1938 – 1950s

Hold the Brakes

In 1938, after hearing driver complaints of failing parking brakes, maintenance supervisor and repairman brother Al Orscheln drafted, created, and installed the first “overcenter” parking brake in a St. Louis bound Orscheln truck.  They were such a success, the brothers patented the design in 1939 and installed them on the family’s whole fleet of delivery trucks. In 1946, Orscheln Brake Lever Manufacturing Company (Later to become Orscheln Products) was incorporated to build the brake system for sale to others.