Henderson County, Kentucky


Builders of Light Vehicles

This is the pioneer wholesale carriage factory in this section, the original business having been established in 1863 by George DELKER and others. The firm later became DELKER & BLONDIN, and was known both locally and abroad for the high quality of its vehicles. After the death of Mr. BLONDIN, Mr. DELKER continued the business until 1880, and in 1887 the George DELKER Company was incorporated, and is therefore in the twenty-seventh year of its existence.

When the Henderson Buggy Company discontinued business, the Geo. DELKER Company moved into the property on Elm Street. The business was continued in a comparatively small way until the death of Mr. DELKER, when Carl P. SCHLAMP became secretary and manager.

From this beginning the George DELKER Company has grown into one of the most important manufacturing institutions in Western Kentucky.

The company continued in the old location on Elm street for a number of years, adding new buildings from time to time, as demanded by the increase in the business, and even extending their operations across the street. By 1904 however, it had entirely outgrown its quarters, and being unable to secure adjoining property, was forced to seek another location, where it could care for its greatly increased trade, and in that year the business was moved to the present location, on East Fourth Street, near the Union Station. Even here additional buildings became necessary and have been erected, until today they occupy one of the largest and most modern carriage plants in the Southwest. They have about five acres of ground, upon which is the main building, offices, boiler rooms, repository, warehouses, lumber sheds, lumber yards, etc., in addition to which there is a warehouse on the L. H. & St. L. railroad 50 X 150 feet. In all there is a total covered floor space of about one hundred and twenty-five thousand square feet, and they have the largest repository south of the Ohio River, it being 160 X 50 feet, the frontage of 160 feet being of glass, and the entire floor of concrete. The general equipment of the plant is modern in every detail, and all of the machinery is operated by electric power. A general line of high grade light vehicles is manufactured, the annual capacity being about ten thousand finished vehicles, and employment is given to a large force of employees. This immense output is sold throughout the South and West, and the vehicles made by the company have been known in Henderson and adjoining counties for fifty years.

Switches from three lines of railroads running directly to the factory enable them to load and unload to and from cars without any unnecessary handling.

The officers of the George DELKER Co. are Carl P. SCHLAMP, president; Edward J. SCHLAMP, secretary, and the business has been under the same management for over twenty years.

History of the George DELKER Company

1863 Manufacture of carriages begun by George DELKER at Henderson, Kentucky.

1872 First building erected on Elm Street, now not used for manufacturing purposes.

1887 Business incorporated under laws of Kentucky. Officers: Martin SCHLAMP, President; George DELKER, Manager.

1891 Death of George DELKER in September.

1892 Carl P. SCHLAMP made General Manager in February.

1897 Death of Martin SCHLAMP, first president. Carl P. SCHLAMP elected President. Edward J. SCHLAMP elected Secretary.

1904 Splendid new factory built on railroad tracks near Union Station, fireproof construction. Equipped with automatic fire extinguishing apparatus, and electrically-operated machinery.

1905 Large addition to the factory made necessary by the rapid growth of the company.

1912 Charter of the Corporation extended for a period of one hundred years.

1922 The buggy manufacturing was discontinued and the firm turned to furniture manufacturing.

DELKER Materials and Construction

Wheels: As the wheels are the foundation of any buggy, none but the best should ever be considered. We have never used any but the best grade of split hickory Sarven patent wheels.

Bodies and Seats: Our body is heavy sills of hardwood, and with genuine poplar panels, glued and screwed to the frame. Steel braces at each corner of seat frame, with rods running from back to front, and four rods holding seat to sill of body.

Axles: Wide washer, easy running with caps cemented to axle. No break in paint between axle and bed.

Springs: Our own design, 38-inch four-plate front and rear tempered elliptic spring.

Reaches: We use the best split hickory reach we can buy. Ironed full length.

Trimming: Soft genuine leather throughout. Enameled genuine leather quarters and stays, heavy rubber roof, back, and side curtains.

Shafts: XXX Hickory Shafts made from our own Kentucky hill hickory, ironed and real leather points.

Mountings: Padded patent leather dash, raised japanned rail. Water proof storm apron, full length rubber mat. Solid wood rubber covered or rubber strap boot.

Painting: Genuine lead and oil under coats, hand rubbed, and best quality long wearing varnish.

Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS