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John Landis Grove (January 26, 1921 – June 16, 2003) was an American inventor and industrialist, primarily known for developing the hydraulic crane and access lift industries.

Born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1921, John and his older brothers Dwight and Wayne Nicarry started building farm wagons in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania, and officially founded Grove Manufacturing Company in 1947. Needing a method of moving heavy steel for the wagons, John used his knowledge of hydraulics to develop a rudimentary crane. Dealer interest in John's crane soon lead to the decision to produce the first mobile hydraulic industrial cranes. That decision quickly transformed the company from a manufacturer of farm implements to a world leader in the crane market. In the late 1950s, John's work with Paul K. Shockey developed an all-steel hydraulic extension ladder for use on fire trucks. Within Grove Manufacturing, John oversaw the crane division while Dwight dealt with the farm equipment.

Rapid growth, primarily due to demand for the hydraulic cranes, resulted in the company expanding to over 1,000 employees by 1967. That same year, against John's wishes, Grove Manufacturing was sold to the Walter Kidde Company. Internal strife between the brothers, and possible health issues, caused John to leave the company in 1968.

In 1969, John along with Paul Shockey started Condor Industries and began manufacturing self-propelled, telescoping hydraulic aerial 'cherry-picker' style lifts, primarily for the aircraft maintenance industry[citation needed]. In 1973, Condor Industries was renamed JLG Industries (JLG for John L. Grove). With innovative products and designs, such as mounting lifts on track-driven frames, locating the crane operators cab on the turret, less expensive truck mounted cranes, and 'scissors' lifts, JLG Industries had over 700 employees and 30 million in sales by the late 1970s[citation needed]. JLG became in 2006 part of Oshkosh Corporation.

By the end of his career, John held over 60 patents.

The John L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is named in honor of him.


Lute, Gerald. (2006) The Life and Legacy of John L. Grove Buchanan Trail Publishing Company.