired farmer.
Mike Ritter (L), equipment manager of Melvin L. Joseph Construction Co. Inc. in Georgetown, Del., enjoys the open house with his father, Frank Ritter, a retired farmer.
Mike Ritter (L), equipment manager of Melvin L. Joseph Construction Co. Inc. in Georgetown, Del., enjoys the open house with his father, Frank Ritter, a retired farmer. A 1955 Allis-Chalmers HD5 crawler loader looks just as ready to work today as it did 61 years ago. Looking for old motor oil? State Line Machine had an extensive collection of it during its anniversary open house in Wilmington, Del. Fulton Owensby Sr. and his son, Fulton Jr., have an amazing collection of construction industry toys at their facility in Wilmington, Del. A garage full of interesting antique equipment, cars and other items greeted visitors to the State Line Machine 50th anniversary open house. Who wouldn’t love to own these antique gas pumps? Dave Steffan (L) and Bob Brown of Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, N.J., celebrate State Line Machine’s 50th anniversary on June 11 in Wilmington, Del. Jerry Myer, retired from Honey Brook Quarry and now with Rough and Tumble, enjoyed viewing the antique equipment collection on display. Jeff Thomas (L) and Mark Grubb, both of the State of Delaware’s Department of Communication, check out an old Caterpillar Model 15. Fulton Owensby Jr. (L) and Fulton Owensby Sr. stand in front of the award-winning 1957 Ford F1 pickup. A collage of antique signs and logos of companies, some still around today, as well as companies that were purchased or went out of business. An International Harvester McCormick Farmall tractor. Farmall production spanned six decades from the 1920s to the 1970s. A restored 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup was just one of many vintage models of trucks and equipment on display during State Line Machine’s 50th anniversary open house. The Cletrac Model F was known as the “string of pearls” because of its unique track system with no lower track wheels or idlers.

State Line Machine celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 11 with a unique and fun open house in Middletown, Del.

The event, more like a museum tour than the typical open house, provided State Line Machine customers, friends and families a stroll down a memory lane filled with antique construction and farm equipment, trucks, gas pumps, pedal tractors, toy models, sales literature, watch fobs and much more.

Equipment on display, some from as early as the 1930s, included Caterpillar, Cletrac, Allis-Chalmers, Cleveland Tractor Co, and McCormick–Deering and more.

A low stress environment on a sunny Saturday morning and afternoon brought out contractors young and old from around the Wilmington, Del., area to celebrate State Line Machine's golden anniversary. The antique equipment spread allowed some of the more seasoned construction veterans to reminisce and teach their children and grandchildren the origins of the some of the more modern, high-tech construction equipment descendants of today.

State Line Machine got its start when, in 1962, Fulton J. Owensby decided to close his excavating business, F.J. Owensby & Sons, and go into the undercarriage business, which was very popular and in demand at the time. In 1966, Fulton S. Owensby Sr. took over the company and changed its name from State Line Machine Works to State Line Machine Inc.

Today, Fulton S. Owensby Sr.'s son, Fulton Owensby Jr., runs State Line Machine, which has become an industry leader in the independent distribution of parts and service for off-road construction and farm equipment customers. Fulton Jr.'s son, Ryan J. Owensby is currently serving in the United States Marine Corp and intends to join the business in spring 2017, which will then make State Line Machine a fourth-generation family company.

Fulton Sr.'s love of the construction and farm equipment industry extends back more than 50 years to his father's excavating business. Over the years, it's this passion that led him to amassing his incredible collection of antique equipment and other vintage items, which was on full display during the 50th anniversary open house.

Also during the event, Fulton Sr., and Fulton Jr., thanked their guests for supporting their business over the many years, helping them achieve this significant milestone.

For more information, visit www.statelinemachine.com.