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Simplicity

500 North Spring Street
Port Washington, WI 53074
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Company Overview

Simplicity Manufacturing Company is a company based in Port Washington, Wisconsin that builds lawn and garden equipment under various brands. The company was originally founded by William J. Niederkorn in 1922, and started building riding garden tractors in 1939. Allis-Chalmers purchased the company in 1965, and Simplicity's management bought it back in 1983. Simplicity manufactures lawn and garden tractors. It also offers zero turn mowers, riding mowers, walk-behind mowers, and snowthrowers.

A major step in the company's evolution took place in 1955 when Simplicity began to offer a snow throwing attachment to its walker. This advance led to the 1961 launch of a single purpose, walk-behind, 23-inch rotary snowthrower using a 3.5 horsepower motor. The Snow-Away retailed for $285.

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Facts

  • Employees also own a share of Simplicity through an Employee Stock Ownership Trust. In 2004 Simplicity agreed to be acquired by Briggs & Stratton Corporation, a large manufacturer of gasoline-powered engines for outdoor equipment.
  • Between 1941 and 1945, due to World War II, Simplicity Manufacturing temporarily halted production of lawn and garden products, and manufactured electric fence controllers and external surface grinders to satisfy the War Production Board.
  • Simplicity Manufacturing celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1997, and it celebrated its 90th year in 2012.
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