A Winch in Time
(Page 3 of 3)
A rather elaborate set of instructions is engraved on a plate on
the chain guard. The two gearboxes, plus the 'handle dog,'
make for a lot of levers to pull and push. In general, a high gear
ratio was used to pull in the slack cable through all the tackle,
then the operator switched to a lower gear for heavy pulling.
Another plate on the control handle identifies the manufacturer as
the 'Evans Clearing Corp.'
A row of case SI winch tractors ready for shipment to South
Africa, parked in front of the Evans headquaters in Gloucester,
Va., in the late 1940's. The old Evans headquaters is now an
auto parts store and antique mall. (Photo courtesy Bill
The End of Evans Winches
The development of modern earth-moving equipment after World War
II (with items such as hydraulic backhoes and large dozers coming
to the market) spelled doom for the Evans land-clearing winch
tractors. When Evans died in 1950 at the age of 66, his nephew took
over the company. By this time, sales of Evans winches were in
decline, a trend that continued until the company was eventually
forced to close a few years later.
Alfred Evans' handsome headquarters and manufacturing
building in Gloucester is now an auto parts store and antique mall.
Even so, some of his winch tractors are still alive and well.
They're rolling - and working - tributes to his inventive
skills and relentless drive.
I am grateful to Betty Jean Deal, director of the Gloucester
Museum of History, for her help in tracking down sources of
information; to Bill DeHardit of Gloucester, who shared a wealth of
history and photos of the Alfred Evans Clearing Corp.; and to Mike
Intlekofer for research assistance.
Ray Gay, owner of the complete and functional Case SI winch
tractor, can be reached at: P.O. Box 5, Ellensburg, WA 98926.
Kirk Unzelman has been, at various times, a cowboy,
rancher, farmer, army medic, truck driver and mechanic. He is
devoting his retirement years to finding, restoring and displaying
antique farm equipment. Contact him at: 4635 130th Ave. S.E.,
Bellevue, WA 98006.
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