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Twin Disc unveils Heritage Gallery

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Twin Disc unveiled the Twin Disc Heritage Gallery last week at its headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin. The 4,000-square-foot Gallery was built in celebration of its 100 anniversary.

"In honor of our centennial we wanted to share our proud history with the community of Racine," said John Batten, president and CEO of Twin Disc in a statement. "I can't think of another town this size that has this many long-lasting companies, and it's because of the people of this great city that we have been able to grow and thrive for 100 years."

Local officials declared Aug. 2, 2018, Twin Disc Day in both the City of Racine and Racine County.

The company has put many of its products, from the first marine transmission prototype to the E-Type flywheel clutch and Power-Shift Transmission, on display. The display also includes Twin Disc memorabilia, such as the first meeting minutes between the company's founders, original stock certificates, and a Wallis tractor equipped with Twin Disc farm factory clutches. That was the original product that helped launch Twin Disc in 1918.

Its most distinguished product, according to the company, is a marine transmission designed for the Higgins Landing craft used across the South Pacific in World War II. The vehicle was also used in the D-Day invasion. "The transmission only had to last 50 hours and reverse was not needed because we were told they would only be going one way," Batten said, during a dedication speech to the roughly 100 guests in attendance. "Twin Disc's engineers, some of whom were veterans of World War I, would not accept a vessel that would deliver our troops into battle and not bring them home safely. Nor would they accept 50 hours of service life."

More than 40,000 landing crafts (or LCVPs) served US troops during the war, and most remained in other countries. Because those vessels were in use and needed to be serviced, the little company from Racine now had customers around the world, which introduced Twin Disc to lifelong partners in Europe, Asia and Australia.

On Monday, Twin Disc reported fourth-quarter sales of $73.7 million, up 37.7 percent compared to the previous year. Its net income was $5.9 million, compared to $1.2 million last year. The company said it has seen an increase in sales of its transmission systems for fracking customers and that global demand continues to improve year over year for its marine business.

Full-year sales were $240.7 million, compared to $168.2 million for the prior fiscal year.

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