Root Spring Scrapper Company (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
The Root Spring Scraper Company was founded by Fred N Root (b.1850, d.1925) in 1891. It was located in Kalamazoo at 527 W. North Street. The company was run by Fred up until his death in 1925. Fred was a former ice business operator but also was an entrepreneur and inventor. He began manufacturing life guards in 1981 and these sold worldwide. It was in 1900 that the first snow scraper was built and patented for the company. In 1910 Root, built a new shop on 530 West Ransom St. with the building fronting West North Street. It was not until 1920s that they manufactured scrapers for vehicles not horses which were then sold to Michigan and other surrounding states. The early photographs in the collection document the change for horse to vehicle scrapers. After Fred Roots death his daughter carried on the company. The company fell on harder times and needed updated scrapers. In 1927 the company was associated with Ernest Weeks who helped solved a number of problems including updated to a hydraulic scraper. Weeks retired in 1941 and died in 1944. His son Dan, took on the role of general manager. During World War II they halted productions and built military landing crafts. In 1947 they built an addition onto the building to expand their growing business. In 1948 they bought an adjoining lot on Ransom Street for storage. At some time, the company was contracted for a large V-plow to clear runways which within this collection there is numerous photos of these plows and similar at the air ports in Kalamazoo. In the 1990s Dan retired and Fred Root took over as president of the company. The company closed in 2022, which by the time it closed it had been in the hands of four generations of Root’s.