The Original name in liftgates - SINCE 1941
815-842-3383

The Anthony Story

Location
1890

William C. Anthony born in Peoria, Illinois

Black and white photo of early Ford model car
Location
1911

Anthony earns a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois

Location
1912-1917

William attempts sales

After school, William goes to work for the White Motor Company out of their Chicago, IL branch. He returns to work at a Streator, IL lumber yard when sales prove not to be his calling.

Location
1918

Anthony Company incorporated

While working at the lumber yard, William has the idea for a dump bed to be mounted on Ford Model T’s. Early production units are hand made, but demand grows quickly. To expand production Anthony Company is incorporated and production is moved to a larger facility across town.

Location
1919

William wins contract with Ford Motor Company

Anthony wins a contract with Henry Ford to ship bodies to Dearborn, Michigan to be fitted on Model T’s as they leave the plant.

Photo of paper specs of Anthony Low Rocker
Location
1926

Anthony and Ford part ways

A meeting with Henry Ford produces demand for production prints. With his refusal to sell the prints, Ford proclaims William will soon go broke.

Anthony instead turns to selling through distributors, which launches the company’s biggest growth.

Location
1926 - 1938

Anthony Company grows through innovation

The company leads the way developing hydraulic systems of all kinds used to transport cargo, becoming a weighty player in the transportation equipment industry.

Location
1939

“End Gate Loader” conceived

Specs of end gate loader

Local Ford dealership service manager Frank Novotney brings his idea for a truck lift to plant manager Lawrence Walker. With Anthony’s help, the idea becomes a working machine that could be affixed to rear of any make truck. Anthony markets the new loader under the trademark “lift gate” which eventually becomes widely recognized as a term for truck loaders.

Location
1941

Anthony “Lift Gate” introduced

Novotney receives royalties on each sale as the lift gate’s chief promoter.

Location
1942

Anthony pulled into war production

During WWII, Anthony Company produces bomb trailers and other transportation equipment for allied forces.

Bomb Trailer Assembly 1944
Monthly Message
Close up of bomb loading operation
Location
1945

WWII Ends

Anthony Company receives a 4-star Army / Navy E-Award – an honor given to only the top 5% of facilities engaged in wartime production.

Following the war, general superintendent & plant manager Lawrence Walker leaves Anthony. He uses his life savings and a mortgage on his home to open a business producing industrial handling equipment used in large factories.

Newspaper photos
Letter from US Marine Corps
Location
1946

Peacetime operations bring liftgate to the forefront

Anthony focuses on the liftgate and a new line of agricultural equipment in the peacetime transition.

Newspaper Advertisement
Printed Flyer
Location
1946 – 1950’s

Liftgate revolutionizes freight delivery

The liftgate was so well-received that it quickly becomes a critical component of a successful delivery businesses

The trademarked term lift gate is widely recognized referring to elevating truck loaders.

Advertisement for bottle transportation
Advertisement for dairy and frozen food transportation
Location
1955

William Anthony retires

The closely held family business is sold.

With over 150 joint and individual patents to his name, William’s success story stands as a testament to what can become of creativity and hard work.

Location
1960’s, 1970’s

Anthony Company expands product line

Anthony produces truck bodies, fork lifts, hoists, agricultural equipment, military equipment, and liftgates.

Large Dump Truck
Dump Truck Body
Fork Lift
Location

1960’s, 1970’s

Flyer for Heavy Duty Truck Hoists
Flyer for Agricultural Spreaders
Flyer for International Truck Hoists
Location
1979

Former Anthony plant manager's son purchases liftgate business

Now head of the company his father founded upon leaving Anthony in 1945, Patrick Walker purchases the Anthony liftgate line, adding to the product portfolio of truck seats, lawn care machinery, and industrial handling equipment.

L.E. Walker

L. E. Walker

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker
Location
TODAY

Anthony Liftgates continues legacy of innovation and quality

With a skilled workforce and the latest in manufacturing technology, Anthony liftgates are proudly built in the USA.

Welder
Man in Paint Booth
Laser