ACF Industries traces its history to 1873,
the year the St. Charles Car Manufacturing Company was founded. This was
one of the thirteen railroad carbuilding companies that merged in 1899 to
form the American Car and Foundry Company. The country's first railroad
tank car, a "tub car" was built by one of these companies in
Five years after the 1899 merger, the first all-steel passenger car ever ordered from a car builder
left our former Berwick, PA shop. It was the first of a shipment of 300 similar cars built for New York City's pioneer subway, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. By 1906, AC&F had steel shops at St. Louis, Detroit, Berwick, Huntington, and Madison, IL.
American Car and Foundry Company's reputation rapidly spread abroad and in 1905 more than 100 motor and trailer subway cars were shipped to England for use in London's underground system.
In 1917, a tank car leasing operation began which, in 1923, became Shippers Car Line, and later was acquired by AC&F in
1927. During World War I, AC&F produced artillery gun mounts and ammunition, field kitchens, pack saddles, submarine chasers, cloth shrinking machines and rollers, and even wooden tent pegs, as well as railway cars, for the Allies. AC&F's Wilmington plant also produced boats for the navy, and after the war switched production to yachts.
In 1922, AC&F expanded into the automotive field by acquiring Carter Carburetor Corporation of St. Louis. This was our first step in product diversification - planned and executed long before the diversification concept became the by-word of American industry.
In 1925, AC&F acquired Fageol Motors Co, a bus builder, and the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company, which produced bus engines. In 1926, AC&F acquired the J. G. Brill Co, a streetcar builder. During World War II, several AC&F plants produced army tanks, aircraft subassemblies, artillery shells, armor plate, and hospital cars, as well as ordinary railroad cars.
By 1954, the corporation's interests had become so diversified that the name was changed from
American Car and Foundry to ACF Industries Inc. ACF produced its last passenger car in 1959.
ACF Industries LLC became a successor to ACF Industries Inc. in May, 2003.