A HISTORY OF WAYNE WORKS BUSES AND VEHICLES
Wayne, an early school bus manufacturer, has a long and fascinating place in America's transportation history. Some sources give 1837 as Wayne Works' founding year, while others claim Wayne Works was in business "since 1868." The company's own literature has referred to both years as the beginning. A 1947 brochure mentions that Wayne Works had been in business for 110 years. A 1920 brochure makes what might be a qualification stating
that Wayne Works "vehicles" had been manufactured "since 1868." One certainty
is that Wayne Works never started as a bus manufacturer, but as a maker of various
sorts of agricultural tools. According to the History of Wayne County, Indiana, v. II, (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1884, pp. 534-535), a foundry known as "Wayne Agricultural Works" was started by John Whippo, Caleb W. and James Witt at Dublin, Indiana, in 1837. Wayne Agricultural Works, sometimes referred to as "Wayne Agricultural Company," was soon transferred by Whippo to four Witt brothers. Norton Davis I. L. Lawrence
eventually purchased the company. It became a stock company in 1871 and
moved to Richmond, Indiana, in 1876.
I haven't yet found when Wayne Works started making vehicles. However,
by 1886 Wayne Works made school carriages which many people referred to as
"school hacks," "school cars," "school trucks," or "kid hacks." Photo from a 1980s Wayne brochure courtesy Charles Sarjeant, webmaster of Bus Explorer.