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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Klauer Manufacturing began in this building on Iowa Street. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

KLAUER MANUFACTURING COMPANY. Klauer Manufacturing Company was founded by Peter KLAUER and incorporated in 1904. In 1870 the company began operations from a small frame building at 1236 Iowa Street.

Klauer Manufacturing operated in this building (being renovated in 2011) after moving from Iowa Street. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

While a new brick building was being constructed in 1885, the company temporarily set up operations in the DUBUQUE CITY HALL, occupying 75 percent of the first floor facing Central Avenue. In 1892 the company returned to Iowa street opening a warehouse and factory in a three-story building between 13th and 14th STREETS. (1)

The company entered the business of manufacturing for the jobbing trade in 1896 making metal rain-carrying equipment including eave trough and rain pipe. By 1906 the company began the production of metal roofing and siding, conductor pipe, and eaves.

In 1911 the company was supplying metal flume to some of the largest irrigation projects in the nation. The company added such products as metal fireproof window frames and sash, roof ornaments, skylights, steel ceilings, solder, asbestos paper and roof cement. The company was then the world's largest manufacturer of conductor pipe.

In the same year, Klauer Manufacturing acquired another manufacturing company and executed one the largest local real estate deals in local history. Klauer purchased the entire block opposite its main plant bounded by 8th and 9th STREETS, Washington Street and the Great Western railway tracks. The property had been used for years by the Stout Lumber Company. Company officials stated at the time of the purchase that buildings would be erected on the site for the extension of the company's manufacturing. Klauer Manufacturing also announced the acquisition of the La Crosse Ceiling and Cornice Company which had been involved in the production of steel ceilings for six years. The entire plant was to be relocated to Klauer's present location with manufacturing continuing. (2)

On May 5, 1927 company officials announced the purchase of Lichty Metal Products Company of Waterloo and transfer of the manufacturing to Dubuque. The Waterloo company's manufacture of Monitor ventilators and farm building equipment in addition to many patents held by the company were to be added to the Klauer line. (3)

Snogo advertisement
1928 Snogo advertisement. Photo courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/ykyguidiiyr/
Matchbook. Photo courtesy: Mike Avitt
Advertising ash tray.
World War II business envelope.

Between 1928 and 1934, the Klauer Company revolutionized snow removal with the development of a rotary snow remover named the "Snogo." A specially designed snowplow for heavy road equipment, Snogos were named through a nation-wide contest. Four hundred horsepower motors enabled the machine to remove 2,400 tons of snow per hour. In October 1936 the City of New York placed an order in the amount of $476,125 to purchase 42 of the machines. It was believed at the time that this contract was one of the largest, if not the largest, ever received by any Dubuque manufacturer. (4) They have seen service at Denver's Stapleton Airport and Chicago's busy O'Hare Airport. During terrible snowstorms in the eastern United States during 1978-1979, four Snogos were loaded aboard jumbo C-5A transports in Cedar Rapids for quick shipment.


Wausau-Everest, a equipment company, announced that a SNOGO snowblower had been listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES. The 1932 truck-mounted unit is located at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The snowblower kept Trail Ridge Road and other park roads open for tourists and nature enthusiasts for decades. The unit was one of 39 such snowblowers manufactured by Klauer Manufacturing Company from 1928 through 1934, and is believed to be the oldest SNOGO in existence. Wausau Equipment Company, Inc. purchased SNOGO from Klauer in 2000. (5)

The National Register is a listing of historic properties determined to be significant in American history. Most properties on the Register are buildings, structures and sites. The listing of a SNOGO snowblower is unique because it is one of just a handful of important resources on the Register that are mobile. (6)

Metal ceiling catalog

In October 1981, Klauer Manufacturing announced its plans to move the manufacturing plant to the INDUSTRIAL PARKS from Ninth and Washington STREETS. The route of relocated U.S. 61 would have claimed one of the buildings Klauer occupied. In 1991 Klauer Manufacturing occupied one plant on Washington Street and the other along Roosevelt Street Extension in the Industrial Park.

The Klauer Manufacturing Company was inducted into the DUBUQUE BUSINESS HALL OF FAME in 1984.

On January 16, 2012, Klauer Manufacturing Company and EMCO Building Products announced plans to form a partnership that would create one of the strongest companies in the steel and aluminum building products sector. Under the proposed partnership Klauer would purchase EMCO’s machinery, production capability and inventory and consolidate all manufacturing operations to two Dubuque, Iowa locations. EMCO would market the EMCO brand of steel siding and matching metal soffit, fascia and rain carrying products throughout North America. EMCO would also market Klauer brand metal products. The EMCO Product line would remain complete with 33 colors for box siding and seamless steel siding under the name EMCO Preserve™ & Weatheredwood™. EMCO would continue to aggressively promote United States Seamless® an exclusive seamless steel siding marketing program offered to select dealers nationwide. Klauer planned to introduce a new Klauer brand of steel siding through its distribution channel and increase its color selections in matching aluminum soffit, fascia and rain carrying systems. Klauer Classic and Prestige siding products, with matching fascia, soffit and rain carrying equipment would be produced in 28 new premium colors, in addition to, the colors in the current Klauer line. (7)

In April, 2021 Klauer Manufacturing hired famed author Brian E. COOPER to write a history of the company. Klauer Manufacturing: A Family Enterprise's First 150 Years, a record of the small hardware company that grew to become a fifth-generation manufacturer, was to be made available beginning on April 7 at the DUBUQUE MUSEUM OF ART. Donations for the book were accepted, but it was not for sale. William Klauer, chairman of the board, said the company was absorbing the costs and was distributing the books. Cooper said of his research that he had learned of the company's efforts to be a good citizen of the community. In addition to providing countless jobs over the years, the firm during the GREAT DEPRESSION worked hard to keep employees on the payroll. Cooper believed the company offers those just entering the business world a fine example. "They operated ethically and honestly over the years and it served them well." (8)

Company officials announced in January, 2022 their plans to make a $14 million investment in the local plant. The addition would include manufacturing, office, and warehousing space expanding the 125,000 square-foot facility located at 1185 Roosevelt St Ext. by 73,000 square feet. (9)


The 1915 Dubuque City Directory listed 8th and Washington.

The 1937 Dubuque Consurvey Directory listed the corner of 9th and Washington.

The 1957 through 1977 Dubuque City Directory listed 301 E. 9th and the Sno-Go Division at 300 E. 26th.

The 1987 Dubuque City Directory listed 1185 Roosevelt Extension and the Sno-Go Division at 2600 Washington.

The 1989 through 1993 Dubuque City Directory listed 1185 Roosevelt Extension.




1. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, November 22, 1892, p. 4

2. "La Crosse Manufacturing Plant Absorbed by Klauer Company," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, April 30, 1911, p. 1

3. "Klauer Company Buys Out Plant," Telegraph-Herald and Times Journal, May 5, 1927, p. 12

4. "Klauer Co. Gets $478,125 Order," The Telegraph-Herald, October 13, 1936, p. 2

5. "Snogo Listed on the National Register of Historic Places," Wausau Equipment Company, Online: http://wausau.wausau-everest.web.topfloortech.net/brands/snogo/historic

6. Ibid.

7. "Klauer Manufacturing Company and EMCO Building Products Announce Agreement," http://www.emcobuildingproducts.com/Klauer_Emco_Press.aspx

8. Montgomery, Jeff, "Book Marks 150 Years for Dubuque Manufacturer," Telegraph Herald, April 6, 2021, p. 1A

9. Goldstein, Bennet, "Klauer Plans Expansion, 16 New Jobs," Telegraph Herald, January 14, 2022, p. 1A