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.
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.
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