When Royal G. Thern returned from the U.S. Air Force after WWII, it was as part of a generation tired of war and determined to be builders. Thern's new base of operations was a tiny block building in Winona, a small Minnesota river town. In that building, Roy Thern fixed up, dreamed up, machined and marketed a variety of products for the agricultural market he knew so well.
Among his earliest creations: A corn sheller, a lever-operated chain hoist, a cordwood saw frame and his most significant invention - a differential chain hoist. This differential hoist soon became a popular item in the 1950's Sears and Roebuck catalog, the single most-widely used retail publication of its day.
As the years passed, the Thern company grew, its product line broadened and winches and cranes became the dominant lines. In 1977, Roy's son-in-law, Fred A. Morgan joined the sales force and began to seek markets for custom made-to-order products. Soon, niche markets had Thern winches and cranes tailored for their special needs such as portable davit cranes for the wastewater industry, large electric winches for railroad car handling and portable one-ton winches for general industrial use.
Today 50-plus years after its beginning, Thern, Inc. is providing standard and customized load handling equipment to leading companies all around the world.