You raise a very interesting possibility. I do know that “Col.” Arthur William Sidney Herrington (1891-1970)
oversaw field tests of a Coleman truck on 9 Feb 1925, and then again in comparative evaluations against FWD and the Militor on 1 Apr 1925, both at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, while in his various roles at Camp Holabird, Baltimore, MD.
- At various times, he is described as "Chief Engineer of the Engineering Section; Consulting Engineer for the Motor Transport Division of the US Army Quartermaster Corps; Chief Engineer of the Motor Transport Division of the US War Department; and as Director Engineering & Development (1921-1928).
- Perhaps the most accurate title that he used himself when writing up the official report on the 1 Apr 1925 comparative tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground was "Consulting Engineer for the Motor Transport Division of the US Army Quartermaster Corps." I take this to mean that he appears to have been a "consultant," or at the very least, loaned from one military branch to the other.
- On a side note, the title "Colonel" was purely honorific, Art had only risen to the rank of Captain during WW-1, and then Major in the Army Reserve.
Regardless, Art Herrington was so very impressed with the Coleman test results, he then made fairly frequent visits to Coleman Motors in Littleton, Colorado to consult with Harleigh R. Holmes, inventor and patent-holder of the "Holmes Drive System" (aka
"Holmes Front Drive"), the proprietary 4x4 axle of a Coleman truck. I had understood this relationship to become more formalized by 1926, and we know for certain that by early 1928, Art Herrington was the General Manager of the Coleman Motors Corporation "Eastern Branch" located at 314-316 Eye Street, NE, Washington, DC,
and I actually have a "letterhead" piece of correspondence with the US Army Air Corps signed "Coleman Motors Corporation, A. W. Herrington, General Manager," dated 2 Feb 1928, with the above Washington DC address at the top.
The ubiquitous Coleman "C-25" light cargo truck; troop transport, light (TTL), and light semi-tractor (introduced in 1925) even became nicknamed the "Herrington Models,"
due to Art’s very strong influence in adjusting the Coleman truck product line to directly satisfy emerging military requirements from 1925 through about 1930.
Yes, Art Herrington did later patent his own 4x4 axle on May 15 1930
, as you correctly note, and he then moved on in 1931 to enter into a partnership with car-makers Walter Marmon (1872-1940) and brother Howard Carpenter Marmon (1876-1943) to co-found the (re-organized) Marmon-Herrington Company (MH),
also then entering the 4x4 axle and differential business, as well as specializing in both the military and heavy commercial truck-building markets.
However, Jeff, you do raise an excellent point. As Art Herrington had done in his various civilian engineer roles with Camp Holabird, et al, perhaps he did not
enter into an "exclusive
" relationship after all with Coleman as general manager of their Washington, DC branch – Perhaps he considered himself more of a consultant, and actually consulted for other commercial or military organizations as the very same time. Regardless, he was absolutely a key figure at Coleman and had a simply huge influence their emerging truck design considerations during the 1925-1930 time frame.
Your comment that he consulted with the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps from at least 1928-31 helping to design the "standardized" QMC trucks built at Fort Holabird from 1928-32
certainly suggests he kept multiple hats on his hat rack at the very same time. This obviously overlaps with his fully documented tenure as General Manager of the Coleman Motors Corporation "Eastern Branch" from at least 1928 through about 1930. Looks like Art was "burning the candle from both ends," working for Coleman, while also directly helping QMC design the "standardized" military trucks that would ultimately beat out Coleman in the 1930s for virtually all future Army truck orders until 1941 with the coming of the initial orders for the G-55A "Quick-Way" Crane. .
Thank you Jeff -- as with any good researcher, I always truly welcome comments or new information that makes me go back and totally rethink, recheck, confirm, or adjust my research. We are all just trying to get this right...
May I ask your source on the QMC consulting from 1928-1932? I would like to deep-dive on that a little more to gain an even better understanding of Art Herrington and the "many lives" he apparently lead, often all at the same time!
Craig H. Trout
ATHS Life Member
Researching Holmes / Plains / Coleman / American Coleman Trucks
and selected production partners, such as Columbian Steel Tank, Quick Way Truck Shovel, Howe-Coleman, International Harvester, Marmon-Herrington, and SnowBlast