“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clintonville in Waupaca County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Four–Wheel Drive

Four–Wheel Drive Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, May 31, 2008
1. Four–Wheel Drive Marker
Inscription. In this machine shop, in 1908, Otto Zachow and William Besserdich developed and built the first successful four-wheel drive automobile. Their first car, the “Battleship”, soon proved that it "could go anywhere a team of horses could go” and led to the founding, in 1909, of The Badger Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, (word “Badger” dropped in 1910 and name changed to FWD Corporation in 1958). Government interest in motor vehicles and the success of the four-wheel drive in early military tests caused the company to switch from cars to the manufacture of motor trucks. In two World Wars, U.S. and Allied armies won the battle of transport with military vehicles of four-wheel drive design. As civilization moves on to new horizons, transportation and progress are served by trucks invented and built in this community using the Zachow-Besserdich principle of applying power to all wheels of a vehicle.
Erected 1960 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 102.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 37.278′ N, 88° 45.522′ W. Marker is in Clintonville, Wisconsin, in Waupaca County. Marker is on
Four–Wheel Drive Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, May 31, 2008
2. Four–Wheel Drive Marker
Memorial Circle south of 11th Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is between Pioneer Park and Olen Park. Marker is in this post office area: Clintonville WI 54929, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Portion of Wall of China (within shouting distance of this marker); Clintonville Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birthplace of an Airline (approx. 1.3 miles away); Chief Waupaca (approx. 7 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.1 miles away); Melvin O. Handrich (approx. 13.6 miles away); Shiocton Area Veterans Memorial (approx. 14.9 miles away).
Also see . . .  Seagrave Fire Engines. "In 1963, the fire engine division of the Seagrave Corporation was acquired by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) Corporation, manufacturers of multi-drive, heavy-duty commercial trucks and fire apparatus. FWD had begun in 1907, when brothers-in-law Otto Zachow and William Besserdich, both blacksmiths in Clintonville, WI, developed a four-wheel drive mechanism and fitted it to a Reo touring car. In mid-1963, Seagrave moved its offices and factory into the FWD plant in Clintonville, Wisconsin, where the renamed Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Inc. makes new fire engines to this day." (Submitted on June 2, 2008.) 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesRoads & Vehicles
Machine Shop image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, May 31, 2008
3. Machine Shop
of Otto Zachow – Wm. Besserdich
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,212 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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