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Claude Poulan and James Conly, Jr.
were driving forces behind the
development of Poulan chain saws.
The first Poulan manufacturing
plant, constructed in 1951, is still
used today for warehousing and
knowledge of assembly procedures and
chain saw design, helped set up Poulan’s
first plant producing complete chain saws.
Poulan then brought his two brothers, Har-
ry and Fletcher into the company in key
positions. Harry took over sales and devel-
oped the forerunner of the distributor-deal-
er system still in use today. Fletcher
became vice-president of production.
Together, these men produced eight Poulan
chain saw models, and gave the company a
solid foundation on which to build the
Today, that company has grown to be
one of the largest manufacturers of chain
saws in the world.
In 1951, the company purchased a 12-
acre site in Shreveport and constructed a
new building which would eventually
grow o 55,000 square feet of manufactur-
ing space. At the same time, the firm intro-
duced its second two-man saw which used
components built in the company’s
foundry and plant, and carburetion and
ignition parts purchased from an outside
Also in 1951, Poulan introduced its first
chain saw manufactured completely with-
in the company, the Model 5200. This
clearly established the company as a
major force in the chain saw industry.
Claude and his brothers inspect one of
their early saws. Shown (left to right) are
Harry Poulan, Chief Engineer Ernest
Garrett, Claude and Fletcher Poulan.