Universal Mobility, Inc., timeline
1923 – Hendrik “Hank” Pater is born on January 3, in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
1950 circa – Pater emigrates from Rotterdam to Provo, Utah and later moves to Salt Lake City, Utah.
1960 – Pater establishes Advanced Welding Engineers (AWE), in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1963 circa – AWE merges with Steel Contractors, Inc. (SCI) of Salt Lake City.
1967 circa – Hank Pater leaves SCI to form monorail company Constam Corporation.
1967 – Constam receives contract to build minirail system at California Exposition from Habegger Engineering Works.
1968 – Cal Expo minirail system opens.
1968 – Constam wins bid to construct a second minirail system in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
1969 – Constam reorganizes into Universal Mobility, Incorporated (UMI), with Hank Pater as president. They also operate under the name Unimobil / Habegger and the minirail system is retroactively named Unimobil Type II.
1969 – Minirail system opens at Hershey, called Monorail.
1970 – UMI is contracted to build a minirail system for Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.
1971 – Metro, Magic Mountain’s minirail system opens.
1972 – UMI begins selling a new system – Unimobil Tourister Type II.
1973 – First Tourister system is installed at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina.
1974 – Second Tourister system is installed at Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio.
1975 – Third Tourister system is installed at Kings Dominion near Richmond, Virginia.
1975 circa – UMI subcontracts production of fiberglass components to local Salt Lake City company Intermountain Design Incorporated.
1977 – UMI wins a contract to build a Tourister system at Minnesota Zoological Gardens (MZG).
1979 – UMI participates in a winterization demonstration test between 1979 and 1981 with their Tourister system for MZG.
1979 – Only part of the fourth Tourister system opens at MZG.
1980 – The full Tourister system opens at MZG, but to little fanfare. One Tourister train stalls and the engine sparked and smoked early in the season, giving the ride a further bad reputation.
1981 – UMI is contracted to build a Tourister system at Metrozoo in Miami, due to open in 1982.
1981 – UMI contracts Budd Company of Detroit, Michigan to build part of the Metrozoo ride.
1982 – UMI and Budd Company create a joint venture company to win a contract to build a Tourister system at the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition. This company is named Unimobile 84, Inc., with Hank Pater as president.
1982 – The fifth Tourister system opens in December 1982 at Metrozoo, Miami.
1982 – Louisiana World Exposition (LWE) organizers award the monorail project to Unimobile 84.
1984 – The sixth and final Tourister system opens at LWE. It is the most popular ride at the fair, initially free of charge.
1984 – Due to a lack of attendance, LWE falls behind on payments to Unimobile 84. The two reach an agreement which involves the Tourister system having a 1 dollar fare and Unimobile 84 getting money off the top from attendance revenues.
1984 – LWE misses further payments and becomes the first sanctioned world’s fair event to declare bankruptcy.
1985 – Unimobile 84 tries to sue LWE organizers personally to get money.
1986 – The lawsuit fails in court, being rejected by the Federal Court of Appeals.
1989 – Universal Mobility, Inc., is bought by Transportation Group, Inc., of Orlando, Florida, a subsidiary of Bombardier, Incorporated.
1999 – Hank Pater passes away on February 4 at the age of 76.