Socrates founded Schantz and Sons Inc. after working for a chemical company in St. Louis Mo for 18 years as a mechanical engineer. During the early 1940’s he also owned and operated a few kiddie rides at the Chain of Rocks Park in Missouri.
In 1946 he quit his chemical job and decided to take his rides on the road along with a cotton candy stick joint he of course, built himself. During this time the concept of trailers for food sales were deemed unprofitable because they were to high in the air and closed in.
Frustrated with the fact that stick joints required a lot of work to set up and tear down he never gave up on the idea of building a trailer that was just as profitable as set-up stands. His idea was to open the trailer up as much as possible and design a way to lower it to the ground.
In 1950, while still operating his carnival, he started experimenting with a retractable wheel system. For the next 5 years, working in the carnivals off season, he perfected a system powered by hydraulics that he could build an actual trailer around.
In 1955 while on the road using and demonstrating his new idea, he sold his very first trailer to Whitty Ruth an independent concessionaire that played many of the same locations as Socrates did.
In 1956 Socrates decided to sell the carnival and go full time, with his sons Ray and John, into designing and building retractable wheel concession trailers.