What does chopping livestock feed by hand have to do with your Gehl machine? You might be surprised to find out the brand dates to 1902 and its first main product has a lineage that extends back to 1859. That was the year Louis Lucas opened a foundry in central Wisconsin. His goal was to supply the explosion of new farmers who were arriving from Europe with cultivators, plows and repair services. Some 20 years later in 1880 Louis formed a partnership with a German born Blacksmith M. Silberzahn who eventually purchased the Lucas foundry in 1890. They designed a machine called the Hexelbank. At $11.50 it soon had a following of people who were tired of the mundane and time consuming task of chopping feed for their livestock. This hand-cranked invention simplified and sped up the drudgery of that chore immensely. You see, it was that first product and its popularity which enticed John W. Gehl to acquire part interest of Lucas’s and Silberzahn’s company in 1902. Within a short period of time John invited his brothers to join him in the endeavor and the 4 of them together purchased all the remaining assets. In 1904 the Gehl Brothers Manufacturing Company was born.