Beginning with the blacksmith shop of German immigrant Meinrad Rumely (1823-1904), this successive family of firms invented and produced a line of agricultural equipment that played a vital role in the evolution of farming based on the muscle of humans and animals to one based on the power of the steam and ultimately the internal-combustion engine. The M. & J. Rumely Co. became the M. Rumely Co., and then the Advance Rumely Co. The Allis-Chalmers Company acquired the business in 1931.
This machine, designed by Alton S. Newell, efficiently reduced automobile bodies into scrap metal for recycling. A body was fed into the shredder at a controlled rate, and rotating hammers, driven by a 500-hp motor, shredded it into small pieces that were easily shipped. The process took about 10 minutes a car and used less energy than other shredding and crushing machines.