Crown Equipment founder dies at the age of 94

James F. “Jim” Dicke, chairman emeritus of Crown Equipment, has died at the age of 94. A longtime resident of New Bremen, Ohio, Dicke was still serving as chairman emeritus of the company at the time of his death.

Carl and Allen Dicke and Carl’s son Jim Dicke founded Crown Controls in 1945. In 1952, when Carl died, 31-year-old Jim Dicke became president. Jim Dicke II was president from 1980 to 2002 and is the current CEO. Jim Dicke III is Crown’s current president.

Based in the small community of New Bremen, Ohio, Crown got its start manufacturing first temperature controls for coal-burning furnaces and then television antenna rotators. It diversified in several directions before finding its niche in the material handling industry. Its lift trucks are used in a variety of applications, such as transporting goods through the narrow aisles of warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities.