Vises and Clamps

In this book we will document the history of the makers and manufacturers, as well as details about patents, models and other general history.

We found this "blurb" in a catalog from Chas. A. Strelinger & Company in 1895 (Begin on Page 162)." A nice discussion on the importance of paying attention, and WHAT to pay attention to when considering the purchase of a vise. We hope you enjoy the read!

6:28 am

Gripping Tool Manufacturers

Here is an excellent Forum resource from the Garage Jounal

Here is another excellent Forum resource from the Garage Jounal (very large thread) Please see the page references below.  When you click the link above, simply add &page=put page number here to the end of the url and it will take you to that page. 

**NOTE** There are thousands of examples of vises contained in this thread.  Garage Journal member Drivesitfar took the time to compile the below list identifying where vises can be found down to the page number.  We then alphabetised them:

A M&F Co.---Pipe Bender------------------------------------Page 299
A.JA.X----UNBREAKABLE--------------------------------------Page 362
Ace Apex---Rotating Vise--------------------------------------Page437
ACE-----------------------------------------------------------Page 961
ACESA---------------------------------------------------------Page 665
Acme Tool Co.-------------------------------------------------Page 536
Adam's Co. / Diamond Vise Co.-------------------------------Page 330
Adams Co.----Dubuque Ia.----Machinist Vise--------------------Page 668
Adams Diamond C0.----Anvil Vise------------------------------Page 730
All Steel Plate Vise--------------------------------------------Page 968
Allens Anvil Vise-----------------------------------------------Page 433
Allied---------------------------------------------------------Page 508
Altrade---Asia----------------------------------------------Page 36, 88, 89, 425
AM & F Co.----Pipe Vise---Like the Vanderman------------Page 541, 1199,--- post 10815, 23966
American Chain Co. Inc.----ACCO-------------------------------Page 767
American Forge & Foundry---AFF-------------------------------Page 931
American Machinery Co. Inc.---AMPO-GRIP------------------Page 188
American Scale---N&B RR---350+ lbs.---8 3/8 jaws------------Page 390
American-----------------------------------------------------Page 463, 794
American------------------------------------------------------Page 794
Anchor--------------------------------------------------------Page 534
Apex Machine Vises---India----------------------------------Page 357
Armstrong MFG. Co.-----------------------------------------Page 353
Athol #33---Quick Adjust-----------------------------------------Page 1185
Athol---#81-----------------------------------------------------Page 1090
B P------------------------------------------------------------Page 672
B Tout Acier-----------------------------------------------Page 243
B. Smith & Co.-------------------------------------------------Page 777
BABCO-----------------------------------------------------Page 35, 280, 647
Bacus Vise-------------------------------------------------Page 178
Baker---------------------------------------------------------Page 716
Ball Base, Rotating Vise-----------------------------------------Page 638
Barrett-----------------------------------------------------Page 312
Baugh & Moss - Leicester--------------------------------------Page 746, 754
Belknap---Blue Grass Vise-------------------------------------Page 399, 400
Bernstein--------------------------------------------------Page 234
Bessey-----------------------------------------------------Page 259
Bicycle Vise----------------------------------------------------Page 882, 883, 1134, 1135
Biehl Brasil-----------------------------------------------------Page 841, 842
Black & Decker----Workmate 7''--Quick Vise--------------------Page 600
Bloom T.H.S.-----------------------------------------------Page 90
Blue-Point----------------------------------------------------Page 384
Blue-point-----------------------------------------------------Page 828
Boker Germany---------------------------------------------Page 58
Boley Watchmaker Vise----------------------------------------Page439
Boley---------------------------------------------------------Page 734 949
Bonney's---------------------------------------------------Page 208
Brass Columbian------------------------------------------------Page 1097
Brinks & Cotton-----------------------------------------------Page 438, 898
Buffalo------------------------------------------------------Page 337
Bugatti---------------------------------------------------Page 61, 1068
Canedy Otto M.F.G. Co.-------------------------------------Page 4, 164, 486
Carl Shields---Anvil Vise----------------------------------------Page 961
Casa Grande--------------------------------------------------Page 598
Champion Blower & Forge Co.---Anvil Vise----------------------Page 452
Champion-----------------------------------------------------Page 525
Champion-----------------------------------------------------Page 794
Chaney Anvil & Vise-----------------------------------------Page 212
Charles Parker #0---2 1/8'' jaw width--------------------------Page 1148
Charles Parker #20---------------------------------------------Page 1108, 1162
Charles Parker #978---------------------------------------------Page 1131
Charles Parker Trojan--------------------------------------Page 252, 1035, 1032, 1168
Charles Parker---Side Screw----------------------------------Page 1022
Charles Parker---The Smallest--------------------------------Page 1062, 1195
Chief--------------------------------------------------------Page 359
Chief----------------------------------------------------------Page 482, 688
Chinese vise---10'' jaws------------------------------------Page 186
Circle D----------------------------------------------------Page 162
Clifford Peterson Tool Co.-------------------------------------Page 408
CL---Japan----------------------------------------------------Page 961
Coaly & Co.---Kansas City--350 lb. Red Seal-----------------Page 68
Cobalt-----------------------------------------------------Page 213
Cobra---------------------------------------------------------Page 823, 1125, 1147
Col. Hdwe.----Clev'd. O.---------------------------------------Page 523
Cole Tool Mfg.----------------------------------------------Page 259
Cole Tool Mfg.------------------------------------------------Page 470
Cole---on a Pole------------------------------------------------Page 1070
Colton---------------------------------------------------------Page 554
Columbian Autocrat--------------------------------------------Page 923
Columbian Plate Steel Vise-------------------------------------Page 587
Comb No. 3---Combination---by Oswego--------------------Page 998, 1080
Companion-------------------------------------------------Page 233
Craftsman Rotating Vise----------------------------------------Page 581, 582
Craftsman---05198---6" jaws---107 lbs.--------------------Page 981, 1086, 1089
Craftsman---3/4'' jaw width-------------------------------------Page 1150
Craftsman---8 inch jaw---Japan-----------------------------Page 329, 330
Craftsman---Rotating vise-----------------------------------Page 309
Crawford------------------------------------------------------Page 798
Cummings Rotating Vise----------------------------------------Page 601, 606
Customized Parker Eclipse------------------------------------Page 333
Dawn Machinist Vise-------------------------------------------Page 602, 672
Dawn---not offset--Australian----------------------------------Page 1115
Dawn---Offset Vise----------------------------------------Page 156, 235
Dixon Ball Vise--------------------------------------------------Page 874
Dodge Slide Set-----------------------------------------------Page 482, 626, 696, 697, 747
Dolex------------------------------------------------------------Page 1082
Doug's vise----Made in Canada---------------------------------Page 800
Drillia Canada Vise----------------------------------------------Page 632
Droped--------------------------------------------------------Page 771
Dubuque-------------------------------------------------------Page 838
Duracraft--------------------------------------------------Page 198, 357, 359
Duracraft------------------------------------------------------Page 805
Eclipse-----------------------------------------------------Page 295, 394
Elgin Windmill Company----------------------------------------Page 736
EMCO------------------------------------------------------Page 33
Emmert Mfg. Co.---Rotating Vise----------------------------Page 131, 132, 252, 424, 670, 671, 951
Emmert Tiger--------------------------------------------------Page 579
Erie Tool Co.--------------------------------------------------Page 461
Eron-------------------------------------------------------Page 318, 889
Eron-------------------------------------------------------------Page 889
Falcon---Canadian--------------------------------------------Page 399
Farwell & Adams Co.--Anvil Vise-----------------------------Page 66
First Jefferson Tool Inc.-------------------------------------Page 15
Fisher Norris---Double Sprocket/screw-----------------------Page 269
Flex Vise---------------------------------------------------Page 90
Flex-vise----L.A. California-------------------------------------Page 803, 811
Foot Operated Vise--------------------------------------------Page 589
Foot Operated Vise--------------------------------------------Page 834
Forjado IRIMO-125-----------------------------------------------Page 1206
Fortis Steel--Quick Release--Metal Former-------------------Page 94
FORTIS----STEEL--------------------------------------------Page 362
FORTIS----UNBREAKABLE-------------------------------------Page 362
FPU Bison Bail-----------------------------------------------Page 332
Fray Mershon Inc.---All Angle Vise-----------------------------Page 441
Fred Moran---Rotating vise----------------------------------Page 345
Fuller---------------------------------------------------------Page 466
Fuller----------------------------------------------------------Page 857
Fulton Anvil Vise------------------------------------------------Page 561
Fulton Peerless------------------------------------------------Page 528
Fulton Star----------------------------------------------------Page 924
FZA Eterna---A170-100------------------------------------Page 195
G. M. & T. Co.-------------------------------------------------Page 610
G.M. Yost----Swivel Jaw---------------------------------------Page910
Gambles Expert---------------------------------------------Page 83
General Fire Extinguisher----GFE----------------------------Page 171, 641,
GEO. W. Diener Mfg. Co.------------------------------------Page 166
GG Super Leone---Italian--------------------------------------Page 399
Gibraltar-------------------------------------------------------Page 571
Globemaster---Tiwan---------------------------------------Page 79
Goodell & Pratt Company----------------------------------------Page 864
Grand Quickset---------------------------------------------Page 271, 313
Grand Specialties Co.---Grand Vise Master----------------------Page 494, 946
Great Neck-------------------------------------------------Page 283
Groz----------------------------------------------------------Page 413
Gunsmith Patternmaker Vise---------------------------------Page 135
Gyro----------------------------------------------------------Page 681, 923
H & B----George A. Colton, Pattern Holder---------------------Page 590, 592
H. B. Smith Co.-----------------------------------------------Page 474
H. B. Smith Co.-------------------------------------------------Page 618, 777, 1109
H.G. Butt M.F.G. Co.----------------------------------------Page 347
Hartman Vise-----------------------------------------------Page 45, 1143
Hartman---Lever Vise------------------------------------------Page 1067
Heavy Duty----------------------------------------------------Page 672
Heavy Duty----------------------------------------------------Page 672
Henry Diston---------------------------------------------------Page 772
HENRY-----------------------------------------------------Page 36
Heuer Front------------------------------------------------Page 5, 83, 791
Hoar---Offset Vise------------------------------------------Page 361
Hoar---Offset Vise--------------------------------------------Page 361
Hoffmann Group----Garant-------------------------------------Page 951
Hollands #46---Swivel Jaw---------------------------------------Page 1200
Hollands #48---Largest Swivel Jaw--------------------------Page 1057
Hollands Offset Vise----------------------------------------Page 66
Hollands Slab Side----------------------------------------------Page 867
HOME---------------------------------------------------------Page 961, 1210
Hot Rod Cutter Vise-------------------------------------------Page 447
Howard Iron Works-----------------------------------------Page 183, 782
Huyer---------------------------------------------------------Page 804
I A----England------------------------------------------------Page 516
IKN----Russian-------------------------------------------------Page 652
Illinois Iron & Bolt Co.---------------------------------------Page 140
Indestro Mfg.-----------------------------------------------Page 127
IRIMO---------------------------------------------------------Page 828
Irwin----------------------------------------------------------Page 527
J. Marlow---G. Kipp--------------------------------------------Page 917
J. S. & Co.----------------------------------------------------Page 595, 628
Jacobson---------------------------------------------------Page 308
JBS------------------------------------------------------------Page 662
JBT------------------------------------------------------------Page 871,
Jet-----------------------------------------------------------Page 495, 1103
Joplin----Australian--------------------------------------------Page 512
Jordan--------------------------------------------------------Page 522
Jorgenson--------------------------------------------------Page 24
Karas Electric Co.---------------------------------------------Page 461
Keen Kutter-----------------------------------------------------Page 1096
Ken Tool---------------------------------------------------Page 215
King Fuller----------------------------------------------------Page 382
King---Rotating Vise-------------------------------------------Page 489
L. J. Anchor-------------------------------------------------Page 339, 396
L.M.& V. Co.---Star 55----------------------------------------Page 412,466, 767
Lane Tech Chicago---------------------------------------------Page 835
Larin Machinist Vise--------------------------------------------Page 817
Larin---Rotating Vise------------------------------------------Page 437,442, 784, 817
Leavens--------------------------------------------------------Page 856
Leinen-----------------------------------------------------Page 1, 44, 398, 610, 949
Lewis Tool Co.--NY.----------------------------------------Page 222
Lewis Tool Co.----------------------------------------------Page 100, 599
Lewis---------------------------------------------------------Page 599
Lion--------------------------------------------------------Page 68
Little Giant-------------------------------------------------Page 324
Littlestown----------------------------------------------------Page 676, 679
Littlestown----------------------------------------------------Page 676, 679
Ludell---------------------------------------------------------Page 524, 633, 860, 1106
Luther---Milwaukee-V20------------------------------------Page 218, 294
Luther--------------------------------------------------------Page 433, 525, 645, 646
MAC Tools-------------------------------------------------Page 169
Made in USA---------------------------------------------------Page 620, 621
Made in USSR.-------------------------------------------------Page 699
Made In USSR-------------------------------------------------Page 699
Maple Leaf Vises--------------------------------------------Page 130
Marshall Valstar---Japan---------------------------------------Page 415
Maryborough Shipyard-----------------------------------------Page 534
Massey Clincher-----------------------------------------------Page 366
Massey Perfect-------------------------------------------------Page 500, 1161
Massey---old + odd-----------------------------------------------Page 1161
Massey's E & K---------------------------------------------Page 44
Meadville Vise Co.----------------------------------------------Page 628
Mercury----------------------------------------------------Page 221
Mercury-------------------------------------------------------Page 529, 568, 1112, 1160
Metal & Pipe Bending Vise-----------------------------------Page 126
Metal Former---Swyne Robinson & Co.-----------------------Page 13
Metro---------------------------------------------------------Page 721, 728, 753, 1160
Miller Fall Vise, 1912--------------------------------------------Page 844
Miller Falls-------------------------------------------------Page 202,
Milwaukee Tool & Equipment Company--------------------Page 24,---Post, 473
Miniature Keystone--------------------------------------------Page 433, 438
Mohawk----------------------------------------------------Page 209
Monarch---6 inches----------------------------------------------Page 1128
Montgomery Ward Lakeside---------------------------------Page 216
Montgomery Ward---Powerkraft---By Milwaukee-------------Page 203
Morrison---------------------------------------------------------Page 1094
Murry Tool Co.---------------------------------------------Page 150
N.S. Co.---#2 Combination-----------------------------------Page 997
National Sewing Company----Vindex----------------------------Page 601, 605
National------------------------------------------------------Page 481
Nodular Brazil-----------------------------------------------Page 304
Northern King----Made in Canada-------------------------------Page 816
Northern King----------------------------------------------Page 251
NS Co.-----------------------------------------------------Page 314
Oil Well Supply Co.---by Oswego------------------------------Page 1080
Old Record----------------------------------------------------Page 587
Olimpia-----------------------------------------------------Page 14
Olympia------------------------------------------------------Page 462
Ontario---Combination Vise--------------------------------------Page 1154
Optimum Machinen---Germany------------------------------Page 976
Oswego tool Co.----------------------------------------------Page 461
Oxwall-----------------------------------------------------Page 4, 224
Palmgren---Panavise----------------------------------------Page 19
Palmgren----Tiawan-------------------------------------------Page 707
Paramo #00--Small---------------------------------------------Page 1118
Park & Lacy Co. Ltd.----Rotating Vise---------------------------Page 872, Post 17437
Parker 386----Swivel Jaw--------------------------------------Page 821
Parker Hale Bisley Gunsmith Vise-----------------------------Page 135
Parker Lever Vise---Aka.----Hall's Sudden Grip-------------------Page 642
Parker Rotating Vise----------------------------------------Page 245, 367
Parker---#439--------------------------------------------------Page 1078
Parkinson's---Ball Based Vise--------------------------------Page 362
Parkinsons---Model-F---Perfect Vise------------------------ Page 360, 362
Parkinsons---Model-F---Perfect Vise-------------------------- Page 360, 362, 805, 889
Peck, Stow & Wilcox----------------------------------------Page 220
Peddinghaus---Matador-------------------------------------Page 148, 333
Pewe----Sweden----------------------------------------------Page 511
Pexto------------------------------------------------------Page 219
Phoenix Hardware----------------------------------------------Page 810
Phoenix----------------------------------------------------Page 198
Pittsburg Automatic---Railroad Vise---------------------------Page 1110, 1186, 1213
Pittsburg Railroad---Automatic Vise--------------------------Page 1010
Poland FPU-------------------------------------------------Page 321
Pony------------------------------------------------------Page 189
Porter-Ferguson--------------------------------------------Page 80
Powercraft----------------------------------------------------Page 755, 756
Precision Built--------------------------------------------------Page 567
Precision Built---Streamliner---------------------------------Page 34, 98 507,604, 1125
Prentiss #58---stationary---------------------------------------Page 1117
Prentiss Monarch---Combination with pipe jaws---------------Page 1214
Prentiss on Lewis Patent----------------------------------------Page 835, 836, 838, 889, 910
Prentiss Shepard----------------------------------------------Page 584
Prentiss---Anvil Vise-----------------------------------------Page 333
Prentiss---on a Lewis Patent-----------------------------------Page 1071
Prentiss---The Gipsy-------------------------------------------Page 489
Promark-------------------------------------------------------Page 733
Proxon-----------------------------------------------------------Page 1082
PVCO---The Gipsy------------------------------------------Page 104
Pyramid--------------------------------------------------------Page 894, 902
R.B.-----------------------------------------------------------Page 611
Radcliff Service Tools---------------------------------------Page 172
RAE CANADA---GRAY TOOLS--------------------------------Page 36, 40, 168, 198, 413, 908, 1184, 1200
Record Anvil Vise-------------------------------------------Page 93
Record Auto-Vise-------------------------------------------Page 93
Record Combination---#634---------------------------------Page 991, 993
Rex 700---combination vise---------------------------------Page 943
Ridgid / Peddinghaus----Matador / Superior---------------------Page 523
Ridgid / Simplex---------------------------------------------Page 94
Rock Island---Anvil Vise---------------------------------------Page 452
Rolland's-------------------------------------------------------Page 858
Romania - 150mm-------------------------------------------Page 358
Romanian 150mm----------------------------------------------Page 437
Rotating Bicycle Vise-------------------------------------------Page 568, 1074
Rotating Bicycle Vise-------------------------------------------Page 638, 654
Rough Neck----Rotating Vise------------------------------------Page 657
Round and Square Stock Vise----------------------------------Page 432, 551
Rugol-------------------------------------------------------------Page 1119
Sambre ET Meuse----France--------------------------------Page 243, 255, 740
Samson Jr.----------------------------------------------------Page 598
Samson----------------------------------------------------Page 299, 300, 341, 395, 482, 880
Sawyer---6" Jaws---------------------------------------------Page 1000
Sawyer----------------------------------------------------Page 162
Sawyer---Rotating Vise---------------------------------------Page 445,--- Post 8900
Schlegel EMF 125---Germany-----------------------------------Page 546, 549, 895
Schlegel, EMF-125----Germany---------------------------------Page 568, 792
Schlegel-------------------------------------------------------Page 792
Sealey--------------------------------------------------------Page 495
Servess-------------------------------------------------------Page 803
Shefield----------------------------------------------------Page 92
Sheldon----------------------------------------------------Page 319
Shop Fox---------------------------------------------------Page 210, 216
Shop-------------------------------------------------------Page 83
Shultz Nodular Brazil--------------------------------------------Page 656,793
Simonds-------------------------------------------------------Page 722
Skil------------------------------------------------------------Page 782
Smart's 66-----------------------------------------------------Page 999
Smid pipe vise---Made in France-----------------------------Page 6
Snap-on---Drop Forged---------------------------------------Page 391
Soderfors/Bofors vise---------------------------------------Page 3, 754
Speedy Vise---------------------------------------------------Page 772
Stainless Steel Morgan-------------------------------------------Page 1160
Standard---Stationary and Swivel 716E---------------------Page 584, 1075, 1153, 1160
Star Gold------------------------------------------------------Page 635
Star of Bethlehem 140 and 150------------------------------Page 360, 607, 1157
Star of David / Bethlehem---Made in Japan-----------------Page 360, 607, 1157
Starkey--------------------------------------------------------Page 647
Sterling------------------------------------------------------------Page 1195
Stevens---Rapid Vise / Lever Vise---by Fisher Eagle Anvil Works-------Page 181, 319, 320, 361, 577
Stuart Handy Worker Anvil Vise------------------------------Page 14, 144, 663, 664
Studebaker Machine Co.-------------------------------------Page 128, 199
Superior Nickel Chrome---Rotating Vise-------------------------Page 468
Superior----Erie Tool Works---------------------------------Page 29, 238, 328, 394, 814, 1199, 1201
System Kensche------------------------------------------------Page 655
Systems Kensche----------------------------------------------Page 833
Tarounio Tool And Die----Machinist Vise------------------------Page 507
Taskmaster------------------------------------------------Page 1, 8
Tecomaster---T40-------------------------------------------Page 17
Tekton--------------------------------------------------------Page 943
The Vanderman Mfg. Co.---------------------------------------Page 546, 1157
Torin------------------------------------------------------Page 176
Triangle 3------------------------------------------------------Page 877
UA.H Brevet---------------------------------------------------Page 793
Vandermans Mfg. Co.----Pipe Bender------------------------Page 183, 914
Veit & young--------------------------------------------------Page 465
Veit Young---------------------------------------------------Page 385
Velox---------------------------------------------------------Page 479
Versa-Vise-----------------------------------------------------Page 554
Versa-Vise-----------------------------------------------------Page 623
Vertical Crank Vise--------------------------------------------Page 409
Viking Vise--------------------------------------------------Page 332
VPA-GS---Powerfix-Profi+-----------------------------------Page 283
Walworth-----------------------------------------------------Page 731
Wards Lakeside-----------------------------------------------Page 362
Ward's Master Quality---Anvil Vise--------------------------Page 783, 1069
Ward's Master Quality--Anvil Vise----------------------------Page 82
WARDS MASTER QUALITY---Bullet Vise-------------------------Page 1201
Wards Master Quality----Machinist vise-------------------------Page 957
Welded Steel Plate Vise----------------------------------------Page 952
Wells Bro's & Co.--------------------------------------------Page 135
Wenlic---------------------------------------------------------Page 835
Westbrook High School-----------------------------------------Page 694
Western Howe----WESCO--------------------------------------Page961
Whitney Metal Tool Co.----------------------------------------Page 596
William Starkey---Starkey's Vise-----------------------------Page 360
Williamson MFG. Co.---Rotating Vise----------------------------Page 364
Wilton 600---Swivel Jaw---190 lbs.--------------------------Page 886, 1113
Wilton Juno---------------------------------------------------Page 460
Wilton----Glisenti S.A.-Milano----Italy--------------------------Page 799
Wilton---Wilomatic Hydrolic Vise-------------------------------Page 455, 495
Wizard-----------------------------------------------------Page 112
Woden-----------------------------------------------------Page 149, 839, 1212
Woden--------------------------------------------------------Page 671
Yankee-------------------------------------------------------Page 371
York----------------------------------------------------------Page 497
Yost 44---Swivel Jaw---------------------------------------Page 135
Yost 99------------------------------------------------------Page 463
Yost Swivel head--------------------------------------------------Page 1161
Yost----Gem--------------------------------------------------Page 704
Yost-----GEM-------------------------------------------------Page 772
ZEECO--------------------------------------------------------Page 961
Zyliss------------------------------------------------------Page 212

Image Description: 

Vise Manufacturers from the 1897 Edition of the Engineering Directory

Image 2 Description: 

Vise Manufacturer's from the 1905 Edition of The Iron Age Directory

Image 2: 
Image 3 Description: 

Vise Manufacturers from the 1922 Edition of the Engineering Directory

Image 3: 
Image 4 Description: 

Vise Manufacturers from the 1922 Edition of the Engineering Directory (Continued)

Image 4: 
Image 5 Description: 

Manufacturers from the 1922 Edition of the Engineering Directory (Continued)

Image 5: 

Vise Catalog Links

In addition to what we have found, WK Fine Tools has done an excellent job tracking down online sources for tool catalogs.  You may find vise listings at their website.

1860 Low & Burgess - Page 98 (Wilson's)

1864 Bliven, Mead & Co. (Parker, Hurlburt's, Eagle)

1870 Walworth Mfg. Co. (J. J. Walworth & Co)

1870 Hall, Kimbark & Co. - Page 75 (Peter Wright, Hall & Kimbark Post Leg Vises, Parker, Hurlbert, I. C. Tate;'s, Stephen's, Hoar's, Backus)

1873 Hart, Bliven & Mead (Bonney, Trenton, Wilson's)

1875 Frasse & Company (Stephen's Patent, Millers Falls ["Union and Backus Vise Combined"], Fisher & Norris, Parker)

1875 Eaton, Cole, & Burnham - Page 73 (Nason, several unbranded)

1875 Reuter & Mallory - Page 108 (Fisher & Norris, Peace Patent, Parker, Howard, Stephens)

1876 S. D. Kimbark - Page 273 (Post Leg, Parker, Hall, Union/Backus, Steven, Howard, Stephen, Stearn)

1883 Thomas Foster & Sons - Page 32, 37-39 (Trenton, Prentiss, Parker)

1883 Cooke & Co. (Trenton, Stephens Patent, Prentiss, Parker)

1884-5 E. H. Moody (Bonney, Other Unknown Vises)

1884 A. Hammacher & Co. - Page 286 (Trenton, Wilson, Athol & Parker)

1884 Huntington, Hopkins & Co - Page 20 (Peter Wright, Fisher & Norris, Wilson, Parker, Saunders)

1885 Milner & Kettig - Page 145 (Payne, Armstrong, Klingfast, Enterprise, Jarecki)

1886 Hall & Carpenter (Unknown Vise)

1886 Nason Manufacturing Co. - Page 93 (Saunders, Parker)

1888 Dunham, Carrigan & Co. Page 497 (Cheney, Trenton, Miller, Backus, Parker, Hunter, Keller, Nason, Saunders, Hayden & Barnes, Bonney, Wentworth, Stearn)

1890 Motley, Thornton N., & Co. (Wentworth, Stevens (sp), Prentiss, Parker, Merrill, Fisher & Norris)

1890 Hobbs Hardware Company (Unlabled Vises)

1891 Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. (Bonney, Parker, Massey, Cheney)

1891 John H. Graham & Co.: Page 7 (Saw Vises) // Page 82 (Iron City Post Vise)

1892 Oil Well Supply Co. (Smith's)

1893 Hill, Clark & Co. (Brainard's Milling Machine)

1894 Manning, Maxwell & Moore (Smith's, Brainard's, Prentiss, Parker, Simpson, Stephens', Phoenix, Stern's, Lineman's, Stubs', Hall's, Moss', Alford, plus MANY unidentified models)

1895 Chas A. Strelinger & Co. (Parker, Merrill, Other Unmarked Vises)

1896 Chas A. Strelinger & Co. (Jarecki, Alford, Billings, Lowell, Victor, Gypsy, Parker, Merrill, Massey, Fairbairn)

1886 - 89 Chicago House Wrecking Co. - Page 28 (Post and Bench Vises - Probably Parker)

1896 Prentiss Tool & Supply Co. - Page 782 (Prentiss, Lewis, Jarecki, Diamond)

1897 Charles H. Besley & Co. (Parker, Prentiss, Billings, Alford, Lewis, Stephens Patent, Phoenix)

1897 Chas. A. Strelinger & Co. Woodworker's Catalog (Toles', Victor, Norbourne, Adams)

1897 L. M. Rumsey Manufacturing Co. (Prentiss, Lewis, Parker, Austin)

1897 Sears Catalog (Parker, Trenton, Adams)

1898 Niles Tool Works (Parker, Prentiss, Other Unmarked Vise)

1898 Rice, Lewis & Son - Page 62 (Parker, Jarecki, Peter Wright, "offset jaw", Simpson, Diamond, many other unmarked)

1899 James B. Clow & Sons (Parker, Armstrong) - Page 243 (Prentiss, Simpson, Boley, Stephen's)

1900 Chicago House Wrecking Company: Page 32 (Foot Vise) // Page 35 (Smiths)

1900 Niles Tool Works (Parker, Prentiss, Other Unlabled Models)

1900 The Burnet Co. - Page 210 (Saunders, Parker, Prentiss, unknown post leg vises)

1901 Caverhill, Learmont & Co - Page 637 (Parker, Diamond, Lewis, Van Wagoner)

1902 George Worthington Co. - One Page (Parker)

1902 Manning, Maxwell & Moore (Smith's, Fisher & Norris, Smith's, Prentiss, Vulcan, Barrett's, Simpson, Shepard's, Gipsy, Champion, Stephens', Parker, Prentiss, Victor, X. L. Rapid, Alford, plus MANY unlabled models)

1902 Brown & Sharp

1902 White, Van Glahn & Co. - Page 96 (Unknown, Parker)

1903 S. D. Kimbark Co. - Page 141 (S. D. K. Post Leg, Eagle, Gipsy, Prentiss, Jacobson, Parker, Massey, Illinois, Diamond, Hollands, Stearns, B&F / Champion Foot Vises)

1904 W. M. Pattison Supply Co. (Lewis, Prentiss, Merrill, Parker, Billings, Smith's, Blake's)

1905 Gray & Dudley Co. Page 55 (Bonney) // Page 56 (Prentiss)

1905 Gustav Wiedeke & Co. (Hollands/Keystone)

1905 Holbrook, Merrill & Stetson - Page 790 (Diamond, Vulcan, Parker, Curtis & Curtis, Armstrong, Saunders, Keystone)

1905 Walworth Co. - Page 225 (Walworth, Smith's, Parker, Armstrong, Searle's, Vanderman, Spencer)

1907 United Supply Co. (Reed)

1909 Barlow Hardware Co. - Page 39 (Prentiss, Shepard - P V Co., Hollands, many unmarked post & foot vises)

1909 H.S. Howland Sons & Co. (Boker, Stearns, Phoenix)

1909 W. Bingham Co. Page 644 (Bonney's, E. C. Stearns) // Page 643 (Jersey, Leavens)

1910 Scully Steel & Iron Co.: Page 142 (post leg) // Page 144/5 (Parker) // Page 146/7 (Hollands, Prentiss)

1911 J. M. & L. A. Osborne Co. (Unknown and Williamson Patent Vise)

1911 Cameron & Barkley Co. Page 810 (Henderer, Jarecki, Reed, Prentiss, Parker, Emmert, Fisher, Oliver)

1911 Sargent Tool Book

1912 Great Western Manufacturing Co. - Page 346 (Parker, Monarch, Vulcan, Crane Co., L. R. Mfg. Co./Star Vise)

1913 Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Co. - One Page (Emmert)

1914 Crerar, Adams & Co. - Page 208 (Vulcan, Toledo, Armstrong, Saunders, Parker, Prentiss, Reed, Massey, Lightning Grip, Emmert)

1914 L. M. Rumsey - Page 622 (Armstrong, Erie, Phoenix, Jarecki, Parker, Smith, Vulcan)

1914 Butterworth's Supply Co. - Page 64 (Unknown)

1914 Good Manufacturing Co. - Page 130 (Good)

1914 Hammacher, Schlemmer & Co. - Page 183 (Parker - Victor/Eclipse/Trojan, Starrett, Jersey, Yankee, Emmert, F & R, Vanderman, Vulcan, Armstrong, Toledo, Toles, Sheldon, Richards-Wilcox)

1915 Olympic Trading & Supply Co. (unbranded)

1915 Grand Rapids Supply Co. - Page 417 (Reed, Vanderman)

1916 Illinois Malleable Iron Company: Page 225 (Warnock Strap Vise) // Page 227 (Pipe Vises, Mark Mfg. Co) // Page 228 (Smith's, Parker, Vulcan)

1916 Montgomery Ward & Co. (Lakeside, H. D. Smith, Alford, Stanley, Goodell-Pratt, Green River)

1917 A. Y McDonald Mfg. Co. - Page 1256 (Vulcan, Nye, Reed, Vanderman)

1917 Geo. B. Carpenter - (Reed, Prentiss, Marvel Drill Press Vises, Rock Island, Parker, Victor Jersey, Stanley Clamp Vises, Unknown Post Leg)

1917 - 1922 Lomont & Company (Rock Island)

1917 - 1922 Baker, Hamilton & Pacific Company (Reed, Goodell-Pratt, Richards-Wlcox)

1917 Nason Mfg. Co. - Page 456 (Armstrong, Saunders, Klingfast, Parker, Walworth, Smith, Nason, Vulcan, Bonney, Trident)

1918 Von Thaden & Meyer - page 51 (Columbian)

1919 Sears, Roebuck & Co.: Page 1090 (Samson and other unlabled) // Page 1078 (Samson and other unlabled) // Page 1092/3 (Unlabled Pipe Vises)

1920 Luthe HW Co. - Page 211 (Gipsy, Stearns, Cheney) // Page 212 (Adams)

1920 Oliver Machinery Company

1921 Cochran-Sargent Co. (Reed, Keystone, Vulcan, Smith's, Prentiss-Blake's)

1921 Virginia-Carolina Supply Co. (Pipe Vises - Reed, Crown, Mark, Williams)

1922 Goodell-Pratt Catalog (Page forward when opening book) - Page 573 (Crane Co., Jarecki, Vanderman, Parker, Williams-Vulcan)

1923 Starke-Seybold (Yankee, Victor, Stanley, Prentiss, Vulcan, Parker, Peter Wright)

1924 Berger Brothers Co. (Parker Eclipse)

1925 Hardware Buyers Catalog (Keystone, Hollands)

1925 L. D. Berger Company (Keystone Hollands)

1925 Thomas Robertson & Company: Page 231 (Jarecki, Hollands, Vulcan) // Page 232 (Hollands Keystone)

1925 Wood, Alexander & James - One Page (Keystone, Hollands, Parker, others) Hard to Read

1926 Fort Pitt Hardware Company: Page 263 (Machinist - Goodell-Pratt, Richard-Wilcox, Christiansen, Holland, Emmert, Keystone) // Page 267 (Pipe - Hollands, Vulcan) // Page 281 (Saw - Gunn, Dikeman, Stearns, Disston) // Page 308 (Hand Vises)

1926 Pittsburgh Auto Equipment (Parker, Columbian)

1926 Goodell-Pratt Catalog

1928 Boston Builder's Hardware Company - Pages 94, 96 (F, M & V, Holland, unknown vises)

1929 Scully Steel & Iron Co. (Yost)

1929 Woodworker's Tool Works - Pages 177-179 (Emmert, Rock Island, Acme, Diamond)

1930 Berger Brothers Co. (Parker Eclipse)

1930 Simmons Hardware Co. - One Page (Luther, Austin, Goodell-Pratt, Red Arrow, Wilcox)

1930 Miller Supply Co. - Page 129 (Nye, Reed, Williams/Vulcan)

1931 Samuel Harris & Co. - (Reed, Armstrong, Columbian)

1934 E. C. Stearns & Co - Page 20

1935 Shapleigh's Hardware - One Page (Columbian, Prentiss)

1935 Simmons Hardware Co. (Wilcox, Red Arrow, Goodell-Pratt, Luther, Austin)

1936 American Brass & Copper Company (Desmond-Simplex)

1937 General Tool (Odin)

1938 Woden Catalog Page

1940 Parkinson Catalogue

1941 Clark & Barlow HW Co. - Page 111 (Abernathy, Champion, Modern, Majestic, Parker, Athol, NuTyp, Ontario, Yankee, Sheldon, Brown & Sharpe, Palmgren, Beaver, Armstrong, Toledo, Nye, Williams-Vulcan)

1943 Craftsman Wood Service Company (Stanley Marsh Mitre Vise, other unlabled vises)

1943 Thos. Somerville Co. - Page 276 (Reed, Beaver, Ridgid, Williams/Vulcan, Toledo)

1949 Stanley Catalog - Page 119

1950 Wolverine Brass Company Limited (Ridgid Pipe Vises)

1955 Iron City Tool Works Catalog

1956 Ridgid Catalog

1956 Toledo Catalog

1959 Millers Falls Catalog - Page 17

1959 Shapleigh's Hardare - One Page (Columbian)

1964 Buck & Hickman - Single Page (Woden)

1967 Wilton Price Sheet

1972 Starrett-Athol - One Page


Hammacher, Schlemmer & Co. Catalog #630 (Early 1920's/late teens) (Richards-Wilcox, Sheldon, Stanley, Champion, Athol)

Carolan, Cory & Co. - Page 366 (Cheney, Trenton, Parker)

C. J. Rainear & Co. - Page 136 (Walworth, Smith, Vulcan, Nye)

Athol Machine & Foundry Company - Vise Model Change Chart (likely pre-1922)

Rigid F-Series Manual

Warren Group (Columbian) Catalog Number 375

Unknown Year Blish, Mize & Silliman Hardware Company (Luther, Goodell-Pratt, Bonney, Champion, Varco)

Image Description: 



Early Vise Makers


Here we will list the names of early vise makers as we find them.  The dates represent the earliest and latest records we find of them being in operation. 

Archibald LaMont - Pittsburgh, PA - 1830 - 1840s.  Here is an article explaining his vises.  Archibald's biography can be found in "A Century and a half of Pittsburgh and her people."  His biography notes that he never secured letters of patents on the vise he invented.  The Pittsburgh Gazette of 3/30/1837 notes that the company of Wallingford & Co. (2nd St.) is selling "Lamont's patent solid box vices."  The 2/22/1831 edition of the Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette also notes the sale of "Lamont's patent vices" by Cochran & Irwin at No. 26 Wood St.  The 6/19/1832 edition of the Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette carries an article noting the virtual completion of the manufactory A. LaMont & Co. in Allegheney Town.  Beyond vises, A. LaMont & Co. manufactured large screws for presses, mills, rolling mills, etc.  Interestingly, the bottom of the article carries a warning to not infringe upon the patent rights of the subscribers, contradicting his biography which stated he never received patents for his vises.  Archibald LaMont did receive a patent for dies and taps, which may or may not apply.  It should be noted that Mr. Lamont's vises were celebrated as differing from imported models in that the screw receiver is cut from the 1 piece box, while imported receivers are brazed in.  This may be where the patent comes into play.

Lemont, Archibald on January 29, 1830
#X005803 dies and taps Pittsburg, PA

E. D. McCord - Washington County, NY - 1831 (See image 1 below for 5/25/1831 newspaper article) - Patent listed in DATAMP under X6144 - Mr. McCord teamed up with Melville C. Dibble of Detroit to manufacture vises at Sandy Hill, NY.  The concern may have been called Dibble & McCord but at least in 1831 it was known as the Sandy Hill Vice (Vise) Company.  At some point between 1831 and 1842 (likely closer to the '42 date), Mr. McCord passed away and Mr. Dibble filed for bankruptcy on July 13, 1842. 

A newspaper article from the 12/31/1831 edition of the Vermont Courier of Woodstock, Vermont confirms production of this vise noting it is ".....furnished at any quantity by the works of Mr. Melville C. Dibble, Sandy Hill, NY." The article also states the vise can be purchased at Craft, Hart & Pitcher's of Woodstock, Vermont and can be seen in use at the shops of Eaton & Gilbert's, Charles Veazie's, and Starbuck & Company.

This same article provides a detailed description of the vise as follows:
"All parts of the machine are cast iron, except the steel faces of the jaw, and the wrought iron threads of the screw. The great improvement, in point of principle, however, is that part of the construction by which the strain of the screw is constantly horizontal. By this means, much power is saved, and the wear of the machine is diminished. An important advantage, in point of economy, results from the casting of the vise; if any part breaks, that part can be replaces without incurring the charge of an entire new machine.

A further description of this vise can be found in an 1831 edition of Genesee Farmer. I should also note that this publication eludes to an earlier expose on the McCord vise indicating there may actually be a picture. Regardless, this article describes the vise as follows: "It unites an eminent degree of lightness, durability and power. Its strength results from the screw always acting horizontally, and both parts, the entering and receiving screw being perfectly parallel, whatever be the distance of the jaws of the vise. This enables the whole length of the thread of the screw to act uniformly and equally. The manner of its construction also gives the advantage of fixing it into its block much more firmly and solidly. This article also states "the agent passed through this city this morning with several tons of vises for the New York market."

Another newspaper article from 2/23/1831 discusses the vise, noting it has been under review for "18 months" and documents production of the vise by the "Sandy Hill Vice Company." This company is said in this article to be run by Enoch D. McCord and Melville C. Dibble.

Indications are that Mr. Dibble possibly manufactured something in Detroit in the mid 1830's. In 1842, soon after Mr. McCord passed away, we find newspapers from Detroit declaring the bankruptcy of the "firm of M. C. Dibble & E. D. McCord manufacturing vices at Sandy Hill, NY"  

        Thanks to jjoslin: From the 1878 book, History of Washington Co., New York, by Crisfield Johnson, in a section on the history of Sandy Hill, NY.

"The machine-shop of N. W. Holbrook, on River street, is the same building which was erected in about 1807 by Ahijah Jones as a carding-mill and clothiery. Jones died in 1812, and the mill was then used by Mr. Wheelock for cloth-making. Afterwards it became the tannery of Jesse Rhodes, and then a machine-shop by Enoch D. McCord, who is said to have been the first manufacturer of the steel-jawed cast-iron vise. About 1834 the establishment passed into the hands of Mr. Holbrook, the present owner."

John Osburn - Pittsburgh / Allegheny, PA - Early 1800's listed as a blacksmith and "vice" maker.

Morris Wilcox - Norwalk, OH - 1837 - According to the Huron Reflector (newspaper) of 7/25/1837, Mr. Wilcox is manufacturing vises against Patent #127 - Vise, Mode of constructing bench and other vises - Linus Dean - the article states the vises are being sold at the store of Hon. T. Baker in Norwalk.  This article persists from July of 1837 to October of 1938, then I lose track of Mr. Wilcox.

A couple notes:
- CRSINMICH posted the patent in post #9 of the Vise History Thread on Garage Journal
- The lower part of the attached picture/article is not the same entity, and as far as I know has nothing to do with Mr. Wilcox, but I included it because it had a picture of a vise.

Morris Wilcox is a pretty common name, and the following information may or may not be pertinent to the vise maker:
- I found an 1835 land purchase by Morris Wilcox (from Utica, NY) of 135 acres in Bucyrus, OH.  (40 or so miles from Norwalk)
- There are many indicators that there was a connection between Morris Wilcox and Utica / Oneida, NY but I've yet to find that trail definitively.  This begins to make sense when we consider the patentee, Linus Dean, was from Utica, NY.

Here is an article by the Franklin Institute regarding the Vise and patent.

It appears Linus Dean went on to manufacture ornamental steel and iron products, and even had more patents in that realm.  Here's an 1852 article about his factory.

James Massey - Plymouth St., Boston, MA 1849 - 1875 - In the 1849 Boston Directory, Mr. Massey is listed as a maker of anvils, vises and hammers.  Listed as "Visemaker" in the Boston City Directory in 1870, 1880.  Mr. Massey is listed in the 1850 (5th) (See Image 3 Below) and 1865 (10th) "Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association" as having on display vises and anvils. 

Marshall & Brothers - Pittsburgh, PA - 5/14/1849 edition of The Pittsburgh Gazette carries an advertisement for Wood & Violette (wholesalers & distributors) noting that they sell the "Marshall & Bro's celebrated solid box vice."

Kingsbury Root - Troy, NY - Manufactured wrought iron vises in the machine shop of the Empire Foundry.  Machine shop burned down in 1847.

Edward Parker - Plymouth, CT - Manufactured vises sometime between 1850 and 1875.  We found no patents for his vises but he did have many patents for other wares.

John Goldie - Plymouth St., Boston, MA 1852 // 1880 census reports Joseph Goldie in New London, CT as a "vise maker."

The 1883, 1885, and 1887 New London City Directory lists Joseph W. Goldie, Joseph Goldie Jr., and William H. Goldie as "Vise Maker"

Jeremy W. Bliss - Hartford, CT - Established a pattern and model making shop at the corner of Pearl and Trumbull (Old Jail Building) in June of 1852.  On 11/30/1852, he was awarded Patent #9,429 - Attachment for converting the ordinary into a taper vise.  Mr. Bliss initially began making patent models but by April of 1857, it appears he expanded his business and turned his attention to solicitor of patents.  Mr. Bliss placed advertisements in every edition of the local papers for his entire 25 years in business, ending at his death in 1876.

John Woolley - Salutation St., Boston, MA 1842 - 1879 - Mr. Woolley is listed in the 1844 "4th Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association" as having on display 4 new vices.  ​Also listed as "Visemaker" in the Boston City Directory in 1842, 1844, 1848, 1849, 1855, 1860, 1862, 1864, 1865, 1869, 1882, 1883.  ​William H. Woolley is listed in the 1861 & 1862 Boston City Directory as a "Visemaker."  Benjamin F. Woolley ​is listed at 37 Salutation St. in the 1869, 1889, 1890, 1892 Boston City Directory as a "Visemaker." 

We found a John Woolley listed as a Vice Maker in the Universal British Directory of 1793. We found record of a ship arriving in Boston Harbor in 1836 indicating this to be when John M. Woolley (22 yrs. old) arrived. In the ship's manifest he is listed as a laborer.

We only find 2 patents for John Woolley:

  • ​Patent March 16, 1831 - Edging Machine for turning the edges of tin, copper or sheet-iron
  • Patent #4,184 - Cooking Stove

John Wetherell - corner of Anderson & Robinson Sts. Allegheny, PA - Listed in newspapers as "manufacturer of solid box and brazed box vises" in 1852.

John Wetherell Patent #1,132 - Vise

George H. Feaman - Reported in the Evening Star (Washington D. C.) in February, 1857, won a bronze medal for his patent vise.  No patent yet discovered.  This was most likely a woodworker's vise as Mr. Feaman can be found in earlier years as a "stage carpenter."

​Stephen Herron​ - Beaver, above commons, Pittsburgh, PA - 1839 City Directory

Jacob Price - Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA - 1860

​Isaac & Arthur Hickman​ - The 1854 Buffalo city directory lists both as "Vice Makers."  Isaac only is listed in the 1849 directory as a Vice Maker, Arthur is listed as a Blacksmith.  There is also a Joseph Hickman listed as a Blacksmith in 1849.  In 1850, 1851 and 1852, only Arthur is listed.  In the 1864 Buffalo Directory, Ambrose, Arthur and Thomas Hickman are all listed as Blacksmiths.

Arthur Hickman - Carroll St., Buffalo, NY - 1849 - 1863 - Buffalo City Directory Listings - As far as we can discern, Arthur was born during the brief Michigan move so we are not sure why he is listed in the given timeframe as a vise maker.

Isaac Hickman - 1849 Buffalo Directory at 110 East Swan St. // 1855 - N. Division St., Buffalo, NY - Isaac Hickman (Arthur's father) immigrated from Devonshire in 1847 to Buffalo, NY.  From 1847 to 1849 he operated a "vise & tool shop."  In 1849 he moved to Marshall, MI for only a year, returning to Buffalo and staying there until 1868.  In 1869, he took a government job in CA as Master Mechanic at Mare's Island Navy Yard. 

Henry N. Stone - (Successor to D. A. Taylor) 132 Commercial St., Boston, MA - 1865.  Advertisement shown in Image 4 notes that he makes "Brainard Patent Vises." 

Amos H. Brainard Patent #45,693 - Improved Vise - 1/3/1865

Amos H. Brainard Patent #169,516 - Improvement in Vises - 11/2/1875

James & William Case - NYC - Early 1860's (Former Peter Wright employees) - Please see the article entitled "About Vises" beginning on page 541 in this 1901 edition of Automotive Manufacturer regarding the Case brothers copying of Peter Wright designs, James made Anvils, and William made vises.

  • James Case - E. 19th St. NY - 1856 - 1872 - List as a vise and anvil maker and repairer in the 1870 NYC directory.

Abiezer Jameson - A Jameson Company (owner) // The Bricksburg Manufacturing Company (Superintendent) - Mr. Jameson had 4 vise patents, #56,057, #66,712, #66,965, and #77,289.  Appears to have operated as a "casting" company in the early 1860s per tax records.  Also, Patent #69,361 by J. Howard Murray was assigned to Abiezer Jameson and T. S. Murray.

Chase, Shute & Co. - Kilby St., Boston - 1873 - May have simply been an importer.  We find them in receipt of an import shipment from Liverpool, England in August, 1874

Dodge, Gilbert & Co. - Broad St., Boston - 1855-1880 - This company was importing iron and anvils.  We do not know if they made vises or imported them.

May & Co. - 14-20 Oliver St., Boston - 1832 - 1873 - This company was importing sheet iron from 1832.  Later in the 1800s their imports are listed as "hardware castings."

F. P. Goss - Peter St., Salem, MA - Advertisement - 1886 - Francis P. Goss Patent #217,364 - Pipe Vise - 7/8/1879 //

1882 Salem, MA City Directory Advertisement.

The Tennessean of 11/18/1847 notes that "Bert's Patent Vices" are being sold by Alexander Fall.  Patent not yet discovered.

William Erb - Pittsburgh - 1860

Postley, Nelson & Co. - Pittsburgh - 1852 - 1871 - 1852, principals are Alexander Postly, S. D. Nelson, Jacob Park (occupation listed as Blacksmith) and David M'Clelland (later spelled McClelland).  Likely preceded by the blacksmithing operation of M'Clelland & Grubbs (John), dissolved 9/8/1837, and operated thereafter solely by Mr. M'Clelland.  On February 10, 1871, the Pittsburgh Gazette announces all machinery and equipment is for sale, and the company no longer viable.

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1844 Mechanic's Exhibition in Boston, MA:

  • Mark Fisher​ - Newport, ME - One Parallel Vice // In 1847, Mr. Fisher and William Martin Jr. invented a method for welding cast iron to malleable iron or steel.  In April of 1852, he teamed up with John H. Norris of Trenton, NJ to patent an improvement in a method of welding cast iron to steel.  In 1854, the two invented a machine for polishing anvils.  This team formed Fisher & Norris in 1851.
  • N. S. Raymond - Utica, N. Y. - One Eccentric Vice.  A convenient article for workers in wood.

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1849 Mechanic's Exhibition in Salem, MA:

  • James Massey​ - Boston - One Anvil and 3 Blacksmith's Vices - Diploma

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1850 Mechanic's Exhibition in Boston:

  • ​John Woolley​ - Boston - Three Bench Vices: One large Blacksmith Vice; One Finishing Vice.  Well made and substantial articles, very credible to the workman.
  • James Massey​ - Boston - Two improved vices.  Well made and much improved on the common form.  The shoulder of the Female Screw is so curved as to avoid the unfavorable action of a square shoulder where the jaws are widely opened.  The shoulder on the Male Screw is formed in the segment of a sphere, and it bears on a corresponding surface.  The action of this vice is easy and natural, and there is no tendency to bend or injure the screw or its box, when tightly screwed on large masses, as in the common form of vice.  Two Anvils. - Diploma
  • M. Fisher, and William Martin Jr.​ - Newport, ME - One Stand of Parallel Chain Vices.  This article has received the highest commendation from mechanics, and is fast coming into use.  It is considered in all respects a superior article, and a decided improvement over the common vice. - Silver Medal
  • Josiah Cowles​ - Belchertown - A Wooden Vice.  So arranged with gearing, as to keep the moveable jaw parallel with the stationary jaw.  A good article. - Diploma.
  • Prouty & Mears​ - Boston - One Vice - Silver Medal (We suspect however the medal was for various plow designs)

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1853 Mechanic's Exhibition in Boston:

  • James Massey​ - Boston - Vises & Anvils. The apear to be good and substantial articles

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1860 Mechanic's Exhibition in Boston:

  • ​James Massey​ - Boston - Improved Vises, 4 Anvils Excellent specimens, one large vise particularly well finished
  • William H. Woolley​ - Boston - Vise, Well made wrought iron vise
  • Spence & Company​ - Boston - Improved Bench Vise.  A new modification of a parallel vise, which may answer well for small work
  • A. J. Wilkinson & Company, Boston for W. T. Nicholson, Providence, R. I.​ - Vises, Levels, Egg Beater, etc. - Diploma

The following exhibitors - Awards are listed in the 1869 Mechanic's Exhibition in Boston:

  • Henry M. Johnson - Boston - Vises - Well Made
  • James Massey​ - Boston - Vises and Anvils - Well Made
  • L. B. Hunt - Hyde Park - Union Vises - Well Manufactured
  • F. L. Walker - Boston - 2 Cabinet Bench Vises - Diploma (See our Parker pages)
  • George Stone - Boston - Parallel and Adjustable Vise - Bronze Medal
  • Joseph H. Lewis​ - West Duxbury - Vise Patented 5/12/1869 - Diploma
  • New England Vise Company​ - Fitchburg - Iron Vises - Good Articles

Levi A. Beardsley​ - Edmeston, NY - This article notes that the vises may be seen at S. A. Heath & Company.

Joseph Allen - Palmyra, NY (Combined Anvil & Vise) - 1890

Foos Mfg. Company - Springfield, OH - (Combined Anvil & Vise) - 1884 - 1919

Richardson Mfg. Company - Worcester, MA - (Combined Anvil & Vise) - 1878 - 1916

Fairbanks & Company - NYC, NY = (Combined Anvil & Vise) - 1890

Stark Machine & Tool Company - Buffalo, NY - Swivel Vises - 1890 - 1901 (bankrupt)

Union Anvil & Vice Forge - Philadelphia, PA - 1852

Joseph Harper​ - 1871 Newark, NJ City Directory "Vise Maker"

​Zeno M. Redfield​ - 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879 Meriden, CT City Directory "Vise Maker"

William J. Haggerty​ - 1876, 1879, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1886 Meriden, CT City Directory "Vise Maker"

Richard and Thomas Williams - 1887 New London, CT City Directory "Vise Maker"

​John Hyde - Clinton St., NYC - 1842 // Research NOTE: There is a James Hyde, son of Thomas Hyde listed as a Vice Maker in this Dudley (England) register.  James was born 5/13/1828.

George W., Joseph Sr., Joseph Jr., Joshua, Samuel, and Samuel J. Hyde​ - All listed in the 1883 (minus George W. and Samuel J.), 1884 (lists all plus William H. Hyde, 3 Joshuas - 1 listed as "Blacksmith", and Samuel J. listed as "Blacksmith"), 1887 New London, CT City Directory as "Vise Maker"

Thomas Ford​ - 1879, 1882, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1888 New London, CT City Directory "Vise Maker"

Lomas & Sager (Woodsfield, OH)​ - Newspaper advertisement from 7/16/1867 notes this company is a "manufacturer of vises."

Warren & Springer (Chicago, IL) - A 2/16/1879 advertisement from the Chicago Tribune identifies Warren & Springer (52 - 68 South Clinton St.) as a "manufacturer of vises."

Clarence Holcombe (Trenton, NJ) - "Visemaker" City Directory 1892, 1893, 1894

​George W. Baum (New London, CT)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1891, 1892

​Peter Keckison (Trenton, NJ)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1880

​Samuel Robinson (Boston, MA)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1893, 1894

​William Frederick (Trenton, NJ)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1878

Richard Williams (New London, CT)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1887, 1888

​Valentine Matiacik (Trenton, NJ)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1891

Thomas Parr (Trenton, NJ)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1891

George Evans (Pittsburgh, PA)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1871

Jacob Parks (Pittsburgh, PA)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1864

​Edward Dyer (Trenton, NJ)​ - "Visemaker" City Directory 1870

Image Description: 

E. D. McCord Vise Article from 5/1831.

Image 2 Description: 

Morris Wilcox - Notice from 1837.

Image 2: 
Image 3 Description: 

James Massey - 1850 (6th) "Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association"

Image 3: 
Image 4 Description: 

Henry N. Stone Advertisement - ca. 1865

Image 4: 

Early Vise Patents - Unattributed to a Manufacturer

Patent #127 Feb. 16, 1837 L. Dean Mode of constructing bench and other vises

Patent #420 Oct. 06, 1837 R. Emans Harness or Shoemakers Vise

Patent #889 Aug. 20, 1838 T. Keane, J. Keane Mode of constructing metal bench-vises

Patent #1,132 Apr. 22, 1839 J. Wetherell Vise

Patent #2,315 Oct. 11, 1841 William Sim - Manner of Making the Jaws of Vises

Patent #3,212 Aug. 11, 1843 E.G. Matthews Vise

Patent #4,053 May 16, 1845 A.P. Norton, W.H. Taylor Woodworker's Leg Vise See Image below, unclear if the device was ever manufactured.  However, the article makes clear at least one existed.

Patent #5,457 Feb. 22, 1848 H. Wood Mechanism for Blacksmiths and Woodworkers Leg Vise

Patent #5,458 Feb. 22, 1848 J. Cowles Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #7,262 Apr. 09, 1850 J. Johnson Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #7,892 Jan. 07, 1851 S.R. Simpson Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #8,367 Sep. 16, 1851 N.F. Cone Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #9,294 Oct. 05, 1852 W. Butler Vise

Patent #9,429 Nov. 30, 1852 J.W. Bliss Attachment for Converting the Ordinary into a Taper Vise

Patent #10,985 May 30, 1854 C. Gregg Vise

Patent #11,067 Jun. 13, 1854 B. Hughes Vise

Patent #13,256 Jul. 17, 1855 J. Fraser Vise

Patent #13,489 Aug. 28, 1855 D. Davis, R.W. Davis Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #13,681 Oct. 16, 1855 J. Johnson Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #14,192 Feb. 05, 1856 S. Gissinger Blacksmith's Leg Vise ***NOTE***This appears to be the first of a long line of patents for Gissinger.  Other patents include a churn, lathe tool holder, coal drilling bit, iron pool squeezing mechanism, method of applying steam power, car coupling, and many more.

Patent #14,550 Apr. 01, 1856 B.G. Ball Bench VIse

Patent #14,603 Apr. 08, 1856 O.V. Florey Woodworker's Leg Vise "Carpenter's Vise" - Patent reissued #2126 - 12/19/1865, which indicates production/manufacture.

Patent #15,051 Jun. 03, 1856 S. Fahrney Woodworker's Leg Vise Assigned to Benjamin Fahrney and Abraham Huffer. 

Patent #15,073 Jun. 10, 1856 W. Hart Combination Hand Vise and Calipers

Patent #15,170 Jun. 24, 1856 H.B. Chaffee Blacksmith's Leg Vise

Patent #15,277 Jul. 08, 1856 H.C. Brown Woodworker's Leg Vise

Patent #15,583 Aug. 19, 1856 R.W. Thickins Blacksmith's Leg Vise

Patent #18,089 Sep. 01, 1857 L.O. Fairbanks Saw-clamp

Patent #18,957 Dec. 29, 1857 C.E. Cook Clamp for setting saws

Patent #26,266 Nov. 29, 1859 G.A. Gray, Jr. Bench VIse

Patent #26,553 Dec. 27, 1859 N. Allen Vise and saw-set

Patent #27,592 Mar. 20, 1860 G. Cooper Bench Clamp

Patent #27,960 Apr. 24, 1860 L.A. Beardsley Bench VIse

Patent #29,623 Aug. 14, 1860 W. Russell Wrench and Vise

Patent #32,913 Jul. 23, 1861 B. Haworth Woodworker's Leg Vise ***Note - Patent assigned to B. F. Canaday

Patent #53738 April 3, 1862 Richard Jones Improved Bench-Vise

Patent # 182,412 Sep 19, 1876 George E. Chamberlin Improvement in Vises ***Note - Patent assigned to Benjamin F. Pabodie

Patent 182,783 Oct 2, 1876 Handforth Wilkinson Improvement in Pipe-Vises

Patent #187,117 Feb 6, 1877 William H. Frampton Improvement in Vises for Carpenters Benches

Patent 189,731 April 17, 1877 Thomas P. Hardy Improvement in Vises

Patent #191,427 May 29, 1877 Philetus B. Hillyer Improvement in Combined Anvil and Vise

Patent 192,147 June 19, 1877 Emmert H. Brower Improvement in Bench-Vises

Patent # 196,578 Oct 30, 1877 Marvin T. Henson / Martin Osborne Improvement in Vises ***Note - 1/3 assigned to "Squire Baker"

Patent #196,854 Nov 6, 1877 Albert H. Anderson Improvement in Anvil-Vises

Patent #197,083 Nov 13, 1877 Azel H. Bell Improvement in Vises

Patent #199,517 Jan 22, 1878 Elbert P. Cook / James F. Hall Improvement in Vises

Patent #200,101 Feb 5, 1878 William Starkey Improvement in Vises // Trade Magazine article on the vise.

Patent #203,167 April 30, 1878 Edwin E. Leach Improvement in Combined Anvil & Vise

Patent #221,382 Nov 4, 1879 Fortonotto O. Zanetti Improvement in Vises

Patent #235,177 Dec. 7, 1880 Benjamin P Stephens - New York - Vise-Jaws

Patent #688,772 Dec 10, 1901 William E. Eckard Pipe-Vise ***Note 1/2 Assigned to Henry Kiel

Patent # 693,149 Feb 11, 1902 William Preston Phenix Vise

Patent #693,811 Feb 18, 1902 Chandler I. Yonge Bench-Vise ***Note 2/3 Assigned to John C. Griswell and Theodore Lesley

Patent #684,443 Oct 15, 1901 John R. Long Vise

Patent #684,992 Oct 22, 1901 John R. Long Vise

Patent 686,604 Nov 12, 1901 Carlos N. Grace Vise

Patent #687,841 Dec 3, 1901 Mortimer G Lewis Side-bar for Bench-Vises

Patent #690,311 Dec 31, 1901 Vincent J. McDonnell Vise

Patent #717,422 Dec 30, 1902 Jacob Lewin Vise

Patent #745,746 Dec 1, 1903 Joseph L. Ware Method of Manufacturing Vises *Note - Ware had many businesses and patents (no vise mfg. association I've found)

Image Description: 

Taylor and Norton Patent vise advertisement from 8/1847

Patent #4,053 May 16, 1845 A.P. Norton, W.H. Taylor Woodworker's Leg Vise


Significant Players in Vises - Stories & Timelines

This section includes detailed biographies and timelines for significant inventors in the history of vises.

Edwin W. Fulton Timeline - Work in Progress

Prolific Inventors

Mortimer Lewis

New York, NY - In 1889, The Trow's City Directory of Co-Partnerships & Corporations places Mr. Lewis as a Director of the Prentiss Vise Company. 

Based on this article from the February, 1894 edition of Iron Trade Review, the company was established with $20,000 capital by M. G. Lewis, E. H. Mulford (Treas.) and John E. Mulford (Pres).  This article from the August 8, 1894 edition of Iron Age provides an overview of the vises sold by the company.

By 1904, American Machinist lists them in Bridgeport, CT. 

It is very interesting to note here that both Prentiss and Lewis Tool had the same directors, the Mulford brothers and M. G. Lewis, and at various times, listed the same address at 44 Barclay St., NY.

Mortimer passed away on 5/21/1915.  His obituary notes he was married to Gen. John E. Mulford's daughter.

Mortimer G. Lewis Patents from DATAMP (9 Patents)

Lewis Vise Patent #768,810 - Bench Vise - Assigned to Emmert Manufacturing

Lewis Vise Patent #687,841

Lewis Vise Patent #675,097 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #675,098 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #605,107

Lewis Vise Patent #605,106

Lewis Vise Patent #597,681

Lewis Vise Patent #596,661

Lewis Vise Patent #514,012 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #493,364 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #472,674 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #466,466 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #303,299 -

Lewis Vise Patent #294,137 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #279,260 - Bench Vise

Lewis Vise Patent #231,181 - Pipe Grip ### Assigned to Hall Mfg. Co. ###

Lewis Canadian Patent #19,434

Charles Hanimann patent #802,040 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

Charles Hanimann patent #805,013 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

Charles Hanimann patent #816,162 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

William E. Snediker

Specialized in Post Vises.

William was born in 1830 in Trenton, NJ.  In the 1868 Trenton Directory, he is listed as a Machinist.  In the 1878 Trenton Directory, he is listed as Superintendent of a Vise & Tool Works.  In 1875, 1876, he is simply listed as Superintendent.  In the 1897 Jersey City, NJ Directory, he is listed as a Vise Manufacturer.  In the 1901, 2, 3, Camden, NJ City Directory, he is listed as VP of National Vise & Tool Works, which was incorporated in 1900.

Mr. Snediker's designs were made by National Vise & Tool Works, G. M. Yost Manufacturing Co., and possibly Hermann Boker & Co. (they at least marketed his post leg vise).  DATAMP notes that patent 237,331 was manufactured by Trenton Vise & Tool Works and, it should be noted that the assignee, Mr. Funke Jr., was a partner/owner of Hermann Boker Co. at least as early as 1884, 3 years after the patent was awarded.  During this time, and up until about 1892, Boker owned / operated Trenton Vise & Tool.  Trenton Vise & Tool operations were taken over by Van Wagoner & Williams Hardware ca. 1892.

William E. Snediker Patents from DATAMP (4 Patents)

W. E. Snediker Patent #188,688 - Improvement in Vises

W. E. Snediker Patent #237,331 - Vise - Assigned 1/2 to Herman Funke Jr.

W. E. Snediker Patent #280,769 - Metal Mold for Casting Vises (Also Canadian patent #19,612)

W. E. Snediker Patent #406,181 - Mold for Making Steel Castings

W. E. Snediker Patent #519,008 - Vise

W. E. Snediker Patent #519,028 - Vise

W. E. Snediker Patent #579,022 - Vise

W. E. Snediker Patent #586,370 - Vise

W. E. Snediker Patent #686,484 - Vise

W. E. Snediker Patent #699,585 - Vise

John R. Long

This inventor should be an interesting adventure.  He has a very large amount of Patents.  In October of 1924, he started the Key-Bar Wrench Company in Akron with I. S. Ballard, E. D. Eddy, R. W. Clark and Matthew Eskovitz.

Akron, OH Patent #1,399,632 - Carpenters Vise, Assigned to Akron Wrench & Vise Co.

Akron, OH Patent #1,303,693 - Machinist Vise

Akron, OH Patent #1,299,488 - Automatic Machine Vise

Akron, OH Patent #1,265,218 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #1,168,318 - Bench Vise

Orrville, OH Patent #1,196,560 - Patternmakers Vise

Akron, OH Patent #1,136,473 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #1,113,664 - Bench Vise, Assigned to William A. Byrider (Akron)

Akron, OH Patent #1,113,663 - Bench Vise, Assigned to William A. Byrider (Akron)

Akron, OH Patent #958,659 - Bench Vise

Warren, PA Patent #958,658 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #732,760 - Pipe Vise

Akron, OH Patent #732,759 - Pipe Vise

Akron, OH Patent #732,758 - Pipe Vise

Akron, OH Patent #742,096 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #732,761 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #732,757 - Bench Vise

Warren, PA Patent #719,348 - Bench Vise

Akron, OH Patent #714,208 - Pipe Vise, Assigned to Jacobson Machine Mfg. Co. (Warren, PA)

Warren, PA Patent #713,121 - Bench Vise

Warren, PA Patent #710,482 - Bench Vise

Springfield, OH Patent #667,152 - Permutation Vise, Assigned to John Cray (Springfield, OH) DATAMP identifies production by Jacobson (Warren, PA)

Springfield, OH Patent #684,992 - Vise

Akron, OH Patent #684,443 - Vise

Springfield, OH Patent #667,151 - Vise, Assigned 1/2 to John Cray (Springfield, OH)

Kenmore, OH Patent #1,548,201 - Vise

Los Angeles, CA Patent #1,940,261 - Vise

Vise Patents

ALL Vise Patents - 1790-1873

#X004271 - vice used in cutting combs, Pratt, Philo on November 22, 1825 Mereden, CT

#X004347 - improvement called the perpetual lever vice, Wing, Calvin on March 2, 1826
 Gardiner, ME

A newspaper article from June 8, 1826 describes the vise:

​Calvin Wing, of Gardner, Maine, has recently made an improvement in the vise, by substituting a double compound lever for the screw.  It occupies less room than the vise now in use, and saves the delay in fitting the instrument to hte dimensions operated upon.

​In 1830 Mr. Wing invented a "Reacting Cast Iron Water Wheel" that was manufactured by Howard Nott & Company of Albany, NY and J. F. King of Waterford.

#X005217 - socket vice, Hemenway, Luther on September 4, 1828 Sullivan, NH

Description of the invention from the 1828 Franklin Institute publication.  Note that this document spells his last name as "Hemminway":

The socket vice may be made of any size, according to the use to which it is to be applied, and of metal or wood.  When made to be used as a socket for awls, it should be of steel; its whole length should be about two inches and three-fourths; one end, for about three-fourths of an inch, should be round, and about one-fourth of an inch in diameter; beginning three-eighths of an inch from the end, it should taper slightly to the end, upon which, for the same distance, a screw should be cut; it should then diminish, and again increase in diameter, in both cases slightly, and gradually; at three-fourths of an inch from the end it is flattened abruptly, forming a shoulder on two sides, and is made tapering on the two edges, to the other end, where it is pointed; a hole is made longitudinally into the round end, about three-fourths of an inch deep; it is then cut twice transversely from the end to the bottom of the hole, dividing it into four equal parts; a hollow screw or nut, adapted to the vice, is screwed upon this end, compressing it so as to hold, firmly, the shank of the awl; the outside shape of the nut should be square, so that it may, by means of a small wrench, be easily screwed on or off.  The pointed end of the socket vice, may be inserted in a handle of wood, so far as to the commencement of the screw.  When made for other uses, the size and the form of the shank may be varied, to suit such uses.

#X006144 - Vice, stock and hand, Enoch D. McCord, October 1, 1830, Sandy Hill, NY

#X007953 - superior vice, Lang, James on January 10, 1834 Harrison County, PA

##NOTE## This should actually be James LONG, of Harrison County, VA, as referenced by the 1834 Journal of the Franklin Institute.  The following is the text from the Franklin Institute review:

​This is a wooden vice, denominated by the patentee the "Superior Vice," and since there is no standard given by which to judge, and there are undoubtedly some which are inferior to it, the name need not be objected to.  It is to be tightened by a wedge, and is to be used by wheelwrights, coach-makers, joiners, etc., instead of that usually tightened by a screw.  Like other wooden vices, it has two upright jaws, one of which is to be made fast to the bench, whilst the other works upon a joint at its lower end; this, which is the front jaw, has a mortise through it at the part usually appropriated to the screw; and a long tenon, which is firly attached to the back jaw, passes loosely through this mortise, and receives wedges which tighten the jaw, or cheek.

When the wedge is to be removed the jaw is opened by placing the foot upon a treadle at its lower end, which, when pressed down, bears against a friction roller in the back jaw.  A spring is so fixed as to close it when the foot is taken off the treadle.  We are told that by facing the inside of the jaws with steel, this will be found to be a very cheap and useful vice for a blacksmith; there are, however, but few blacksmiths, we believe, who would be willing to use it, if they could procure one of iron.

The patentee sets forth the good qualities of his invention very much at large, but as its construction will be easily understood, we leave it to tell its own tale.

127 - Method of Constructing Bench or other Vises, Linus Dean, Utica, NY

889 - Mode of Constructing Metal Bench Vises, Thomas & James Keane, Haverstraw, NY

1,132 - Vise (Post), John Wetherell, Allegheny, PA

2,315 - Method of Making the Jaws of Vises, William Sim, Schenectady, NY

3,212 - Vise, Elbridge G. Matthews, Worcester, MA, Assigned to John J. Markham

3,384 - Bench-Vise, Jeremiah Peck, Waterbury, CT

3,670 - Bench or Standing Vise (Post), Lauren M. Peck, Philadelphia, PA **According to this note, likely made by J. S. Griffing of New Haven, CT

4,053 - Parallel Bench Vise, W. H. Taylor & Anson P Norton, Waterville, NY **According to this article, manufactured by A. M. Badger of Rochester, NY

9,294 - Vise, William Butler, Little Falls, NY

38,273 - Improvement in Vises, Norman Allen, West Meriden, CT

45,693 - Improved Vise, Amos H. Brainard, Dorchester, MA

73,944 - Improved Vise, Samuel S. Barnaby, Macon, GA

76,584 - Improvement in Vises, Charles Barnes, Cincinatti, OH

78,565 - Improvement in Vises, Quimby S. Backus, Winchendon, MA

82,073 - Improved Vise, Thomas L. Baylies & Edwin Crawley, Richmond, IN

88,834 - Improved Vise, Jonas D. Beck, Liberty, PA

91,065 - Improved Vise, Alban Andren, Gottenburg, Sweden

91,068 - Improved Vise, Quimby S. Backus, Winchendon, MA

91,199 - Improvement in Vises, Noyes Baldwin, Buffalo, NY

96,189 - Vise, Jonas D. Beck, Liberty, PA **NOTE: Google doc error

104,541 - Improved Vise, Jonas D. Beck, Liberty, PA


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Vise Patents - 1852-1859

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Vise Patents - 1860-1867

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1862 - We have not found any patents for Vises in 1862.

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1864 - We have not found any patents for Vises in 1864.

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Vise Patents - 1868-1875

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Vise Patents - 1876-1883

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G. B. Foote Patent #213,816 - Improvement in Vises (hand vise) - Helena, MT - 4/1/1879

Bradford W. Storey Patent #213,077 - Improvement in Vises - Assigned to H. B. Smith Machine Company - Smithville, NJ - 3/11/1879

Fortonato A. Zanetti Patent #221,382 - Improvement in Vises (tilting/turning mechanism) - Bryan, TX - 11/4/1879

Thomas G. Hall Patent #219,719 - Improvement in Adjustable-Faced Vises (hand vise) - Assignor to self, William Q. Judge, and Augustus Gustam - NYC - 9/16/1879

Olonzo F. Davis & James M. Grenalds Patent #221,448 - Improvement in Combined Vise & Anvil (Vise mechanism on side of anvil) - Normandy, MO - 11/11/1879

Thomas Grimmitt Patent #221,907 - Improvement in Bench-Vises - Rockford, IL - 4/29/1879

James L. Ferguson Patent #215,514 - Improvement in vises for holding marble or stone while being cut - Columbia City, IN - 5/20/1879

Adolf Westermaier Patent #214,538 - Improvement in Hand-Vises - Philadelphia, PA - 4/22/2879

Niels P. Ringstad Patent #221,611 - Parallel Vise (Scissor-like mechanism) - Mankato, MN - 11/11/1879

Francis P. Goss Patent #217,364 - Improvement in Pipe Vises - Salem, MA - 7/8/1879

James F. Hall Patent #211,993 - Improvement in pipe-grips for vises - Havana, NY - 2/4/1879

James W. Cheney Patent #220,342 - Improvement in Combined Anvil & Vise - Detroit, MI - Assigned 1/2 to Jas. B. Wayne - 10/7/1879

James W. Cheney Patent #221,781 - Improvement in Combined Anvil & Vise - Detroit, MI - Assigned 1/2 to Armilla A. Cheney - 11/18/1879

Garland B. St. John Patent #220,886 - Combined Anvil & Vise - Cedar Rapids, IA - 10/21/1879

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Patent #236,451 - Stephen Olin Parker - Saw Vise, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

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Vise Patents - 1884-1891

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Vise Patents - 1892-1899

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Christian A. Salzman Patent #529,962 - Combination Tool - Assigned 1/3 each to Emil P. Kennel and John Robbins (of Indianapolis) - 11/27/1894


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Christian A. Salzman Patent #574,764 - Combination Tool - 1/5/1897

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Vise Patents - 1900-1907

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Christian A. Salzman Patent #653,317 - Combination Tool - Assigned 1/2 to John A. Robbins - 1/10/1900

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Patent #788,604 - Bench Vise, Robert J. Schlosser (Warren, PA), Assigned to Henry R. Fisher (Warren)

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Vise Patents - 1908-1915

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Patent #962,983 - Vise (rotating jaw) Robert J. Schlosser (Warren, PA), assigned to Marcus W. Jamieson (Warren) who was an oil company owner and machine shop owner.

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Vise Patents - 1916-1923

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Vise Patents - 1924-1931

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Vise Patents - 1932-1939

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Vise Patents - 1940-1947

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Vise Patents - 1948-1955

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Manufacturers A - B

Abernathy Vise & Tool Company

Chicago, IL - We find this company active from at least 1903, until 1975.

Patent #1,140,6446 Henry H. Abernathy - Carpenters' Vise 5/25/1915

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Adams & Co. Anvil Vise

Referenced in the 1904 Iron Age Directory in Dubuque, IA.

Listed in the 1922 Engineering  Directory  under Vises for Drill Presses, Milling Machines and Shapers (Models: Diamond), Machinists (Models: Adams)

Adams Co. on

Patent #305037 - Anvil Vise, Albert L. Adams - 1884

Trade Names & Brands

  • Diamond (Bench)

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

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This advertisement is for the Adams Diamond Vise and from the July 27, 1895 edition of Iron Age.

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Advance Manufacturing Company

Racine, WI - First reference found was 1906.

Robert E. Jack Patent #1,125,329 - Quick-Acting Vise - Assigned to Advance Mfg. Co.

Akron Vise & Tool Company

Akron, OH - According to this State of Ohio Annual Report, this company took over the Jahant Foundry & Machine Company on 7/31/1919.  Jahant can be found as early as 1917.  The state of Ohio business search site notes Akron Vise took over the Jahant Foundry & Heating Company and the application was filed on 11/23/1917.  The company was dissolved on 10/19/1920.

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Advertisement from March, 1920


Akron Wrench & Vise Company

Akron, OH - Incorporated 8/17/1921 by John R. Long and Kitt M. Long.  This is yet another company contemplated by John R. Long that never appears to have come to fruition.

John R. Long Patent #1,399,632 - Vise - Assigned to Akron Wrench & Vise Company

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Albenart Company

Canton, MA - Even though this is only a snippet, the company appears to have been organized on 12/30,1909.  The company appears to have been dissolved in 1917.

Patent #954,699, Arthur W. Richards - Vise, Assigned to Albenart Co., 4/12/1910

Patent #981,113 - Arthur W. Richards - Workbench (integrated vise), Assigned to Albenart Co., 1/10/1911.

Patent #996,884 - Arthur W. Richards - Clamping Device (woodworker's vise), Assigned to Albenart Co., 7/4/1911

Patent #1,126,867 - Benjamin Richards - Clamping Device (woodworker's vise), Assigned to Albenart Co., 2/2/1915

American Chain Company

Bridgeport, CT - Please see the image below, excerpt from the 1917 History of Bridgeport and Vicinity sent to us by a member.

This company's vises come from their purchase of the patents and business of the Lowville Machine & Vise Company in 1929.  Prior to being known as the L. M. & V. Co., the company was the Fulton Machine & Vise Company until 1924.

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:


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From 1917 History of Bridgeport and Vicinity

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American Machine and Tool Company

New York, NY and/or Royersford, PA - Found as early as 1936, and as late as 1984 based on advertisements.  VintageMachinery notes their founding in 1928 and their history page can be found here.

Trade Names:

  • AMT
  • Marcus-Pollak

American Machinery Company

Grand Rapids / Port Huron, MI - The 1/28/1896 edition of the Detroit Free Press announces the dissolution of the American Machinery Company, a co-partnership between Joseph W. Oliver and S. Lee Crockett.  This company likely succeeded the Grand Rapids Machinery Co., of which Mr. Oliver is listed as owner in 1889.  After the dissollution of the company in 1896, Mr. Oliver formed the Oliver Machinery Company, famous for woodworking machinery.

Another American Machinery Company pops back up in Port Huron a few years later.  We do not know if they are distinct entities.

Joseph W. Oliver DATAMP Patents American Machinery Co. Page

American Scale

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According to one poster on The Garage Journal:

The anchor vise company was in business from 1973-2004 and made 5 different vises a 4,4.5, 5, 6, 610 and a few smaller vises along with assorted specialty tools. They sold to mainly the US government. You will see the large No.5 vise on the military M35A2 troop carrier and wrecker trucks used by the US Army. All of the vises and tooling was sold to RCI Starlite International in Bridgeport CT.


Armstrong Brothers Tool

Vise Trademarks

  • Strong (Arm with Hammer, Strong printed on arm) (First Use Claimed: 9/1/1897)

Armstrong Manufacturing Co.

Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Listed in the 1922 Engineering  Directory  under Vises - Combination Bench & Pipe, Vises - Pipe, Yoke, Hinged and Solid (Chain Vises).

This article from The History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, CT., published in 1886, writes the company is located on Knowlton St. in East Bridgeport and were incorporated in March of 1886.  F. (Frank) Armstrong is listed as President; John Ewing Sec./Treas. 

Here are Frank Armstrong's Patents on DATAMP.

Here is a Google Patent Search for Frank Armstrong's Patents (some results may not apply but I sorted it such that the first 1-5 pages should be correct. Ensure the patent says he is from Bridgeport, CT.  If not, it's the incorrect Frank Armstrong)

Prior to that time, the company operated as F. Armstrong which had operated at the same location for approximately 3 years.  Prior to that, it had been in operation as Armstrong and House for 13 years.  "House" refers to Mr. H. A. House.  This information tells us the company was in existence since at least 1870.

Here is a link to H. A. House Patents.

In 1873, Armstrong & House is listing as selling Knitting Machines. 

There is a very interesting article in the 9/22/1963 edition of the Hartford Courant (may require subscription to in which 20 bicycles and an old car from the early 1880's were discovered in the back of the Capewell Manufacturing Co.  The items discovered were purportedly all produced by the Armstrong Mfg. Co.  The article also notes that Capewell acquired Armstrong in 1950.

Here is an example vise on Garage Journal.

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

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Athol Machine Co. / Athol Machine & Foundry Co.

History page for the Athol Machine Company on

History page for the Athol Machine Company on

Story on L. S. Starrett by WK Fine Tools.

DATAMP patent listings for Athol Machine Co.

According to Kenneth Cope's book, the Athol Machine Co. was founded to manufacture L. S. Starrett's food chopper (See Image 2) and other articles of Mr. Starrett's invention.  Starrett left the company in 1878.

Massachusetts business records (shown below) show the company was founded on June 4, 1868.  They also show that on December 16, 1920, the company changed it's name to the Athol Machine & Foundry Co.  While not quite legible, it appears the company was dissolved in 1965.

According to many sources, Starrett acquired Athol Machine Co. in 1905 but we find no evidence of the acquisition and find many advertisements by them up into the 1920's.

Some names and models of Athol vises (From Trade Magazine Categories):

  • Amatuer (Clamp)
  • Farmers (Bench, Clamp)
  • Oval Slide (Bench & Pipe)
  • Simpson (Machinist) - Likely based on John Simpson Patent #119,658
  • Standard (Machinist)
  • U-Beam (Hand)
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Massachusetts card file for Athol Machine Co.

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Starrett's Food Chopper

Source: Hartford Courant - 9/2/1993

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Athol Models & Examples

Click here for Dayid Examples

In 1920 (see reference: Automobile Trade Directory, Volume 18 of 1920), Athol produced the Simpson and Standard model Machinist Vises.

In 1922 (see reference: Engineering Directory, 1922), Athol produced the following vises: Bench: Farmers & the Oval Slide (combination bench / pipe) Machinist: Athol, Standard, Starrett Patent, & Simpson Quick Acting (also possibly "600" or "500" model), Clamp vises: Amateur & Farmers.

Atlas Vise Company

Lowville, NY - The December 29, 1921 edition of Steel announces the formation of the Atlas Vise Co. by E. W. Fulton, Foster M. Strickland, Henry Petrie, and H. W. Green, $25,000 capital.  The article also notes that they have also acquired the patent rights and trade names of the Velox Vise Co.  Finally, the article notes that vises are currently being manufactured by The Porter-Cable Machine Co. in Syracuse until a new factory is erected.  This incorporation notice from the 12/15/1921 edition of The Iron Age also includes G. L. Fulton as an incorporator.

This article from the January 26 edition of American Machinist describes the NUTYPE model vise.  The article explains it was formerly manufactured by the Fulton Machine & Vise Co. but is currently being produced by the Atlas Vise Company (likely manufactured by Porter-Cable).

Mr. Fulton apparently formed the NuType Tool Co. in 1930.  A 1922 edition of Automotive Industries appears to briefly mention this company.

Austin, Frederick C. Manufacturing Company

Chicago, IL - Incorporated 7/10/1888 by Frederick C. Austin, Elbert H. Cary, and Thomas C. Chapman.

Richard Johnson Patent #394,540 - Art of Making Metal Vises - Assigned to Frederick C. Austin

Avery Elevator Bucket Co.

Cleveland, OH (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

Most likely founded by W. G. Avery in the 1880s.

W. G. Avery Patents from Google.

Ayars Machine Co.

Salem, NJ (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

Founded in 1837 in Greenwich, NJ by Robert and Benjamin Ayers.  Moved to Salem, NJ in 1873.  Particularly known for their production of canning machines and techniques.

If you follow this link to the NJ Agricultural Archives and put the name Ayars in the text search, many photos of the men and factory will come up. 

Charles H. Ayars Patents from Google

Ayer, F. H. Manufacturing Co.

Chicago Heights, IL - This company has been elusive.  The 6/8/1906 edition of The Decatur Herald reports the incorporation of the Ayer Manufacturing Co. by F. P. Ayer, R. P. Cholsen & D. L. Marks.

Patent #890841, William E. Canedy - Vise, Assigned to F. H. Ayer Mfg., 6/16/1908


Babco Models and Examples

Backus Vise Company

Millers Falls, MA - According to this document, this company was founded by Quimby S. Backus at Windsor and acquired by Millers Falls Co. in 1873.  The company was organized in 1869, and incorporated on October 9, 1871.  Here is a link to and an excellent and detailed biography of Mr. Backus and the various companies and inventions.

According to this history of Hyde Park, the vise business of A. H. Brainard was transferred to Backus in 1871.

The Backus design was initially produced at the Windsor Manufacturing Company.

Quimby S. Backus patents from DATAMP

Quimby S. Backus patents from the biographical source above:


June 2, 1868

July 28, 1868
design patent for vise

September 29, 1868
chuck drill

February 9, 1869
spool labeler assigned to self, Sidney Fairbanks, Orlando Mason

June 8, 1869

April 19, 1870
process for facing valves and valve-seats

November 5, 1872

November 5, 1872
angular bit stock

November 5, 1872
bit brace

June 4, 1878
bit stock

June 24, 1879
bit stock wrench

October 19, 1880
bit stock

November 16, 1880
bit stock

November 29, 1881
ratcheting bit stock

April 3, 1883
combined bathing apparatus and commode

June 26, 1883

October 28, 1884
bathing cabinet

October 28, 1884
drip pan for water closet bowls

December 9, 1884
cabinet commode

August 18, 1885
design patent for folding bedstead

January 19, 1886
combined bedstead and fireplace

June 29, 1886
combined heating and cooking stove

June 29, 1886
steam heater

June 29, 1886
oil stove

December 6, 1887

December 13, 1887
heat radiating mantel

October 9, 1888
gas log and fireplace


Bailey Machine Company


Ball Vise

Barbour-Stockwell Co.

Cambridge, MA - This information comes from the Industry In Cambridge website.

The Barbour Stockwell Company emerged in Cambridge out of the consolidation of several distinct New England machinery producers. Among these producers were Denio & Roberts, developers of machinery for cutting crackers and biscuits; Allen & Endicott, general machinery manufacturers; Morrill & Allen, creators of railroad track materials; and Walworth Manufacturing Company, producers of grey iron castings. At the time of its consolidation in 1890, Barbour Stockwell purchased the land and buildings owned by Allen & Endicott to use as its works. By 1893, the firm had expanded to cover over three acres of land in the area framed by Broadway, Market, Clark, Hampshire, and Portland Streets. Throughout the early twentieth century, Barbour Stockwell continued to grow, acquiring such additional manufacturers as the Broadway Iron Foundry and the Blanchard Instrument Company. (Stone, 1930).

Current Barbour Stockwell Website

Trade Names and Models according to Trade Magazines:


Barnett Foundry & Machine Co.

Newark / Irvington, NJ - This excerpt is from Prominent Families of New Jersey (published 2000?)

Back in 1845 ........... John and Stephen D. Barnett ......... started a foundry for the production of iron, a sorely needed commodity at the time.  For two years these two men, who were brothers, operated their foundry in the face of stiff competition from older enterprises.  Then, John Barnett withdrew, leaving matters in the hands of his brother, Stephen D. Barnett, and his wife and children.

Stephen D. Barnett began a period of steady but conservative expansion.  The old foundry site proved to be too hemmed in by homes to permit adequate growth; so he obtained a larger property on McWhorter Street, four blocks away, on the far side of the railroad track, so that the smoke of his cupola would no longer belch out soot to disturb the neighbors.  Two years later the oldest son of the family, Oscar Barnett, joined the foundry business and three more years brought Oscar Barnett's younger brother, Richard M. Barnett, into the enterprise.  The death of the father, Stephen D. Barnett, in 1863, placed the management of the business in Oscar Barnett's hands.

The business flourished during the Civil War period.  While Oscar Barnett managed it, the younger brother, Richard Barnett, withdrew and started a furniture business of his own at No. 15 Commercial Dock.  In two years the new enterprise was closed, however, and Richard Barnett was back at the foundry as an employee in what was now called the Oscar Barnett Foundry.  Two brothers who were still younger, Horace B. and Walter C. Barnett, joined the organization as employees at about that same time.  Thenceforth new developments were rapid and continuous.  In 1868 the company did its first advertising.  They opened, too, a hardware and machinery sales depot at Nos. 30-32 McWhorter Street, adjoining the foundry, which had spread out a block in length in Hamilton Street, between Bruen and McWhorter streets.  The establishment was then advertised in a quarter-page display advertisement in the Newark City Directory.  As an instance of the firm's foundry skill in grey iron light fine work, store cards were cast and distributed, though the proprietors had little idea that these would comprise an essential record in the history of the organization.  The were afterward immortalized as "New Jersey No. 27" in the listing of "United States Store Cards" as compiled by Edgar H. Adams.  In 1872 the business reached a peak through the acquisition of another foundry at New Jersey Railroad Avenue and Johnson Street.  This foundry was reorganized for malleable iron castings, leaving the grey iron and machine works at the old address, with the sales depot adjoining.  William Ford, in a book, "The Industrial Interests of Newark, New Jersey," published at the time by Van Arsdale & Company, of New York, described the Oscar Barnett Foundry as a "Hardware and machine manufactory..........a leading manufacturer of malleable iron castings..........also makes a specialty of carriage castings, patent bedstead fastenings, brass moulders' flasks and Barnett's Blind Hinges, the last named being made from original designs, also an extra quality of machinists' tools.  Productions are sold over the whole country and also have an exporting demand, shipments being made monthly to Australia.  The foundry and Machine Works give employment to 150 hands and their wage each week amounts to $1,500.  The annual production of castings, hardware and machinery amounts to $150,000."

Walter Barnett, the youngest of the four brothers, died in 1872.  Oscar Barnett's two other brothers, Richard and Horace, then set up the new business of R. M. & H. B. Barnett, who conducted a malleable and grey iron foundry at Hermon and Johnson streets, Newark.  The new firm was not successful however.  Horace Barnett returned to the Oscar Barnett Foundry immediately to resume his enokitnebt there, and Richard came back five years later.  In 1890 the New Jersey Railroad Avenue plant was disposed of, and the malleable iron business came back to the main foundry site.  In that same year another historic development took place - the entry into the business of representatives of the third generation.  Oscar Barnett, Jr., came in 1890, and his two younger brothers, Albert D. and Frank S Barnett, in 1891.

A critical period for the foundry began in 1894, the year of Oscar Barnett's death.  He had been a strong executive, but his methods were such as to discourage initiative on the part of the others.  The result was that no member of his family nor any younger employee was capable of assuming the responsibilities of management.  Business momentum declined during the period of estate control.  The sales depot was closed, and even the firm's advertisement in the city directory disappeared.  In 1899 Gerald Hannay, of East Orange, New Jersey, and his friend, Thomas Hannah, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, purchased control of the business and incorporated it as the Oscar Barnett Foundry Company.

The company was then equipped to make heavier castings than formerly and the output was increased.

In 1910 the company erected on land purchased by it, at Irvington, New Jersey, a new foundry, machine shop, and pattern shop and extended further the making of heavy castings.

In 1918 the name of the company was changed to Barnett Foundry & Machine Company, as being more representative of its product.

During the succeeding years there was great advancement in the quality of grey iron castings and in 1938 the company obtained a license to make Meehanite castings, a metal of superior quality and produced by a process that controls the quality of the metal before it is poured into the moulds.

The company has remained under the same management since its incorporation.


Trade Names and Models from Trade Catalogs

View Reference: 

Barrett Vise & Tool Co.

Meadville, PA. - In J. O. Barrett's obituary of 3/20/1926, the text states that he moved to Meadeville in 1882 and started the Barrett Vise and Tool Co. with his brothers Charles and William to manufacture boring machines of his design.  It further states that in 1906, J. O. took over the company along with his sons Frank N. and George W and renamed the firm to Barrett Machine Tool Co.

The 10/8/1913 edition of the Pittsburgh Gazzette Times announces the incorporation of the company with the founders being: J. O., C. J., F. N., and G. W. Barrett.  Start-up capital was $100,000.

Article from The American Engineer 11/1885 discussing the merits of the Barrett Vise, along with illustrations.

Article in The Iron Age of 11/1891 discussing and illustrating Barrett's boring machine.

Article in Machinery of 11/1900 discussing and illustrating Barrett's boring machine.

Interestingly, J. O. Barrett is also listed as the Superintendent of the Meadville Vise Co. in 1889. (reports of a grinding wheel exploding and crushing his upper and lower jaws).  J. O. Barrett also has patents assigned to the company in the 1880s and 90s.  Here is a patent for a "Holder for Lights" assigned to Meadville Vise Co.

The 11/1910 edition of The American Blacksmith & Motor Shop reports that the G. M. Yost Company as purchased the Meadville Vise Co.

J. O. Barrett Vise Patents from DATAMP

View Reference: 

Bartholomew & Henson

Sidney, OH - Here is an advertisement for Henson's bench vise from the January, 1883 edition of Building Age.  The vise in the article refers to Marvin T. Henson Patent #266,474 - Vise - Assigned 1/2 to Chester G. Bartholomew.  Here's another detailed article on the vise from 1883.



Beck, J. D.

Liberty, PA - In the 9/11/1869 edition of Scientific American, Mr. Beck posts a challenge of strength to all other vise makers at the Exhibition of American Arts in Baltimore.  We believe he manufactured his own vises, on a very small scale.

J. D. Beck, Patent #88,834 - Vise

J. D. Beck, Patent #96,189 - Vise

J. D. Beck, Patent #104,541 - Improved Vise

J. D. Beck, Patent #121,149 - Improvement in Machinist Vises

Bemis, A. L.

Worcester, MA (70 Commercial St.) - Many advertisements can be found here in the 1922 edition of Industrial Arts and Vocational Education.

Albert L. Bemis, Patent #1,034,568 - Bench Vise


Benefiel, Chas. E. Company

Indianapolis, IN - First organized as The Leader Jack Company in Bloomfield, IN in September, 1907.  Officers were Chas E. Benefiel - Pres; Orland C. Thompson - VP; Milford Greene - Treas; Clyde O. Yoho - Sec.  This company only lasted about a year.

We have not yet found the charter/incorporation notice for the Chas. E. Benefiel Co. but the company was centered around their "all-in-one" tool seen below.  The company fades away ca. 1916-1918.


Bignall & Keeler Mfg. Co.

Edwardsville, IL - In 1884, Moses C. Bignall patented his first pipe thread and cutting machine, patent #309374.  This patent was assigned to Whitman Agricultural Co. of St. Louis, MO.  The earliest reference we can locate is for January of 1886 in the St. Louis Dispatch, where the Bignall & Keeler Co. donates unneeded machinery. 

Could possibly have been Bignall & Ostrander beginning in 1878, and M. C. Bignall & Co. prior to 1878, both in St. Louis.

In 1896 Bignall & Keeler released their Catalog #13.  We may infer, based on catalog numbing, a corporate formation around 1883, which meshes with the timeline established above.

November, 1909 article on the Bignall & Keeler pipe threading & cutting machine from American Machinist Magazine.

By at least 1929, Bignall & Keeler is a division of the N. O. Nelson Manufacturing Co. of Edwardsville, IL.

By 1950, they are listed as a division of the John Ramming Machine Co. and referred to as Bignall & Keeler Machine Works.

Image 2 Description: 

Courtesy the Ottowa Free Trader, Ottowa, IL April 15, 1876

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Image 3 Description: 

Courtesy of The Parsons Eclipse - Parsons, KS - 10/31/1878

Billings & Edmunds Mfg. Co.

Rocky Hill, CT (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

The July 4, 1884 edition of The American Engineer announces the incorporation of the company.  Incorporators are: C. E. Billings, George D. Edmunds, L. H. Holt, E. K. Stoeker and F. C. Billings.  Incorporation is at Hartford, CT.

According to this PDF timeline of Rocky Hill, Billings and Edmunds built the factory to produce manufacturer's tools in 1884.  According to this timeline, on 3/15/1916 the company became the C. E. Billings Manufacturing Co.

Charles E. Billings Biography

Billings & Spencer

Blissfield Motor Works

Blissfield, MI -


Trade Names and Brands:

  • Davenport (tilting machinist vise)

Boker Cutlery & Hardware Co.

New York, NY -

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Star (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Toolmakers)
  • F & R (Special, Toolmakers)

Bonney Rapid Vise Co.

Philadelphia, PA / Clinton, Iowa - Moved from Philadelphia ca. 1887.  On 1/9/1890, Charles Bonney made a plea to the Board of Trade in Huntington, IN to relocate his business there.  Supported by the Board, local residents and businessmen made the investments and the company was relocated.  In 1893, the company is listed as being located in Marion, IN.

This article from 1888 (Clinton, IA) explains the workings of Bonney's vises.

Brands and Trade Names:

  • Bonney Patent (Rapid Vise)
  • Never Slip (Pipe)
Image Description: 

This is the Bonney Rapid vise. It featured angled / rotatable jaws for oddly shaped workpieces.

View Reference: 

Bonney Vise & Tool / Bonney Forge

Here is an entry in the Automobile Trade Directory, Volume 18 of 1920 that seems to indicate that Bonney produced vises labeled Hercules, Ajax and Champion. Under the Special & Portable category, they also produced the "Standard."

Listed in the 1922 Engineering  Directory  under Bench Vises (Models: Champion,  Farmers,  Lehigh), Combination  Bench and Pipe (Models: Bonney), Hand and Pin (Models: Bonney), Machinist  (Models: Hercules), Pipe, Yoke, Hinged and Solid (Models: Indispensable), Saw Vises, Woodworkers Vises.

Please go here for the complete history of Bonney Vise & Tool Co.

Bonney Vise Models (as catagorized in trade magazines):

  • Ajax (Machinist, Patternmakers/Woodworkers)
  • Bonney (Bench & Pipe, Hand)
  • Champion (Machinist, Portable, Bench)
  • Farmers (Bench, Bench & Pipe)
  • Hercules (Machinist)
  • Indispensable (Pipe)
  • Lehigh (Bench)
  • Standard (Portable)

Vise Trademarks:

  • Bonney (in an arch) (First Use Claimed: 1876)

Bonney Vise Patents:

  • Joseph G. Baker Patent #342,992 - Pipe & Rod Vise - Unassigned and Unknown if produced
  • Joseph G. Baker Patent #348,818 - Pipe & Rod Vise - Unassigned and Unknown if produced
  • Joseph G. Baker - Assigned 1/2 to Armstead O. Bills Patent #453,459
  • Joseph G. Baker Patent #877,695 - Bench Vise - Unassigned but likely produced by Bonney
  • Joseph G. Baker Patent #1,176,019 - Vise - Unassigned but produced by Bonney
View Reference: 

Bonney Catalog References

Bonney Models & Examples

Bonney 35B Vise

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Bonney Small Clamp Vises

I find these vises fairly often here in the Northeast USA. Here are 3 examples of very old Bonney Clamp vises. All 3 have 2 1/2" jaws.

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Bridgeport Engineering Co.

Bridgeport, CT - Goes back to at least 1916


Trade Names and Models from Trade Catalogs

Brink & Cotton

An advertisement from 1953 notes the company has been making vises since 1928.

Broadbooks Tool Company

Batavia, NY - We find this company in 1899 in trade periodicals.

On 8/9/1902, it is announced that Mssrs John H. Ward, John F. Ryan, and Peter Broadbooks have sold Broadbooks Tool Company (patents, equipment, etc.) to Utica Drop Forge Company.  This article also notes that Mr. Broadbooks will move to Utica and be employed as an inventor for Utica Drop Forge.

Peter Broadbooks Patents from DATAMP

Broadbooks Pipe & Bench Vise

The patent date on this vise, seen in examples on, is August 24, 1897, with another patent pending forged text.  The first patent likely applies to Peter Broadbooks Patent #588,712 - Drill Frame.  We were unable to determine the patent pending reference however, Mr. Broadbooks has many tool patents in the surrounding years that are worth looking up. 

Peter Broadbooks Patents from DATAMP


     A complete and efficient bench or pipe vise, having a sliding jaw which is operated by the screw and which is adjustable to any position, is an invention for which Peter Broadbooks, of Batavia, N. Y., has received a patent.

      The fixed jaw is carried by a suitable base. Through the fixed jaw a bar slides, on which a movable jaw is adjustably secured. On the bar, a screw-block is fitted to slide, through the top of which screw-block a screw is threaded. In the fixed jaw a rod is swiveled, which can be bound to a chuck carried on the end of the screw. Thus constructed, the apparatus is an efficient vise designed to be used in the ordinary manner.

       But when it is desired to use this vise for the purpose of gripping pipes, auxiliary pipe-jaws are employed, formed with flanges which are passed over corresponding flanges of the fixed and movable jaws and are held in place by set-screws. These pipe-jaws are made to interlock, that is to say, the one jaw is adapted to pass into a slot formed in the other jaw, so that the elongated teeth formed on each of the jaws may slide past one another and therefore receive pipes of various sizes.

Scientific American,  V84, 16 Feb 1901, pg. 101



Vise Manufacturer: 
Vise Use Classification: 
Vise Picture - Side View Right: 
Vise Brand Company: 

Brown & Sharpe History page.

Listed in the 1922 Engineering  Directory  under Toolmakers, Vises for Drill Presses, Milling Machines, and Shapers.

Buckeye Vise Co.

Cleveland, OH - Also listed as the Buckey Saw Vise Co.  Succeeded by the Buckey Manufacturing & Foundry sometime prior to 1913.

Buffalo Vise Works

Buffalo, NY - We have not been able to locate much information on this company.  However, we did find an announcement in this snippet noting that the subject has taken over the Buffalo Vise Works and are producing Baldwin's Patent Vises.  (Link to Baldwin's Patent).  The limited text also reveals the proprietors of the Buffalo Tool Works were Baldwin, Lathrop & Dick.

In the 9/10/1869 edition of The Buffalo Commercial, the firm of Baldwin, Lathrop & Dick is listed as exhibitors at an industrial exhibition showing bench vises.

Noyes Baldwin Patents:

Alexander Dick Patents

Datamp Patent Record with Example Vises.


Burke, P. F.

South Boston, MA - Appears to have manufactured tools specific to the horseshoe industry including calks, nails, shoes, horseshoeing vises, etc. 

This is quoted from Illustrated Boston, the Metropolis of New England. 1889

PF. BURKE, Manufacturer of Patent Steel Toe-calks: Cold- iron Punching, Chain Links, Washers, etc.. No. 360 Dorchester Avenue, South Boston. — Among the many and varied industrial enterprises that contribute to the sum of activity in South Boston, none is more worthy of notice in this review than the well-known concern of P. F. Burke (successor to C. F. Dewick & Co.), manufacturer of patent steel toe-calks and horse- shoer's supplies, No. 360 Dorchester Avenue, whose productions are in extensive and growing demand in the trade throughout the country, owing to their general excellence.  The toe-calks manufactured hy him (which received the premium and medal at the fourteenth exhihition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, held in 1881) are articles of exceptional merit, and for the purpose intended are unequalled hy anything of the kind produced in the United States today. Thls flourishing enterprise was estahlished in 1868 by Messrs. C. F. Dewick and P. F. Burke, and under the firm name of C. F. Dewick & Co., was conducted up to 1886, when Mr Burke (who is the inventor of the toe-calk) assumed sole control, and has since continued the business alone with uninterrupted success. The factory occupies a commodious two-story structure with blacksmith shop, and is completely equipped with steam power and all necessary facilities, including special machinery, while a dozen or more expert workmen are employed.  Besides patent steel toe-calks, Mr. Burke also manufactures chain links, washers, and kindred devices, while cold-iron punching is attended to likewise,— all orders receiving immediate attention ; and, altogether a very large and constantly increasing business is done. Mr. Burke, who is a comparatively young man, spent his younger days in Worcester, Mass., where he learned the machinist's art, and was a member of the Worcester County Mechanics Association.



Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Burke (Blacksmiths)

Butterfield & Company

Derby Line, VT - Founded by General F. G. Butterfield and his brother, Colonel Frederick Butterfield in 1892.  They appear to have had a line of pipe vises.  Although the General had left the business prior to his passing in 1916, it appears to have gone on well into the 1960's.

Butts & Ordway

Cambridge / Boston, MA - Foot Vises.  We find this company listed as early as 1891 in newspapers.  They possibly still exist. Butts & Ordway page

Image Description: 

Advertisement from the October 27, 1892 edition of Iron Age.


Manufacturers C - F

C & E Manufacturing Company

Marshalltown, IA - Incorporated ca. 1913 by A. R. & H. M. Cooper, F. Engeloh and G. S. Thompson.

Brands and Trade Names from Trade Publications:

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Cahill, Collins & Co.

St. Louis, MO (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

We found a dispursement from the University of MO. to the company in 1892.  We find them in newspapers in 1889 but the latest reference we discovered was 1897.

Canedy, W. E. Mfg. Co.

Rochester, MN (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

We find reference to this company back to 1885.  They moved to Chicago Heights in 1893.

Canedy-Otto Manufacturing Co.

Chicago Heights, IL - Incorporation notice in the 11/23/1892 edition of The Inter Ocean.  Capital Stock is $100,000 and the incorporators are G. Ide, Charles W. Vail, and Samuel A. Vermilyea.

In the June 24, 1882 edition of the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), notice of new equipment installation at the Minnesota Anvil & Iron Works. (see link at bottom) indicates that Mr. Canedy was the owner of the Minnesota Anvil & Iron Works and that he moved the company to Illinios and joined with Mr. William H. Edwards to form Canedy & Edwards in 1889. 

The Chicago Tribune announces in their 3/11/1890 edition that The Canedy Manufacturing Company at Downer's Grove has been incorporated with capital stock of $50,000.  Incorporators are: W. E. Canedy, W. H. Edwards and S. E. Vermilvea (Note spelling from above Canedy-Otto announcement, almost certainly the same person).

In 1890, The Champion Forge & Blower Co. suid Mssrs. Canedy, W. Elliot and Edwards for patent infringement on Patent #277,487.  In July of 1893, Canedy countersued Champion for spreading false propaganda.

On July 23, 1892, The Chicago Tribune reports the signing of a large lease for a new building on Van Buren St. to move The Canedy Manufacturing Co. to Chicago Heights.

In October of 1893, Canedy-Otto increased it's labor force by 75 men.  In 1896, they added another 60 men.

William Eaton Canedy Patents - DATAMP History Page for Canedy-Otto

Canedy Models and Examples

Capital Machine Tool Co.

Auburn, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

Earliest reference we discovered was September, 1893 in The Iron Trade Review, listed under Vises.

We are quite certain this is the patent referred to in the below advertisement:  Patent #488,600 - Vise - Julius J. Cowell, Weedsport, NY (8 miles from Auburn) - 12/20/1892

Circa 1910 we find references to the J. J. Cowell Machine Works.  Mr. Cowell had many other inventions for machinery.


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1893 Iron Trade Review

Image 2 Description: 

Railway and Locomotive Engineering-1896

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Carter & Hakes Machine Company

Winsted, CT - Appear to have made machinist vises and milling machines.

Link to machines made by the company.

Curtis Hakes Patents from Google

Central Scientific Company

Chicago, IL - Incorporated 5/15/1900 by F. A. Lorens, C. A. Bengston, and T. L. Harris.  A newspaper advertisement from 1909 lists the officers of the company as A. H. McConnell - Pres., M. C. Arms - VP, J. M. Roberts - Sec., and A. H. Standish - Treas.  The advertisement notes they "Manufacture and Import Scientific Aparatus and Supplies for Physical, Chemical, Biological and Physiographical Laboratories."

In terms of vise related articles, it appears the company made small vises and clamps specifically for scientific purposes and laboratory tables, etc.

Vise Trademarks

  • CENCO (Stylized Font) (First Use Reported: 4/1921)

Champion Blower & Forge Company

Lancaster, PA - The company was chartered 1/31/1887 by A. B. Sheaffer, L. B. and H. B. Keifer, H. M. Houser, and J. L. Huye.  We do find reference in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Lancaster, PA to Morris Zook also being a founder.

On April 5, 1888, the entire works was destroyed by fire.

On January 25, 1896, the entire works was destroyed by fire again.

By 1920, Henry B. Keiper (likely misspelled in the charter announcement above "Keifer") is President of the company.

In May of 1943, the company president, Charles B. Long, passes away.

At some point in 1970, it appears the company moved to Roselle Illinois.

In August of 1976, Henry K. Long (H. B. Keiper is his maternal grandfather) is President of the company.

Google Patent results for Henry B. Keiper / DATAMP Results for Keiper

Chapin Machine Company

New Hartford, CT - The incorporation of the company was approved 7/15/1870 and the principals are Phillip E. Chapin, Edward M. Chapin, C. C. Goodwin, J. L. Purinton, W. H. Bushnell, and Marshall Jewel.  Here are the articles of incorporation.  By May, 1884 the factory appears to have been put up for sale.

This link to The Clamp Guy's website lays out the back story of the Chapin Companies.  We are unsure if the companies in this article relate to Chapin Machine, except to say that two of the sons were co-founders. 

W. K. Fine Tools has an even more extensive history.  Be sure to note that there are 5 pages to read and browse pictures.

Daniel S. Coe Patent #140,404 - Improvement in Vises - Assigned to Chapin Machine Co. 7/1/1873

Cheney Anvil & Vise Company

The 5/15/1881 edition of the Detroit Free Press published an announcement noting articles of incorporation have been filed for Cheney Anvil & Vise Co. with $30,000 in capital stock.  Incorporators are: Armilla A. Cheney; James W. Cheney; George W. Moore (Detroit Lawyer).

It appears that prior to their vise and anvil business, the Cheney family ran a Millinary carrying ladies goods.  First under the name of James' father, Ebenezer as E. Cheney & Co., then as in around 1875, it reorganized as Ford, Cheney & Co., then in September of 1877 reorganized again as E & J. W. Cheney, which filed for bankrupcy protection in March of 1878.

By September of 1895, it appears the Cheney Anvil & Vise products are now being manufactured by The Fulton Iron & Engine Works. (McMillan (2), DeGraff, Conklin)

James W. Cheney Patents from Google

An example and pictures can be seen in this thread on the Garage Journal.

View Reference: 

Chicago Flexible Shaft Co.

Chicago, IL - Started in 1897 by John Stewart & Thomas Clark.  They made agricultural tools with flexible shafts, such as sheep shearers.  In the early 1900's they introduced the "Sunbeam" brand of home appliances and in 1946, they officially changed the company name to Sunbeam.  The company went bankrupt (due to poor executive management) in 1987, and then again in 1998.  This company is also the source of the spawning of the Stewart-Warner Company.

Here is a full article explaining the uses of the Stewart Handy Worker. 

Patent for the Handy Worker 

Brand and Trade Names from Publications

  • Stewart Handy Worker (see below)


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Chicago Vise & Tool Company

Chicago, IL - Incorporated 1869.  Here is an article on the new company from The Colorado Gazetteer of 1871 (also posted below in Image 2).  An iteresting note from this article is that the gentlemen whom established the company are formerly with Peter Wright. 

Image 3 below, shows an advertisement from the 9/9/1868 Quad-City Times of Davenport, IA.  It appears that during this time, the company's proprietor was T. Raybould & Co.  This same advertisement is present in this newspaper until July of 1869.

Here are the Articles of Incorporation from 1869 noting the companies founding on 3/26/1869 with the following principals: George W. Scott, Thomas W. Jones and Thomas Raybould.

The advertisement below in image 1, again from the above referenced Gazetteer, notes Z. S. Mastin and W. P. L. Russell as proprietors.

It appears the company was sued ca. 1874 and seems to disappear around that time.

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This article is from the 1870 Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer.

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9/9/1868 Quad-City Times of Davenport, IA


Clark & Haynes

Franklin Falls, NH - Bench and pipe vises ca. 1877.  Referred to in the 1877 New England Business Directory.


Colton, George A

The Colton Designs were made by H&B and Moore & Barnes - later Phoenix Manufacturing. (at least).

For those searching for George A. Colton patents, he lists many residences.  For example, he has 10 patents in 1890 alone (Page 84, here), and lists both Chicago, IL and La Fayette, NY as residences in various patents.  However, the same witnesses validate that these are all the same inventor.  In 1891, some of his patents begin to be assigned to the Munger-Colton Manufacturing Company in Chicago, IL.  The 12/26/1895 edition of Iron Age reports that the Munger Colton company has been succeeded by the Colton Manufacturing Company.

George A. Colton Patents


Columbian Hardware Co / Columbian Vise & Manufacturing Co.


This article from the 4/10/1905 edition of Hardware notes that The Van Wagoner & Williams Hardware Company, owners of the Trenton Vise & Tool Works, have been succeeded by The Columbian Hardware Company.  The Trenton Vise & Tool Company was in existence since at least 1872 (may not be same Trenton?) We have not yet found the acquisition date but it is logical to assume Columbian was formed in 1901 as a new entity taking over the business of Van Wagoner & Williams / Trenton.  Van Wagoner & Williams existed from at least 10/1884 with William H. Williams President at that time at the age of 35.  This advertisement from 1907 notes that the vises being produced are still referred to as "Original Trenton."

Columbian Hardware Company - Notice of Incorporation in Ohio for 2/28/1901.
Columbian HW Co. was re-organized in May of 1913 by B. L. Parmenter (some resources say "H." L.), H. A. Beckett, P. A. White, L. C. Speith, and O. O. Vrooman (who I find was a lawyer and co-founder of 20+ companies beginning in the 190#s.) Taken over in receivership by L. A. Cobb in 11/1914.

A report dated 7/4/1926 says that Dan C. Swander and H. F. Seymour have taken over the vise and clamp manufacturing of The Columbian Hardware Company at Cleveland and will continue making these and additional items as The Columbian Vise & Clamp Manufacturing Company. By mid-1927 it was The Columbian Vise & Manufacturing Company.

It is very interesting to note here that in 1916 G. M. Yost filed a patent for a vise and assigned the patent to Columbian.  This advertisement verifies that indeed Mr. Yost was working for Columbian by 1916.

Patents assigned to the Columbian Hardware Co.

John Tramsak Patent #2,139,292 - Vise - Assigned to Columbian Vise & Manufacturing Co.

Vise Trademarks

  • Trenton (Vises & Vise Parts) (First Use 1/1885 "by it's predecessors")
  • Columbian (Stylized Font) (First Use Reported: 1890) Note: This is the logo used in the advertisement below in jjoslin's comment.

  • Columbian Vises (Graphic - Hand and Bar) (First Use Reported: 4/7/1967 - Filed by Warren)

Columbian Models & Examples

Columbus Forge & Iron Company

Columbus, OH - The February 19, 1898 edition of The Steel Age carries the announcement of incorporation by David Buel, W. D. Brickell, and William W. Franklin.  Their charge is to manufacture iron anvils and capital stock was set at $20,000.  In 1901, they increased capital stock to $50,000.

According to Columbus's Industrial Communities, this forge operated until the mid 1950's.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Indian Chief (Post Vises)
  • Buel Patent (Anvils)
  • Trenton (Anvils)
  • Arm & Hammer (Anvils)
Image Description: 

"Indian Chief" Vise Advertisement ca. 1911

Image 2 Description: 

Advertisement ca. 1902

Image 2: 


Continental Foundry & Machine Company

Gary, IN - Incorporated 23 December, 1912 on $40,000 capital by Charles Pekat and William & George Earle.  According to the April 1913 edition of Foundry, this company was formed to take over the Kells Foundry & Machine Company.  Kells was incorporated 2/8/1911 by William & George Earle, and C. W. Barne.  However, we do find a Kells Foundry & Machine Co. in Adrian, MI (200 miles away) as early as 1902.  Continental was acquired by Blaw-Knox in 1955.

Patent #1,106,056 - Bench Vise, Charles Pekat, assigned to Continental 8/4/1914 (Not in DATAMP)


Craftsman Models & Examples

Crane Company

Chicago, IL - Here is an excellent PDF document, published by the current Crane Co. and detailing the history of the company better than we ever could. 

We should note here that our search of for "R. T. Crane" in Illinois (only) yielded over 2,000 results between 1855 and his obituary in 1912.  Mr. Crane was either a Director or Officer of virtually every civic and trade association known during those times, and the amount was substantial.  He built hospitals, ghetto housing and parks, and a plethora of various community projects during his life.  He donated (and managed) technical institutions inside Chicago's public school systems and even produced traning manuals.  His thoughts and motiviation for this was:

to give the students a knowledge of how to use his head and hands in conjunction with each other, and to give him a means of doing that thing for which all education is intended - earn a living for himself and for the family he will, or should have.

In order to further this purpose, he founded the Crane Technical Institute.  At the time of his death, he held an estimated net worth of $20,000,000.  The newspapers of the day are littered with stories of the institution of values and employee loyalty by R. T. Crane, to which his success was credited.  One story relates the hiring of a man from outside the company while Mr. Crane was away on travel.  The man accomplished extraordinary things on behalf of the company during his brief tenure but, upon his return, Mr. Crane promptly scolded his staff and made them generously compensate the man for his work, ensure placement with another concern, and fire him.  He further told them to hire the man from within the company whom is next in line for this work.  In his obituary, he is referred to as "The Ironmaster."

On July 4, 1954, The Chicago Daily Tribune (may require subscription to view) published a tribute article to the Crane Company, laying out it's history.  Here is a synopsis of the important points of that article:

Richard Teller Crane (R. T. Crane) made his way to Chicago in 1855 after losing his job in a printing press factory in NY at the age of 23.  He immediately set to work building a foundry at Canal & Fulton Sts., by himself.  On July 4th, 1855, Mr. Crane started his furnace and began producing his first order, brass couplings for lightening rods.  Shortly thereafter, the foundry was producing rod points, brass castings, railroad engine trimmings, and wrought iron pipe and fittings.

In The Chicago Tribune of March 25, 1859, there is an advertisement for R. T. Crane & Brother.  Their products seem to fit Crane's mold being: boiler flues, valves, cocks, oil cups, steam whistles, gauge cocks, etc.

By 1867, the newspapers refer to R. T. Crane as President of the Northwest Manufacturing Company.  The current Crane Co. history page notes this company emerged in 1865. 

On February 14, 1865, R.T. Crane & Brother was incorporated in Chicago and changed its name to the North Western Manufacturing Company


Upon the retirement of Charles S. Crane in 1872, R.T. changed the name of the firm to Crane Brothers Manufacturing Company out of respect for his brother.

The 1/1/1879 edition of The Inter Ocean (may require subsctiption to view) carries an advertisement for the Crane Brothers Manufacturing Company.  R. T. Crane - Pres.; C. S. Crane - VP; S. W. Adams - SEC; J. W. Skinkle - TREAS.  See above paragraph on Crane & Brother for listed products, and add wrought iron pipe, steam pumps and steam passenger and freight elevators.

Finally, the name of the firm was officially changed to Crane Company on January 29, 1890, and became commonly known as Crane Co.

January, 1901 - the first reference to the Crane Elevator Company appears.

R. T. Crane Patents from Google Patents (Where inventor = Richard T. Crane)

R. T. Crane Patents from Google Patents (Full Text Search for "R. T. Crane")

R. T. Crane Patents from Google Patents (Full Text Search for "Richard T. Crane")

C. S. Crane Patents from Google Patents (Full Text Search for "Charles S. Crane")

Google Patents assigned to "Crane Bros"

Google Patents assigned to "Crane Brothers"

R. T. Crane Patents from DATAMP

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Crane (Bench, Pipe)
Image Description: 

R. T. Crane ca. 1900


Curtis & Curtis Company

Bridgeport, MA - Established in May of 1882 by William D. Forbes, M. E. & Roderick P. Curtis.  In 1886, Lewis B. Curtis bought into the company and his story can be fully read here, along with detailed company history.  The biography states that the company's office was in Bridgeport, while their goods and products were produced in Providence, RI.

The 6/27/1900 edition of the Hartford Courant announces the capitalization of the company at $200,000.  Stockholders are noted as Roderick P., Lewis B., Louisa W., and Alice M. B. Curtis.

The 8/10/1909 edition of the Hartford Courant reports the death of Roderick due to injuries sustained in a auto accident at 40 years of age.  Note that this article identifies the founding of the company at 1880.

While the obituary has not yet been found, the 1/26/1939 edition of the Hartford Courant discusses the disbursment of the wealth of the late Lewis B. Curtis amongst his family and various charities.  Shortly after Lewis' passing, the company appears to have been renamed to Curtis Industries but this is not verified.

This company principally made Pipe Vises integrated with their threading machines.

Image Description: 

Image is from this article in Machinery, 1921



Dawn Models & Examples

DeWick, Charles. F. & Co.

Boston, MA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897) - This company appears in the 1872 Boston City Directory.   It was a partnership between C. F. DeWick and P. F. Burke.  P. F. Burke took over control of the company in 1886.  See the P. F. Burke link for details.

Denison Vise Company

Grand Rapids, MI - This company was formed in the 1890s by James R. Denison to manufacture his newly patented quick acting vise, based on Patent #503,075 (also Canadian Patent 47,242).  The 5/3/1903 edition of the Grand Rapids Herald reports that the company was recently reorganized as the Furniture City Vise Company.  The 11/25/1903 edition of Hardware: A Review of the American Hardware Market reports that Millard E. Stockwell, Florence E. C. McKee, and S. Wallace McKee of the Grand Rapids Clamp & Tool Company have sold all property to the Furniture City Vise Company.

The final disposition of this company is unknown but are not found later than 1904.

Desmond-Stephan Manufacturing Company

Urbana, OH - A patent announcement in the April, 1904 edition of Metal Industry notes a patent for an Emery Dresser by John Desmond, doing business as this company with co-partners Charles H> Stephan, George W. Stephan, and Henry Stephan.

The History of Champaign County, OH circa 1919 reports that the company "came to Urbana around 1900" and George McConnell is President and C. N. Koehler is Treasurer.  This article also notes that Desmond & Stephan sold to McConnell but does not identify the date of the sale.

View Reference: 

Desmond Stephan Models & Examples

Detroit Vise Co.

Detroit, MI (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

The 11/1/1888 edition of the Detroit Free Press carries the incorporation notice of The Detroit Vise Co. to manufacture vises and small tools.  Incorporators are: Hugh Johnson, Moses A. Hawks, George C. Weatherbee and Julius A. Grosvenor.  It is important to note here that Mssrs. Wetherbee and Grosvenor also founded the Michigan Elevator & Engine Co. in 1888.  A very substantial biography on Mr. Wetherbee can be found here.

In September of 1889 the company is located at 108-110 West Larned St.  The final mention of the company comes in 1897.  According to Mr. Weatherbee's biography, the Detroit Vise Company was bought out by the Gardner Elevator Company.


Dibble & McCord

This was a very early manufacturer of vises, approximately the 1830s. 

E. D. McCord - Washington County, NY - 1831 (See image 1 below for 5/25/1831 newspaper article) - Patent listed in DATAMP under X6144 - Mr. McCord teamed up with M. C. Dibble of Detroit to manufacture vises at Sandy Hill, NY.  The concern may have been called Dibble & McCord.  At some point between 1831 and 1842 (likely closer to the '42 date), Mr. McCord passed away and Mr. Dibble filed for bankruptcy on July 13, 1842.

Image Description: 

5/25/1831 newspaper article


Diener, Geo. W Manufacturing Co.

Chicago, IL - This company appears to have been founded by George William Diener in 1899 when he was 23 years old.  At some point they reorganized as Diener Industries, and were acquired by The Washington Group in 1974.

In 1906 the company leased a 4 story building at 77-83 West Lake St..  Mr. Diener passed away on 7/9/1968 at the age of 92.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Diamond (Bench)

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

View Reference: 

Dodge Slide

Dolmazon and Exbrayat - Dolex

Dolex is a brand name of French made vises.

Link to the company's history page.


Drillia Canada Vise


Dunlap Models & Examples

Easton Tool & Machine Co.

Easton, PA - Chartered 10/23/1911 with $25,000 capital stock by A. E. Diefenderfer and C. L. Cohen.  This notice from the January, 1912 edition of Mill Supplies note that Easton is the result of the consolidation of 3 existing companies; Easton Tool & Machine Co., Jackson Vise & Tool Co. (Vineland, NJ), and Lippey Pattern Works.  The Iron Trade Review of December 1911 notes the officers of the newly combined entity are C. L. Somen - President, A. E. Diefenderfer - VP, R. J. Lippey - Treas., and C. J. Jackson - Sec/GM.  We find Jackson Vise & Tool Company listed as early as 1905.

They appeared, based on snippet advertisements, to market 2 vises, "the utility" and "Jackson's."  The company is identified in bankruptcy in a 10/14/1916 local newspaper.

Trade Names and Brands

C. J. Jackson also had another patent, #631,013, for a pipe vise awarded 8/15/1899.  Note that at the time of this patent Mr. Jackson resided in Erie, PA rather than N. J.  This record also references an earlier patent, #563,040, for another pipe vise.  Mr. Jackson was also awarded Canadian patent #51,964 for a vise.  Note that the text of this Canadian patent indicates it is for pipe jaws, similar to his earliest U. S. patent, and also refers to Mr. Jackson as a "United States Manufacturer."


Emmert Manufacturing Co.

Waynesboro, PA - A newspaper from March of 1893 notes a company has been formed to manufacture the Emmert vise in Waynesboro.  The 2/9/1905 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph reports that William M. Brown was elected Treas/Sec after I. E. Yost resigned.

Here is an exhaustive review of Emmert Vises from The Iron Hand.

J. F. Emmert Patents from DATAMP
Google Patents assigned to Emmert Mfg.

DATAMP Patents assigned to Emmert Mfg.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Emmert Mfg Co (Quick Action)
  • Eureka (Woodworkers)
  • Tiger (Bench & Pipe, Machinist, Toolmakers, Woodworkers)
  • Universal (Machinist, Toolmakers, Woodworkers)
View Reference: 

Erie Tool Works

According to the History page of Lakeview Forge, the following significant events in the Erie Tool Works history:

1902 - Company founding by Frank W. Bacon at 12th & Cascade Streets.

1928 - After Bacon’s death in 1928, succeeding Presidents are his son-in-law Alan Kite and son, Edwin W. Bacon until his death in 1949.  In  1946, grandson F. Warner Bacon joins the company. 

1950’s - ETW acquires several patents for its tool designs including a pipe vise, pipe wrench, and tubing  cutters.

1951 - ETW moves to 12th and Liberty (the current location).

1952 - ETW acquires Lakeview Forge at 1725 Pittsburgh Avenue (current location) to have a source for the forgings used in its tools.   Founded in 1912, it started as Lakeside Forge Company on East Lake Rd.  In 1925, it becomes Lakeview Drop Forge Co and moves to Pittsburgh Avenue.   In 1935, the company  acquires a patent for improvements in “Methods of Forming Clevises” and becomes  Lakeview Forge and Clevis Company.

1954 - ETW purchases Stillson wrench business of Boston’s Walworth Co.

1955 - ETW files trademark for "Pipemaster" name.

1959  - ETW purchases Holland Mfg of Erie (estab. 1887)  makers of vises, melting pots, ladles, and pipecutters.    ETW starts use of the name Erie Pipemaster Tee Turner and files for patent in 1961.

1960's - ETW begins production of suspension lugs and obtains major contracts with the US Goverment.  

1964 - A sixth major expansion of Lakeview Forge is completed including new office space, new factory space (three new hammers).  At the time there are two shifts and more than 100 employees.

1964   The Erie Story quotes ETW as “the world’s largest independently owned maker of pipe wrenches”.   For more than 30 years the company produces a line of plumbing tools for Sears as well as many other private brand names (Armstrong, Ridgid, Toledo, Capewell, NYE, Skinner Seal and Reed Manufacturing). The company completes a major expansion with remodeled/enlarged offices and additional plant space.  

1965   The company is bought by Textron for its defense work.  At the time, Dewitt Bull is President and F. Warner Bacon is Vice President, both grandsons of the founder.  

1968   Dewitt Bull resigns;  Bacon becomes General Manager.  

1970 - ETW obtains a patent for a Flange Tightener.

1972 - ETW obtains a patent for a Pipe Cutter.  

1972 - Textron decides to sell the company.  F. Warner Bacon forms a buyout for both ETW and Lakeview Forge.  He makes Lakeview Forge the parent company with ETW as a division.

1975 - Matthew L. Bacon (Warner's son) begins full time at the company and in 1978 becomes GM of ETW.

1998 - F.W. Bacon promotes his son, Matthew, to President and as a member of the Board of Directors along with his sister, Kitty Bacon Koch,  who was working in sales.   Later Koch becomes VP of Sales.   F.W. Bacon remains on the Board until his passing in 2007.   

2005 - Lakeview installs its first hydraulic power hammer and induction heater so it can continue making suspension lugs to the government requirement.

2008 - Lakeview is certified ISO9001:2008.

2014 - Lakeview obtains another large government contract for suspension lugs.

2015 - After the unfortunate passing of Matthew at age 60,  Koch becomes President.

The Erie Tool Works was founded by Frank Bacon in 1902. 

The 2/5/1907 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer announces the charter of the Erie Tool Works in Erie, PA.  Initial capital is listed as $30,000.  Frank Bacon appears to have been among the founders as he is President of the company in 1911.  In 1922 they were located at 11th & French streets.  The 5/15/1928 edition of The Kane Republican announces the passing of Mr. Frank Bacon.  Interestingly, it identifies him as having held the position of Vice President at this point.

At some point, we believe during the 1960's, Erie Tool Works was acquired by Textron.  In August of 1971, Beaver Tools of Toledo (a division of Wyle Laboratories) acquired the "entire line of heavy-duty pipe wrenches and other pipe working tools" from Erie Tool Works.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Empire (Bench)
  • Erie Tool Works (Bench & Pipe, Machinist, Pipe)
  • Erie Kit (Pipe)
View Reference: 

Erie Tool Works Models & Examples


Excelsior Tool & Machine Works

St. Louis, MO - While the company incorporated in 1902, we find employee want ads in the local newspapers beginning in 1895.  On 5/3/1902 the company incorporated in Missouri with $75,000 in capital stock, and principals consisting of: Theodore F. Phillippi, M. B. Nolan and E. M. McDonnell.  On 3/9/1943, the company reincorporated in Delaware.  In February of 1964 the company moved out of St. Louis but we have not discovered their final disposition.

Mr. Philippi was a prolific inventor of machines.  Google results for his name. Excelsior Page

DATAMP also records that Patent #496,498 - Vise, William J. Walker was manufactured by Excelsior.

View Reference: 


Fairhaven Iron Works

Fairhaven, MA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

According to the History of Bristol County, Massachusetts, published in 1883, The Fairhaven Iron Works (Incorporated 1879) succeeded the Boston and Fairhaven Iron Works (incorporated 1863) in 1879.  The entry lists the following principals in 1882: Edwin S. Thayer (Pres), Lewis S. Judd, Thomas H. Knowles, Job C. Tripp (Treasurer), and William C. Lincoln (Superintendent).

Besides the vise listing, they appear to have manufactured newspaper printing presses, card & billhead presses, and various other printing machines.

The final disposition of this company is unknown.

Fisher & Norris

Trenton, NJ - Best known for their "Eagle" anvils. Fisher & Norris built their factory in 1849 and significantly expanded in 1851 to principally manufacture anvils.  According to newspaper sales advertisements starting in 1851, they were manufacturing vises from the beginning.  Note the attached advertisement indicating their beginning in 1843.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications

  • Fisher (Bench & Pipe, Machinist)
  • Fisher & Norris (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Railway, Swivel, Toolmakers, Woodworkers, Vise & Anvil)


Image Description: 

Fisher Norris 1876 Display


Fitts, Frank E Mfg. & Supply Co.

Boston, MA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

According to his obituary, this company was founded in 1870 by Frank E. Fitts as a manufacturer and seller of hardware items.  In 1872, the company facility burned down.  Organized / Certified September 25, 1894.  After Franks death, his son, Henry King Fitts took the reigns.  We have found them listed as late as 1943.


Fortis Unbreakable


Fulton Iron & Engine Works

This company appears to have begun as Wayne & Robinson.  The earliest reference we can find for Wayne & Robinson is in the Detroit Free Press, 8/23/1862 edition.

They changed their name from Fulton Iron Works to Fulton Iron & Engine Works in November, 1867.  Culling through the newspapers shows the same EXACT advertisements running since 1857.  On October 29th 1867 they are Fulton Iron Works and on November 17th their name is changed. 

10/27/1867 - Detroit Free Press - J. B. Wayne announces that the company of Wayne & Robinson is hereby dissolved and will conduct business at the Fulton Iron Works.

In 1883 it is reported that Wayne owns 2400 shares in the co., Newberry and McMillan own 1200 each.  FYI that Newberry and McMillan seem to simply be investors.  They own TONS of stock on scores of very large companies.

Link to VintageMachinery History Page.

Fulton Machine & Vise Company

Lowelville, NY - Organized by Edwin W. Fulton in 1905 to produce Hiram Edward Reed's patented vise design, Patent 752260The December 1906 edition of The Iron Trade Review reports the transition.

On 5/19/1907 the factory burned to the ground.  Damages were widely reported at $250,000.  More reasonably, reports from the following days indicate the loss was $25,000.

This snippet from 1916 notes that G. S. Knowlton was elected president of Fulton Vise & Machine Company of Loweville.

In 1920 (see reference: Automobile Trade Directory, Volume 18 of 1920), Fulton produces the F&R, Star, and Peerless Machinist vise models.

This biography comes from

Edwin W. Fulton attended the Carthage public schools, and as a young man learned the trade of machinist with Ryther & Pringle. He was connected with their foundries for a period of seven years and in 1896 entered the employ of Bagley & Sewall, manufacturers of paper machinery, at Watertown. In June, 1905, Mr. Fulton went to Lowville, N. Y., and organized. the Fulton Machine & Vise Company, buying out the interests of Lafayette Wetmore. The entire plant was destroyed by fire in May, 1907, with a loss of $22,000, but was soon rebuilt, business being resumed in October of the same year. At that time the capital was increased from $30,000 to $50,000, and Mr. Fulton continued there until 1924, at which time he disposed of the business and came to Oswego with the Oswego Tool Company as manager. In August, 1930, a new corporation was formed and known as the International Nutyp Tool Corporation, with Mr. Fulton as president and general manager.

The above quote mentions the interests of Mr. Lafayette Wetmore having been purchased by Mr. Fulton.  Mr. Wetmore's obituary notes many business ventures and we note 2 in Lowville which could have been the business referred to above.  The Nevin Iron Works (advertisement example here), and the Sheeley Shop seem to be the most likely candidates.  The History of Nevin Iron Works can be read in "Lowville, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow."  Nevin took over the Loweville Iron Works.

In 1924, at the departure of Mr. Fulton, the company was succeeded by the Lowville Machine & Vise Co. (L. M. & V. Co.), which survived until it's purchase in 1929 by The American Chain Company of Bridgeport.

Edwin W. Fulton Patents from Google

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

  • F & R (Machinist)
  • Peerless (Machinist)
  • Star (Machinist)
Image Description: 

Hiram Reed's Vise - Article from Iron Age, Volume 79 dated January 17, 1907.

View Reference: 

Manufacturers G - L

General Fire Extinguisher

New York, NY & Providence, RI -

Link to factory history

Garage Journal Monster Thread Examples:

View Reference: 

Germanow-Simon Machine Works

Rochester, NY - Founded in 1916 by Harry Germanow and Julius Simon - Here is the current company history page.  Note that the Tel-Tru Manufacturing Company which is noted as a current partner company was also founded by Germanow and Simon.

Harry Germanow Patent #1,371,617 - Combination Vise, 3/15/1921

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

  • G-S (Machinist)
Image Description: 

May, 1918 edition of Machinery


Gilkerson Machine Works

Homer, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

The earliest reference we have found for this company is this article on Gilkerson's Planer Vises in the November 14, 1885 edition of American Machinist.

The Hub, Volume XXX of March, 1889 reports that the Gilkerson Machine Works were succeeded/acquired by Cook & Dinsmore in October of 1888.


It appears the Smithsonian does have a catalog which we will investigate at a later date. Gilkerson page.


Gillespie Brothers & Co. / Gillespie Tool Co.

Pittsburgh, PA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

This company first appears in September of 1877, posting various service and product advertisements in local newspapers.  Some years later, the company is referred to as the Gillespie Tool Company.  R. G. and T. A. Gillespie are noted in the 1885 Pittsburgh Directory.  During the 1890's, the company (could be a different entity) is being referred to as W. A. & R. G. Gillespie.  The vast majority of their work is pipelines, oil wells, and construction.

John Cain Patent #298,285 - Die for Making Vise Jaws - Assigned to Gillespie Tool Co.

Globe Vise & Truck Company

Grand Rapids, MI - Founded by Stephen and William Vanmanen ca. 1907 (Catalog #8 is 1915).  However, we did find what appears to be a potential proposal in March of 1905 to the U. S. Navy.  According to this Facebook page, in 1896 the company was known as Vanmanen & Buys in 1896.

Here is an interesting account of Mr. Zimri Seth Mastin in the Sixth Biographical Record of the Class of 1869, Yale College, 1868-1894 noting he bought out Globe Vise & Tool Works of Chicago in approximately 1870.

Here is an excellent review of the Globe Cabinetmaker's Vise from Wood Craft of 1907 (see Image 2 below)

The company is still listed in the U. S. Industrial Directory in 1980.  Final disposition is unknown.  Note that "truck" refers to factory floor hand trucks.

William Vanmanen Patent #662,660 - Bench Vise

William and Steven Vanmanen Patent #804,179 - Bench Vise

Image Description: 
Image 2: 

Goodell-Pratt Co.

Greenfield, MA - Goodell-Pratt Co. page.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

  • Goodell-Pratt (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Hand)
  • Vise TM - Described as "coloring the upper portion of the fixed jaw and movable jaw a high gloss vermillion red, and by coloring the remaining portion of the jaws black." (Vises) (First Use September, 1907)

Gould & Eberhardt

Newark, NJ - write-up on the company.

Formed by Ezra Gould, Ulrich Eberhardt and Henry E. Eberhardt in 1877. The company focused on shapers but also built planers and hand lathes. The company survived until 1959 when it was acquired by the Norton Co. For more information on the history of Gould & Eberhardt, see the entry on Ezra Gould.

According to the book "A History of Gould & Eberhardt," the company began making tools in 1833.  Please see the above link from on Ezra Gould.

Link to Anvilfire example of their shaper vise.

Graham Manufacturing Company

Providence, RI -


Grand Rapids Hand Screw Company

Grand Rapids, MI - Likely founded around 1880 and were acquired in the early 1900's.

Here is a nice bit of research from the History of Grand Rapids website. company page


Gray Models & Examples

Green, Tweed & Co.

New York, NY - Company History Page

In reference to Lewis & Lurie Mfg. Co. below, here is a Patent, #502,127 for a vise by Abraham Lurie.  The vise in the patent drawings looks suspiciously like the one in the picture below.  The only information we have been able to find about the company is from 1895.  They apparently had a brief existence.  This is just before Mortimer Lewis started Lewis Tool Co.

Image Description: 

This advertisement is from the December 25, 1895 edition of Hardware Dealers Magazine.  A very unique vise.  The ad states it is manufactured by the Lewis & Lurie Mfg. Co. of NY.  However, this is the one and only reference we have found on that company.


Gumphert, George A & Co.

Philadelphia, PA - This company likely started in the late 1890s as a partnership between George Gumphert and George W. H. Fawkes.  At some point in the 19 teens, the name was changed to George Gumphert & Sons.

Job listings for Pattern Maker's begin in 1903, with an address of 238 Cherry St.

G. A. Gumphert Patent #561,663 - Woodworkers' Vise, 6/9/1896, Assigned 1/2 to George W. H. Fawkes

Image Description: 

Quick Acting Woodworkers Vise ca. 1893.



H & B

Little is known about this company, or even what the "H" or the "B" stand for.  We are leaning toward Humason & Beckley but research continues.  DATAMP suggests 2 possibilities, Humason & Beckley of Connecticut and Hubbard & Blake of Maine.  Our research indicates the latter focused solely on edge tools while there is evidence of the former branching out beyond their signature product, pocket knives.

This company definitely produced Colton patent vises based on patent #320,224.  Many examples can be found with an H & B marking via a quick web search.

Hall, Thomas

Brooklyn, NY -

Thomas Hall Patent #140,269 - Improvement in Vises

Hammer & Co.

Branford, CT - Listed from about 1904 to 1918.  Founding and disposition unknown.

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Hammer & Co (Bench)

Henry C. Woodstock Patent #1,049,024 Vise, Assigned to Hammer & Co.

Harcliff Company

Rushville, IN - An article from April of 1947 notes the company is moving to Rushville from the northern part of the state.  It also notes that the company will leverage the foundry of The Dill Manufacturing Company for their castings.

Hartford Special Machinery Company

Hartford, CT - In early 1914 the company increased it's capital stock.  The two major stockholders mentioned were Joseph Merrit and Ernest W. Smith.  In March of 1979, talk of a merger with New England Machine & Tool Company begins to appear in newspapers.  In December of 1979, they included Page Co. in the merger and became Hartford Specialty Inc.

Hartmann Vise Company / Manufacturing Company

Racine, WI - Started in 1944 by Phillip Hartmann.  According to the Racine Journal - Times Sunday Bulletin of 11/7/1965, the company produced only vises until 1948 when they were asked to produce hydraulic components, and successfully did so.  Thereafter, they principally sold hydraulics but stayed in the vise business until 1958, when they sold their patent and vise business to "an Illinois firm."

Phillip Hartmann Patent #2,565,965 - Cam for sliding screw-operated vise jaws to final clamping position 8/28/51

Trade Names, Brand & Trademarks:

  • JAWSET - Block Text (Vises) (First Use 9/2/1948)

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

Herriman, C. A. & Son

Chicago, IL -

Listed as a "New Agency" in the 9/14/1916 edition of The Horseless Age in South Haven, MI.

Google Patents for Charles A. Herriman

Patent #CA89961A - Vise, Not listed in DATAMP

Image Description: 

Hinsdale Machine & Tool Co.

Hinsdale, NH (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

Founded by George H. Wood in 1884.  Here is the incorporation record.

George H. Wood Patent #274,242 - Bench Vise 3/20/1883

Hollands Manufacturing Co.

Erie, PA - According to the Pittsburgh Daily Post of 4/15/1890, Hollands Manufacturing Co. was incorporated on 14 April, with $10,000 capital.  Principals noted were: Robert B. Hough, Caleb Hollands, and John S. Rilling.  As an interesting note, just 4 days later the same newspaper reports that Mr. Hollands is on his death bed.  This subsequent article notes his role as foreman of the Griswold Manufacturing Company prior to establishing Hollands. 

Despite the above founding notice, an article in the 4/26/1926 edition of The Evening News of Harrisburg, PA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Hollands Company.  This would place their founding in 1886.

In 1959, Hollands was purchased by Erie Tool Works.

Hollands Mfg. Co. Patents from DATAMP // Second Link (Note that Hollands is in DATAMP twice, once as Hollands Mfg. Co, and once as Hollands Manufacturing Co.)

Patent #664,361 - Henry F. Renner - Pipe Vise, assigned to Hollands 12/18/1900 (Not in DATAMP)

Patent #680,439 - Henry F. Renner - Bench Vise, assigned to Hollands 8/13/1901 (Not in DATAMP)

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

  • Hollands (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Nickel/Brass Pipe, Railway, Swivel, Toolmakers, Woodworkers)
  • Keystone (Bench, Machinist, Pipe, Woodworkers)
View Reference: 

Hollands Models & Examples

Howard Iron Works

Buffalo, NY - According to a biography published by The National Magazine in 1887, Mr. Rufus L. Howard founded Howard Iron Works in 1853.  Prior to this, in 1842, he became a partner in the hardware business of Atwater, Williams & Co.  In 1850, he bought out Mr. Williams and the firm reorganized as Howard, Newman & Co.  In 1853, Mr. Howard sold his share of the Howard, Newman & Co. and purchased the majority of the patent rights for a lawn mower design by W. F. Ketchum.  This article notes that Mr. Howard's Works have been in operation since 1853, but also notes that the pair had been engaged in the business since 1850.

Erhard Schlenker Patent #156,066 - Improvement in Vises - Assigned 1/2 to Rufus L. Howard and Gibson F. Howard

Here is an extensive history by

Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

  •  (Machinist)

Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

Hudson Tool Company

Los Angeles, CA - The 3/15/1904 edition of the Los Angeles Times carries the formation announcement for this company.  Principals are noted as: W. E. & Harriet B. Smythe, Lillian C. Hudson and Elliott T. Dunning.

Hudson Assigned Patents from Google

Millard F. Hudson Patents from Google

Hudson Models & Examples

Hunt, Helm, Ferris & Co.

Harvard, IL - According to an article from 6/27/2012 in the Northwest Herald (Woodstock, IL), Henry L. Ferris invented and patented a hay carrier in 1883.  Shortly thereafter, Charles E. Hunt and a hardware store owner Nathan B Helm became business partners and worked out of the basement of Helm's hardware store.  In 1888, they built a larger manufacturing facility on Front St, followed by additional buildings alongside the nearby railroad.  The company was incorporated in 1902.  The company was principally focused on farm equipment and produced more than 50 products and obtained more than 250 patents.  They apparently earned an even greater reputation manufacturing toys.  This article also states the company changed it's name to Starline in 1931.  Notice the 3rd name "Ferris."  Believe it or not, Ferris wheel.

Trade Names and Brands in Trade Publications:


Henry L. Ferris Patents from Google

    Illinois Iron & Bolt Company


    Iron City Tool Works

    Pittsburgh, PA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Here is an excellent history of the company by The Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Resource.

    Quoting the Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Resource:

    According to Pittsburgh city directories and, the business began about 1862 as Kloman & Co. iron mill in Millvale at the northeast edge of Pittsburgh. Brothers Anthony (originally Antonius) Kloman (1826-1897) and Andrew (Andreas) Kloman* had learned forging as boys in Prussia. After a year, they separated the business into 2 firms. Andrew started an iron and steel rolling mill and went on to an association with Thomas and Andrew Carnegie. Anthony began making tools using the name Kloman & Co., Iron City Forge. The tool works had a succession of partners through 1878. From 1864-66 it was Kloman & Phipps, from 1866-67 it was Kloman & Voelker, in 1867 it changed to Kloman, Buerkle & Co, and in 1872 it was Kloman, Park & Co. The first use of the secondary name Iron City Tool Works is in the 1868-69 directory.

    In 1879, Anthony Kloman gave up control of Iron City Tool Works, and the business became Park, Long & Co., with steel men David E. Park and Joseph D. Long. This lasted about 2 years, and the firm reorganized about 1881 as Iron City Tool Works, Limited. Christian Konold (1833-1888) became superintendent, and his family would eventually own the company. Christian had been hired in 1868 at Kloman, Buerkle & Co. as a hammerman, and later his 2 sons joined as forgers.  After Christian's death in 1888, his son George F. Konold (1864-1924) was superintendent for 23 years. George's brother William F. Konold (1866-1933) followed in the position, and at his death had worked for Iron City for 57 years.

    William H. Hays (1847-1926), a Pittsburgh bookkeeper, managed the business beginning in 1881. He was chairman from 1887, or earlier, to 1926, and his son William H. Hays, Jr. (1877-1966) was treasurer in 1903. Son John Crossan Hays (1891-1968) followed his brother as treasurer. Nothing else about Mr. Hays's business background or his financial stake in Iron City is known. The house Mr. Hays built in the late 1880s at 5200 Westminster Place suggests that he was already wealthy or that Iron City Tool Works was very profitable for him.

    The original tool works was on Butler St. (renamed Railroad St.) between Smith (30th St.) and Morton (28th St.), then at Butler St. and Wilson St. (32nd St.). In 1869 they were still at 32nd Street and Railroad St. This building expanded over the next 30 years until it occupied almost the whole block from 32nd to 33rd. By 1890 there was a second building at 32nd St. and Smallman St. Iron City suffered a fire in 1903 and rebuilt on the same spot, remaining there until 1958.

    Warren Tool Corp., founded in 1911 by George F. Konold, took over Iron City in 1958. Warren made many of the tools that Iron City did. In 1994 Warren Tool was sold to Wilton Corp. of Palatine, IL, and continued to operate as Warren Tool Group until Walter Meier Holding Company AG bought Wilton in 2002. Iron City's former building at 3201 Smallman St. still stands.

    The 9/10/1863 edition of the Pittsburgh Daily Post reports the dissolution of the Kloman & Co. as of 9/1/1863 as Anthony Kloman retires.  His interests have been assumed by Mr. Thomas N. Miller.

    In the book Six Tycoons: The lives of John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and Joseph P. Kennedy, the Kloman & Co. story is addressed.  According to this book, the business was established in 1859 by Andrew and Anton Kloman.  Due to the war, they received many orders and had to expand, organize Kloman & Co., and construct an iron mill which they called the Iron City Forge.  In 1862, Anton sold his interest to Thomas Miller.  Paraphrasing: In the early 1860's, Andrew Carnegie stepped in to mediate disagreements between vested parties.  The firm changed their name to Kloman and Phipps as Thomas Miller was forced out.  Shortly thereafter, Miller and Carnegie founded Cyclops Iron Works.  In May of 1865, the two companies were merged into a new company called Union Iron Mills with Carnegie as President and his brother Tom VP.

    This story is much further elaborated in the book The Inside history of the Carnegie Steel Company; A romance of Millions

    Listed under Vises in the 1902 Pittsburgh City Directory

    Christian Konold Patent #104,165 - Improvement in Dies for Forging Box Vises

    Christian Konold Patent #337,339 - Die for Making Vise Jaws

    Christian Konold Patent #337,340 - Machine for Making Vise Jaws

    Some Google Patents assigned to Iron City

    Jacobson Machine Mfg. Co.

    Warren, PA - Based on the article seen below in image 2, Jacobson appears to have been around prior to the 20th century.  We are still researching origins.  As the below article states, Jacobson acquired the Straight Line Engine Co. in 1900. 

    This article from the March, 1907 edition of Industrial Development and  Manufacturer's Record specifies that Rock Island Mfg. Co. will take over Jacobson Machine Mfg. Co. Vise production only, not the entirety of the Jacobson line.  Below is an article on a Jacobson Vise.

    An article in a 1935 Warren newspaper indicates the company, formerly Jacobson Machine Mfg. Co., is now Warren Gear Manufacturing Co.  Warren Gear Mfg. Co. was incorporated May 5, 1933.  In January of 1954, the company was dissolved. History Page

    Patent #747,433 - Vise, Jacob Jacobson (Warren, PA)

    This company also manufactured many of the J. R. Long Patents (found under Prolific Vise Inventors)

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    Person Tags: 
    Image 2 Description: 

    This article comes from the 5/3/1900 edition of The Evening Democrat of Warren, PA. 

    Image 2: 
    Image 3 Description: 
    Image 3: 

    Jameson, A. Company / Jameson & Co.

    Abiezer Jameson - A. Jameson Company (owner), Philadelphia? // The Bricksburg Manufacturing Company (Superintendent), Bricksburg, NJ - He appears to have operated under the A Jameson Company as a "casting" company in the early 1860s per tax records. 

    Mr. Jameson had 4 vise patents, #56,057, #66,712, #66,965, and #77,289.  Also, Patent #69,361 by J. Howard Murray was assigned to Abiezer Jameson and T. S. Murray.

    Jarecki Mfg. Co

    Erie, PA - First mention found is December, 1874 in The Pittsburgh Daily Commercial.

    Albert H. Jarecki Patent #296,333 - Pipe Vise - 4/8/1884

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Jarecki Mfg. Co. (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Machinist, Pipe)


    Joyce-Cridland & Co.

    Dayton, OH - This text comes from History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, Volume 1, 1909.

    This company was established in 1874 by Jacob O. Joyce and T. H. Cridland, under the name of Joyce and Cridland, for the manufacture of lifting jacks, starting with one type and six sizes, and commencing operations in a small place on the third floor of W. P. Callahan's machine ship on East Third street..

    The business prospered and in 1876 the company moved to a room in the John Rouzer and Company's building, on the canal, at the head of Fourth street, where some additional types of jacks were developed.

    In 1879 F. I. Joyce, the son of J. O. Joyce, was admitted to partnership, and the firm name was changed to Joyce, Cridland and Company.  In 1881 the company moved to the building on the corner of Wyandotte and Shawnee streets, formerly occupied as a planing mill by Daniel Slentz.  At this place a large variety of different types and sizes of lifting jacks was developed and special machinery installed for their accurate manufacture.

    In November, 1893, the business was incorporated under the name of The Joyce-Cridland Company.

    In 1903, after twenty-two years on Wyandotte street, the company bought a piece of land on Lindeb avenue, south of Huffman avenue, and in March, 1904, broke ground for the building of the present plant, which was completed and occupied in April, 1905.  The present plant is a creditable monument to the spirit of growth which has from the beginning characterized The Joyce-Cridland Company......  The officers of the company are: President & Treasurer, F. J. Joyce; VP and Superintendent, Thomas H. Cridland; Secretary, George W. Liewellyn.


    "Joyce" likely refers to Jacob O. Joyce Patents

    Image Description: 

    Advertisement from the 1888 edition of The Railway List



    Karas Electric Co.

    Chicago, IL - The 11/30/1899 edition of The Inter Ocean carries the incorporation notice for the Karas Electric Manufacturing Company, $15,000 initial capital.  Incorporators are listed as: Joseph Karas, V. T. Kissinger, and R. Burhke.  The same newspaper on 5/10/1903 lists the incorporation of the Karas Electric Company with $10,000 capital stock.  The incorporators are L. L. and B. S. Summers, and Joseph Karas.  This notices says they will manufacture electrical, mechanical and chemical specialties.

    The company appears to vanish ca. 1928.

    Here is a link to an example vise on the Garage Journal.


    Kimball Manufacturing Co.

    Boston, MA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Oddly, this company appears to have been disolved in 1893, according to this court document (You'll need to search the document for "Kimball").

    This document says the organizations was certified on 6/9/1890 (you will again have to search for "Kimball")

    The founder appears to have been Isaac Kimball.

    This court document locates the company at 62 Sudbury St. in Boston ca. 1888

    Kinsley Iron & Machine Co.

    Canton, MA - According to an advertisement in the 5/24/1909 edition of the Fitchburg Sentinel auctioning off the Kinsley factory, the company was founded in 1787.  We find the company listed into the late 1950's, particularly selling iron railings and decorative trim.

    Here is another short paragraph from the book Canton on Kinsley that also includes a picture of one of their foot operated vises.  This book also says the company started in 1787. 

    One incorporator is possibly Lyman Kinsley.

    Here is the full text from the Internet Archives of the book A History of Canton Junction by

    Edward D. Galvin



    Established 1787

    The present site of the Kinsley Iron and Machine Co. was the location of the first saw mill in Canton. In 1703 it was known as “Deacon Joseph Tucker’s Saw Mill” In 1760 it became the site of “Quaker" Leonard’s forge.

    In 1787 Leonard and Kinsley, workers in iron, erected here a plant for the purpose of manufacturing “useful implements from iron” and his was the start of the present business. In the decade 1790-1800, they turned out annually over 200 millsaws and 300 dozen scythes; cut and rolled 1000 tons of iron between 1793-97; began the welding of steel in 1792 and the manufacture of steel in 1797. In 1809 they put in operation a steel furnace and commenced the manufacture of guns, the Government being a very large purchaser preceding and during the War of 1812.

    A little later the product of the shops was sleigh shoes, plow shares, crow bars and wagon axles. In 1821 the firm was discontinued, one member taking the property on the east side and the other on the west side of Washington Street. In 1835 the Foundry plant was completed for the manufacture of castings. In 1840 the entire property came into the possession of the two sons of Adam Kinsley, and the business increased rapidly from month to month and became more profitable year by year. With the coming of the railroads, the manufacture of car wheels and axles added largely to the business.

    In 1852 the Rolling Mill was erected and equipped. In 1854 the present Corporation was chartered, and Oliver Ames of Easton became its president in 1859. In 1875 the plant was destroyed by fire, but immediately reconstructed as a more modern and up to date plant. To show the manner in which the business grew, in 1845 the manufactured material aggregrated 350 tons annually, in 1876 it had increased to 4000 tons annually and from this time on it made wonderful strides of progress as well as increase in size of plant and equipment, (making lots 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in this sale).

    In 1907 its principal manufacture was “Kinsley” merchant bar iron and wagon axles; crow bars, railroad splices and spikes: "Kinsley" blacksmiths' machinery; bolts and washers; general foundry work, forgings, truss rods, bolt ends and general machine shop work. At this time it was said to be the oldest manufacturing plant in continuous operation in the country. It is to be liquidated today for the simple reason that the owners have much larger interests that demand their entire attention. It should not be forgotten in the consideration of this location and property that its history is one of uninterrupted success for 120 years.

    Its history is almost as old and just as clean as that of the Government. At one time it was the largest maker of car wheels and axles in the country. At another time, the largest manufacturer of wagon axles. It has seen all of its competitors start and many of them go out of existence. The existence of this ancient foundry into the twentieth century is in itself remarkable. The distance from its raw materials and markets prompted the Ames family’s decision to retire this truly historic facility. It is unfortunate that when Canton's industrial past is discussed the primary focus is almost always the Revere Copper Company. The K.I.M. deserves equal respect and warrants further research and study.


    Comment must be made on the general working conditions that existed at the K.I.M. Company and the Revere Copper Company. With the exception of the fatal illness involving several men at the K.I.M. during the summer of 1888, very little of the hazards of industrial employment were ever mentioned in the local press or recorded in any manner. The fact was, of course, that the K.I.M. in particular was an incredibly harsh place to work. The iron works, with its blistering heat beat against the bodies of the half naked workers, wore out or crippled many men before their time. The inexorable laws of manufacture demanded youth or vigor in exchange for the gold for which the employees slaved from sunrise to sunset. In the summer, the furnace heats would be started at three o’clock in the morning in order that the operators might quit early in the afternoon and secure some respite from the scorching heat of July and August. Men grew old quickly, too quickly. New men must take their place.

    The Revere Copper Company was the salvation of many afamily. Old men predominated. Men of seventy and seventy-five years were common. The hard labor was done by the younger generation, and the popularity of the Revere family was unbounded because they amalgamated the interest of the community with their own, furnishing houses to their employees at rentals that barely sufficed to cover expenses, paying employees a good wage, and asking a fair day’s work in return.”

    Thus comes to light almost ten years after the last fire was extinguished at the K.I.M. the severe hardships endured by the men who worked at the Iron Works. While the hazards encountered by the workmen were well known, they were not subject to public discussion in the passive Canton Journal. While the life shortening and injury prone operation of the K.I.M. was a fact of life, the Town of Canton had luck on its side in having an unusually fortunate transfer of skills and labor with the Revere Copper Company.’

    1909 saw several major changes occur, The ever troubled Blue Hill Street Railway’s car barn burned at Canton Junction in February of 1909. On a brighter note, the properties formerly occupied by the Revere Copper Company and the Kinsley Iron and Machine Company were auctioned off in May of 1909. The Plymouth Rubber Company of Stoughton bought the majority of the property. The depressed sale price reflects the situation that existed. The entire real estate of the Revere Copper Company sold for $13,000. The K.I.M. property west of Washington Street and including the land under Forge Pond went for $10,000. The remainder of the K.I.M. property was bought in smaller parts.

    It was with a note of hope that the townspeople viewed the property transfer of their two major heavy industries to new ownership. The opportunity for employment and the resulting payrolls would provide a much needed tonic for the Town’s overall economy.

    Trade Names and Brands:

    • Folsom Locking Vise
    Image Description: 

    This article comes from Iron Age, 1893 describing the Folsom Vise.


    Knu Vise, Inc.

    Detroit, MI

    James A. Herrington - Patent #2,350,034 - Toggle Clamp - Assigned to Knu Vise Inc.

    L. H. & F Co.

    Lake Side

    Leavens Manufacturing Co.

    Vineland, NJ - Incorporated January 7, 1907 by Phillip J Leavens

    Trade Names and Brands in Trade Publications:

    • Baker's Jersey (Bench)

    Google Patents for Phillip Leavens

    Garage Journal Monster Thread Links:


    Leinen Models & Examples

    Lewis Tool Co.

    New York, NY - Based on this article from the February, 1894 edition of Iron Trade Review, the company was established with $20,000 capital by M. G. Lewis, E. H. Mulford and John E. Mulford.  This article from the August 8, 1894 edition of Iron Age provides an overview of the vises sold by the company.

    By 1904, American Machinist lists them in Bridgeport, CT. 

    It is very interesting to note here that both Prentiss and Lewis Tool had the same directors, the Mulford brothers and M. G. Lewis, and at various times, listed the same address at 44 Barclay St., NY.

    Patent #498,288 - Bench Vise, John E. Mulford - 1893

    Mortimer G. Lewis Patents from DATAMP

    Lewis Vise Patent #687,841

    Lewis Vise Patent #605,107

    Lewis Vise Patent #605,106

    Lewis Vise Patent #597,681

    Lewis Vise Patent #596,661

    Lewis Vise Patent #303,299

    Lewis Vise Patent #231,181 ### Assigned to Hall Mfg. Co. ###

    Lewis Canadian Patent #19,434

    George F. Haven Pipe Vise #523,311 assigned to Lewis Tool Co.

    Charles Hanimann patent #802,040 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

    Charles Hanimann patent #805,013 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

    Charles Hanimann patent #816,162 assigned to Mortimer Lewis.

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    Image Description: 

    From: The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897


    Lewis Models & Examples

    Image Description: 

    Advertisement from the 1896-97 Buyer's Guide - Railroad, Telegraph, Electric, & Steamship Builders' Directory


    Littlestown Hardware & Foundry

    Littlestown, PA - Incorporation announced in Foundry in July, 1916 by Luther D. Snyder - Pres., Emory H. Snyder - Sec/Treas., and Sheldon K. Abel - VP, all of Wrightsville, PA.  Local newspapers note that the Snyder Brothers are also in the "novelty business" in Wrightsville.

    Littlestown Models & Examples

    Logan, Vail & Co.

    New York, NY - Active throughout the mid 1800's.

    Patent #13,256 - Adjustable Vise, Patrick Fraser company page


    Lomas & Sager

    Lomas & Sager (Woodsfield, OH)​ - Newspaper advertisement from 7/16/1867 notes this company is a "manufacturer of vises."

    Lowville Machine & Vise Company (L. M. & V Co.)

    Lowville, NY - This company succeeded the Fulton Machine & Vise Co. ca. 1924.  The election of officers in a January, 1927 local newspaper identifies H. Northam Haberer as Pres; Leon S. Miller as VP; A. A. Copeley as Sec; W. T. Bush as Treas.  In another local newspaper article from 1929, the paper reports that all patents, business and completed stock have been sold to The American Chain Company of Bridgeport.  This particular article also notes that L. M. & V. Co was the successor of the Fulton Machine & Vise Co. and also purchased The Utica Air Compressor Company in 1928.  The article notes that castings will still be made at Lowville for the new owner.

    Finally, this article from 1930 reports the sale of all property of the L. M. & V. Co.

    It appears vises continued to be made for a time under the American Chain Company moniker, as evidenced by this example from the Garage Journal.


    Luther Grinder Mfg. Co.

    Milwaukee, WI - Goes back to at least 1908.  Likely founded by Clarence J. or George M. Luther.  It was almost certainly preceeded by The Luther Brothers Company.  The Luther Brothers Company goes back to at least 1902.  The Luther Brothers Grinder Company was founded by Clarence Justin Luther, with 3 of his brothers involved.


    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Luther (Machinist)

    Patents from DATAMP assigned to Luther

    Patents from Google assigned to Luther

    Clarence J & George M. Luther Google Patents

    Leo Bethke Patent #1,271,009 - Clamping Vise 7/2/1918 - Assigned to Luther Grinder Mfg Co.

    Image Description: 

    From American Exporter ca. 1915


    The Jacobs Specialties Manufacturing Co.

    Denver, CO - This company appears to only have been active a short time, approximately 1917 - 1922.  Owner appears to have been Joseph H. Jacobs, a prolific inventor.

    Google Patents for Joseph H. Jacobs

    Patent #1,372,027, Joseph H. Jacobs - Machinist Vise, Assigned to Jacobs Specialties 3/22/1921

    Manufacturers M - R

    J. Parkinson & Son

    Shipley England - Started in 1867 by Joseph Parkinson as a sewing machine sales and repair shop.  Here is a comprehensive history on this company.  This link also includes product sections, to include vises.

    Massey Vise Co.

    Chicago, IL. - Founded by T C Massey circa 1881.  At that time, he operated out of Batavia, IL until moving to Chicago in 1884 (see reference below) where he continued to operate as simply T. C. Massey until 1891.  The 2/8/1891 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune announces the incorporation of the Massey Vise Company with capital stock of $25,000.  Incorporators are T. C. Massey, R. A. Massey and T. S. Fauntleroy.  Also announced in the 2/1891 edition of Iron Age.

    Here is a detailed explanation with supporting graphics on how the T. C. Massey vise is constructed and operated from the August, 1884 edition of American Machinist.

    The November, 1884 edition of Railway Master Mechanic reports that T. C. Massey has moved his manufactory from Batavia to Chicago at 11-23 S. Jefferson St.  Noted as the sole maker of the E&K Patent Vises.

    Advertisement for the Massey Perfect Vise from October 24, 1889, Iron Age.

    By 1902, the company is located at 30 S. Canal St. in Chicago.

    By 1910, the company is located at (9 or S) Michigan St.

    Final disposition of the company is still unknown.

    T. C. Massey Patents:

    Trade / Vise Models & Types:

    • Lightning (Drill Press, Planer, Milling Machine, Machinist, Pattern/Wood Working)
    • Clincher (Pattern/Wood Working, Machinist)
    • Perfect (Machinist, Pipe)

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    View Reference: 

    Massey Models & Examples

    Lightening Grip

    Image Description: 

    Massey Lightening Grip #10 - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog


    McNab & Harlin Mfg. Company

    New York, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    According to the McNab-Harlin Mfg. Co. Catalog #13 of 1916 located here, the company was started in 1854 under a co-partnership under the McNab-Carr Company, of which John Harlin was a member.  In 1859 they moved to Patterson, NJ.  In 1862, Mr. Carr retired and the partnership was dissolved and succeeded by the McNab-Harlin Mfg. Co. in New York.

    In May of 1923 the company was sued and put into receivership, ending in bankruptcy.

    Meadville Vise Company

    Meadville, PA - This text/history is from the Historical and industrial review of Meadville, Pa. published in 1912.

    Barrett Machine Tool Co.

    James Hazlet, 1858, started the Crawford Iron Works, selling to Harper & McKay, 1880. In Dec., ’80, Barrett Brothers bought the interests and a few years later purchased a lot on south side of Arch St., 102 x 200 ft., erected the substantial brick buildings which cover the entire lot, calling it the Meadville Vise Co., and 1906, naming- it the Barrett Machine Tool Co. The products are now principally “Barrett” horizontal cylinder boring machines, and vises, which go to nearly every civilized nation.

    The Barrett Bros., J. O. and C. J., are practical machinists, having been in the business, in Erie and Meadville, from early manhood. This plant has been one of Meadville’s permanent industries for over thirty years, giving employment to from 35 to 50 men, thereby assisting in the city’s permanent progress.

    J. O. Barrett patented his first vise in 1883, patent # 284,997

    J. O. Barrett - Patent for a light holder #240,292

    J. O. Barrett - Patent for a Vise #444,326

    J. O. Barrett - Patent for a feed mechanism for facing machines #1,575,522

    J. O. Barrett Patents from DATAMP

    The November, 1910 edition of The American Blacksmith announces the acquisition of the Meadville Vise Co. by the G. M. Yost Company of Meadville. history page

    Image Description: 

    Unfortunately, this is a full page article from the July, 1898 edition of Engineering Mechanics that we cannot make large enough to read. 



    A British engineer recently, in making a report before his compatriots of a tour throughout the United States, stated that while Americans have kept up with the “Mother Country” in all the ponderous machinery, yet they have distanced the English engineers in the care bestowed upon the smaller minutiae and in closing he made use of this significant expression—“ It is the little things that are greatest among American workshops.”

    But in nothiug does a manufacturer show his progressive or conservative spirit more emphatically than in the attention he shows the little minutiae that go to make up the perfect equipment of a plant; and in the selection of the appliances he adopts he stamps his character as a machinist. The engineers of our prominent manufacturing plants in all sections of our country have not been slow in adopting the Barrett Vises which embody the essential elements of Simplicity in Construction, Efficiency in Service and Durability. The ease with which they can be adjusted as well as their scientific proportions and the accuracy of their work wins them admiration wherever they are introduced. The special feature of the Barrett Vise is its Adjustable Jaw, by means of which tapering work can be gripped at almost any angle with equal firmness as straight. This is accomplished by the flange nut that is fitted in the body of the vise and which revolves with it; the front jaw passes entirely over this nut, leaving the back jaw solid and rigid, and permitting of the most severe shock of heavy chipping without the slightest variation. The addition of the flange nut also permits of the easy swinging of the jaw while clamping the work.

    The flange nut is inserted in the body of the vise, in a bored hole, and the nut is set in the centre of the flange. No matter in what position the vise may be placed, the generous surface of the flange and the insertion of the nut in the centre, throws upon that centre the heavier strain.

    The Barrett Vises are made by the Meadville Vise Company whose plant is located at Meadville, Pennsylvania, and in its equipment rivals any American establishment, both in its fulness and in the high class of its machinery and appliances. Every department is under the personal supervision of the members of the company, and the utmost care is exercised in the selection of the materials and workmanship that are employed in the construction of their products. Each vise, bit or boring machine is subjected to the most careful scrutiny before shipment in order that the house may be able to guarantee satisfaction with every appliance that leaves their shops.

    The vises are varied in style and character to meet the wants of various lines of industry—the Machinists, the Woodworkers, the Coachmakers as well as the Cabinetmakers all are provided with specially designed vises, self-adjustable, if desired and with swivel or stationary bottom. No vise yet placed upon the market excels their Steel Bar Combination Pipe Vise in strength, efficiency or durability. It has a malleable nut that can be readily replaced, steel screws, steel-faccd, file-cut jaws and by their patent method of fitting the nut in the vise secures a perfectly solid and rigid instrument. Their Extension Bit wins the highest favor from all carpenters, ship-builders, electricians and linemen wherever introduced. It is made in three lengths, and if so desired, may be coupled together so as to secure three instruments in one.

    Special mention should be made of the Barrett Cylinder Boring Machines which are specially devised for boring engine cylinders, guides, piston-rod holes, stuffing boxes and for facing
    ends of frames—all of which require true and smooth boring. These machines are manufactured in four distinct styles. They are coustructed along the liue of the latest developments in mechanical art. The base is extra heavy and has two T slots running lengthwise of the bed. The pedestals are bored out and fitted with sleeves which revolve in the boxes and the bar slides through the sleeves. The feather is the entire length of the sleeves, and the bar is key-seated to fit the feathers. Attached to the sleeves are facing arms on which facing blocks travel; these are moved by a star-feed that can be fed in or out, and the bar is driven by the Albro-Worm and wormgear, securing a powerful, steady motion that is noiseless. The worm revolves in a cylinder and the cylinder-heads are bushed with bronze and threaded, securing the taking up of the thrust by the worm; the thrust plug being fitted to the end with lock nut to keep it from turning. Four thrust collars act between the thrust plug and worm shaft.

    The rack of the machine is made from the highest grade of steel, is let in the side of the extended frame aud fits each end. This arrangement relieves the screws free from the strain of other boring machines and throws the bulk of the strain upon the end of the rack. The machine is capable of boring the face and both ends at one and the same time.

    Siuce the introduction of the Barrett Vises and Cylinder Boring Machines, their trade has annually extended and now permeates every section of the country. Numerous letters from prominent houses bear ample testimony of the advantages derived from their introduction, but the duplication of orders from possessors of these valuable adjuncts to a workshop speak even more emphatically than the written testimonials.

    Among the patrons of the Meadville Vise Company, we note the Van Dusen Gas and Gasoline Engine Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio; the Ames Iron Works of Oswego, N. Y.; the New Castle, Pennsylvania, Gas Engine Company ; the Canton Pump Company, of Cautou, Ohio; the Steam Pump Works of the Dean Bros., of Indianapolis; the Oil City (Pennsylvania) Engine and Boiler Works, the Westiughouse Machine Company of Pittsburg, Pa., etc., etc.

    Estimates are cheerfully furnished for contemplated improvements, and the same careful attention is accorded their smallest commission that characterizes their largest contract. Upon this solid basis the house has built up a trade that not only extends to every State in the Union, but oversteps our national boundaries and encroaches upon the trade of its competitors in the Old World.


    View Reference: 


    Merrill Brothers

    Brooklyn, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    We have had difficulty finding information on this company.  We believe they existed at least back to 1883 but likely earlier.  Final disposition unknown.

    We believe this company began as Chas Merrill & Sons which, due to "decreases in the value of real estate and damage by fire," failed around 1878.  Supporting this account, the 10/9/1875 edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports total loss of the Charles Merrill & Sons iron foundry / hardware manufactory.  At some point shortly thereafter, Manning and Edward A Merrill established Merrill Brothers, Inc.  We have found multiple patents and exhibition announcements for Merrill drop hammers.  Each of the Merrill Brothers seem to have patented many drop/trip hammers and improvements thereto.

    An example of a Merrill Brothers Vise can be found on Garage Journal here.

    Image Description: 
    Image 2: 

    Merrill Models & Examples

    Merrill's Heavy Chipping/Railroad Vise

    Image Description: 

    Victor #376, Flat Base Woodworkers Vise - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog


    Michigan Elevator & Engine Co.

    Detroit, MI (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Articles of incorporation were filed in Michigan on 7/31/1888.  The notice mentions the company was formerly the Middlebrook Company (In business since at least 1878).  Founders of MEEC were noted as George C. Wetherbee, Gilbert W. Lee, Q. A. Grosvenor, and Jacob Hull.  It is important to note here that Mssrs. Wetherbee and Grosvenor also founded the Detroit Vise Co. in 1888.  A very substantial biography on Mr. Wetherbee can be found here.

    On 11/11/1894, the company was succeeded by the Gardner Elevator Company (a new company).  Officers are noted as R. W. Gardner - Pres., K. E. Gardner - VP, O. N. Gardner - Sec/Treas.  On 8/1/1906, the company sold out to Otis Elevator Co.

    Midland Co.

    South Milwaukee, WI - Goes back to at least 1888.

    According to "History of Milwaukee City & County, Volume 2," Rupert A Nourse is president of Midland Co. (unsure of year?).  This article also notes that he is a Director at the Line Material Company, which readers should recognize from the history of Milwaukee Tool & Forge in our mechanics tool section. This publication identifies the Midland Company as "manufacturers of saddlery hardware, automobile accessories and wrought chain."

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • (Machinist)

    Google Patents assigned to Rupert A. Nourse

    Millers Falls

    New York, NY -

    Here is a link to and their extensive research and information on the Miller's Falls Company.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications

    • Millers Falls (Bench, Hand, Machinist, Swivel, Woodworker)

    Vise Trademarks

    Milwakee Bluegrass

    Milwaukee Tool & Equip.

    First appears in the first half of 1959 in publications.  May still exist.

    Moore & Barnes Mfg. Co.

    New York, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    The 1887/1888 edition of The Mechanical News has a nice article on Moore & Barnes indicating they are producing the Colton's Patent Vises.  Refers to George A. Colton.  (See Picture Below)

    In 1895, this company (perhaps as Barnes Manufacturing Co.) was succeeded by the Phoenix Hardware Company.

    Image Description: 

    Moore Manufacturing & Foundry Co.

    Chicago, IL (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    From A History of Cleveland, Ohio, published in 1910.  The firm began sometime around 1873 in Chicago as S. H. & E. Y. Moore, dealing in wholesale hardware and iron.  This concern was founded by V. Mumford Moore's father and brother, his father being Samuel H. Moore and brother Edward Y Moore.  At some point after founding, the company reorganized as the Moore Manufacturing Company.  The company remained in Chicago until 1888, when they moved to Milwaukee and operated under the name Moore Manufacturing & Foundry Co.  We believe the company only made vises for a short period of time as Moore Manufacturing & Foundry Co. in Milwaukee.  We have found no evidence of vise production before or after this instantiation of the company.  Manufacturer listings have them making "Offset Jaw Vises" in 1890.

    In 1897 the company was again moved, this time to Cleveland and reorganized as the Chisholm & Moore Manufacturing Company with V Mumford Moore as Secretary & GM.  Stewart Henry Chisholm represents the Chisholm in the company name (President).  This incarnation of the company focused heavily on chain hoists and door hangers.

    Chisholm & Moore Patents from Google

    V. M. Moore Vise Patents from DATAMP


    Morgan Vise Co.

    Chicago, IL - The March, 1920 edition of Machinery notes that the Morgan Vise Co. has left "Machinery Hall" and set up at 35-37 S. Desplaines St., Chicago.  Another company is also mentioned, Sterling Products Co.  We assume "Machinery Hall" refers to the massive machinery exhibition hall left over from the 1893 World's Fair.

    George Morgan Jr. is VP in 1942.  George W. Morgan is Pres in 1954.

    Morgan Vise Company is still listed up into the late 1960's but the final disposition of the company is unknown.

    View Reference: 

    Morgan Models & Examples

    National Metal Products Co.

    Indianapolis, IN - The organization of this company is announced in September of 1919 in The Steel and Metal Digest by E. E. Gates (Pres), John G. Wood (VP) and George H. Buckley (Sec/Treas).  The announcement states they will manufacture "clamps and vises."

    We believe the company still survives but focuses on vises for machinists.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • National (Machinist)

    Google Patents assigned to the National Metal Products Co.

    Image Description: 

    This article is from the Chilton Tractor Journal of October, 1920.

    View Reference: 

    National Vise & Tool Co.

    Camden / Woodstown, NJ - Articles of Incorporation were filed in Camden on 5/31/1900.  The November, 1902 edition of The Age of Steel announces a move of the works from Camden to Woodstown in order to enlarge their facilities.  Newspapers discount rumors of the move and the company's management claims it to be false.  The 1906 Industrial Directory for NJ places the company at Woodstown with 12 employees.

    This article from the 10/25/1906 edition of American Machinist reports that the Peter A. Frasse & Company has purchased the patents, jigs, fixtures, patterns and machinery of the National Vise & Tool Co.  It also mentions that the company made Stevens vises, and Snediker rapid-acting and quick-release vises.  Peter A. Frasse & Company is listed as early as 1879 as manufacturers of Hardware.

    New Britain Machine Co.

    New England Vise Company

    Incorporated March 14, 1873 in West Acton, MA.  The are also listed in this 1869 exhibition roll call.  According to this report, the company was organized on January 25, 1868 by John Sherman Hoar in order to produce his patented "off shot" vise design.  See this Acton local blog about the man and his company.  Here is another link from the local blog showing a very clean example of Mr. Hoars "off shot" vise.  This newspaper article from November of 1868 notes the company employs 20 men in the manufacturing of vises. 

    According to the Acton Historical Blog referred to above, John Sherman Hoar had two Partners in his patent, Charles Hastings and Nathaniel Cutler.  Also according to the referenced blog, they sold the company to a concern in Fitchburg in 1870.  This link to the Fitchburg Directory of 1878 may provide a clue as to which company took over for Hoar's patent vise production, C. S. Tolman.

    According to this state report, the company was dissolved in 1892.

    John Sherman Hoar Patent #55,656

    Improvement / Reissue of 55,656 - Patent RE2606

    John Sherman Hoar Patent #61,429

    John Sherman Hoar Patent #65,081

    New London Vise Works

    New London, CT -

    Link to an 1897 Receipt on - This receipt notes that the proprietors are Joseph Hyde, Sons & Co.

    See Image 1 Below where we find an advertisement from the 3/20/1838 edition of the Hartford Courant for Hyde & Sons Vices.

    Based on the 1880 census, Joseph Hyde (age 54) is listed as a blacksmith, as is his son Joseph Jr. (age 31).  However, Joseph Jr.'s brothers Joshua (age 29), Samuel (age 23) and George (age 14) are all listed as "Vice Makers."  In the 1870 census Joseph, Joseph Jr. and Joshua are all listed as "Vice Makers."

    Just when we think we've gotten somewhere, the records throw a curve.  The 1884 City Directory for New London lists the following (typed below exactly as seen)

    • Joseph Hyde, vise maker, h Chappell
    • Joseph Hyde Jr., vise maker, rear of Woodbridge
    • Joseph Hyde Sr., vise maker, rear of Woodbridge
    • Joshua Hyde, vise maker, bds Chappell
    • Joshua Hyde, blacksmith, h Fort Neck
    • Joshua Hyde, vise maker, bds r Woodbridge
    • Samuel Hyde, vise maker, bds r Woodbridge
    • Samuel Hyde, galvanizer, bds 158 Bank
    • Samuel Hyde Jr., blacksmith, h Fort Neck
    • William H. Hyde, vise maker, bds Chappell

    It would appear to us that we possibly have 3 distinct families/operations making vises in New London, all named Hyde, and mostly having the same names!  The family records do seem to support this theory since we find numerous records but they all seem like they are different families/households.

    In the 1892 New London City Directory the New London Vise Works is listed as makers of Ship Clamps.

    In the 1905 New London City Directory, the following information can be found:

    • Robert Chamberlain is listed as an Engineer at Joseph Hyde & Sons;
    • Joseph Jr., Samuel and Joshua Hyde are listed as Proprietors of "N. L. Vise Works";
    • New London Vise Works (J. Hyde & Sons) are listed as manufacturers of:
      • Jack Screws
      • Machinists & Machinery
      • Vises

    We find references to this company, albeit scarce, up to 1922.  They appeared to specialize in Post Leg Vises.

    Joseph Hyde's obituary confirms that, along with his father and brothers, he founded the company.  Mr. Hyde passed away 5/25/1932 at the age of 81.  He was an English immigrant.

    We are looking into the question as to whether the vise patents of John Lee and Isaac C. Tate, or perhaps Sidney Hubbell were manufactured by this company.

    Here is a price list from the December, 1890 edition of Iron Age.  The Iron Age advertisement mentions Hyde's Patent Vise on multiple occassions.


    Image Description: 

    1838 advertisement for vises (vices)

    Image 2 Description: 

    1898 Advertisement in the New London City Directory, indicating they were also in the Bicycle business.

    Image 2: 

    Newhall Chain, Forge, and Iron Company

    Lebanon, PA - Newspapers from 1901 to 1957.

    Nodular Brazil

    North Brothers Mfg.

    Philadelphia, PA - Chartered 2/12/1887.  The general consensus from history pages is that Selden G. North founded the company around 1878.  Over the next couple years, his joined him in the business, which then operated as North Brothers.  As noted above, North Brothers Manufacturing was chartered in February of 1887.

    W-K Fine Tools History Page

    Hagley Museum & Library Page

    Vise Trademarks

    • Yankee (Script) (First Use Reported: 1898)

    DATAMP Patents assigned to North Brothers (115)

    Noyes, B. B. & Co.

    Greenfield, MA -

    Nye Tool & Machine Works

    Chicago IL - Incorporated on 11/18/1904 with $25,000 capital by P. G. Nye (this is a newspaper typo, and should be H. G. Nye), Henry Jansen, and F. J. Kinselman.

    In 1909 the Directors are noted as Harry G. and Nellie P. Nye, and Edward E. Beck.  Harry G. Nye passed away on 2/8/1933 and Harry G. Nye Jr. takes over as President at the age of 25.

    In January of 1941, Nye receives an order for Dies Stocks from the U. S. Navy in the amount of $16,964.

    In 1960, Galesburg Malleable Co. is listed as a subsidiary of Nye.

    A 1963 article notes that Harry G. Nye (Jr.) was also a partner in Murphy & Nye (sail makers) and is President of North American Hydrofoils.

    On October 1, 1963, Nye Tool & Machine was acquired by Symington Wayne Corporation.

    DATAMP Patents Assigned to Nye

    Not in DATAMP:

    Ottar S. Lee - Patent #1,517,010 - Vise, Assigned to Nye 11/25/1924

    Ottar S. Lee - Patent #1,609,953 - Pipe Vise, Assigned to Nye 12/7/1926

    Ottar S. Lee - Patent #1,634,837 - Vise Stand, Assigned to Nye 7/5/1927

    Odin Universal Corp.

    Chicago IL - The Morning News of 12/9/1926 announces the incorporation of the company.  Principals are noted as: Harry S., Rudolph E., and Frank W. Odin with $250,000 capital.


    An example can be seen here on Garage Journal.

    Eugene A Odin Patents from Google

    Oliver Machinery Company

    Grand Rapids, MI - See website for history.

    The 1/28/1896 edition of The Detroit Free Press reports that the partnership of American Machinery Co. between Joseph W. Oliver and S. Lee Crockett is hereby dissolved.  The notice states that both men are prohibited by agreement to use the name American Machinery Co.

    Current Oliver Company History Page

    Excellent review of Oliver's products and history.

    Another excellent review of Oliver from focusing on their woodworking vise.

    Walter Y. Mentzer Patent #939,284 - Quick-Acting Woodworkers Vise - Assigned to Oliver Machinery Co.

    All Oliver Machinery Co Assigned Patents from Google.

    Joseph W. Oliver Patents from DATAMP

    Oliver Machinery Co. Patents from DATAMP


    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Oliver Machinery Co. (Bench, Patternmakers, Quick Action, Woodworkers)

    Oswego Tool Company

    Oswego, NY - According to this article, Oswego was started sometime before 1893 by John J. Tonkin.  However, according to this article, Mr. Tonkin and Mr. A. N. Radcliffe started the company together in 1887.

    On August 24th, 1896, the company announces capital stock of $25,000.  The only mention of officers is the Treasurer, Mr. Place. Mr. Place took over assignment of a bankrupt company and petitioned the state to continue operations, which apparently was successful.

    In 1901, the board elected Albert N. Radcliffe - Pres. & GM, Delos Radcliffe - VP., and Chauncey C. Place as Sec. / Treas.

    a 12/1908 magazine notes the publication of catalog #21.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Jarecki Pattern (Bench)
    • Oswego (Pipe Vises, Wrenches)
    • Parker Pattern (Bench & Pipe)
    • Stillson (Wrenches)
    • Standard (Wrenches)


    View Reference: 


    Palmgren Steel Products

    Chicago, IL - In a March, 1967 newspaper article, Mr. Guilford L. Parsons is announced as President of Palmgren Steel Products.  Notable is that Palmgren Steel Products is identified as a "Division of Chicago Tool & Engineering Co.

    Mr. Palmgren's 8/15/1970 obituary notes him as the founder of Palmgren Steel Products.

  page on Palmgren.


    Paragon Machine Tool & Manufacturing Company

    Cleveland, OH - Incorporated by F. W. Treadway on 10/30/1917.

    Patent #1,323,647 - Frederick W. Peters, Vise, Assigned to Paragon 12/2/1919


    Paramo Models & Examples

    Parker, Charles Co.

    The Charles Parker Company (1832-) was formed in Meriden, Connecticut by Charles Parker, and over the years manufactured products including metalware, Art Brass (now in museums), hardware, lamps, spectacles, and piano stools. Also related to the company were others founded by Charles Parker: including Parker Brothers (gun manufacturer), Meriden Curtain Fixture Co. (established 1869), and Parker & Whipple Co. clock manufacturers.

    As of 1868, Charles Parker Company and related initiatives were described as comprising "four large manufactories, located at different places in Meriden and its vicinity, and some of them comprise so many departments for the manufacture of distinct articles that they might be regarded as several distinct establishments." The main factory, consisting of numerous buildings, was estimated to cover two acres in the center of Meriden.   As of 1895, this company is referred to as "the largest establishment of the kind in the world"

    The history of the Chas. Parker Co. is best described in the book A History of American Manufacturers from 1608 to 1860, beginning on page 424.

    Biography of Chas Parker, see Page 608

    Another excellent biography for Charles Parker, Page 764, from 1911.

    Google Patents for Charles Parker (Full text search for "Charles Parker")

    DATAMP Patents for Charles Parker Co. Assigned

    Patents not in DATAMP:

    John L. Isbell Patent #128,045 - Vise Screw Design, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    Charles L. Kingsley Patent #71,498 - Bench Vise, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    H. K. and T. W. Porter Patent #72,327 - Vise Handle, unassigned but found on a Parker vise shown in post #54895 on Garage Journal.

    Charles L. Kingsley Patent #161,241 - Improvement in Vises, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    Stephen Olin Parker Patent #236,451 - Saw Vise, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    Stephen Olin Parker Patent #319,743 - Bench Vise, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    Eli M. Walker Patent #903,345 - Bench Vise, assigned to Charles Parker Co.

    Trade Names & Brands from Trade Publications

    • Davenport
    • Parker (Machinist, Pipe, Swivel, Woodworkers)
    • Parker's (Bench & Pipe, Toolmakers)
    • Parker's Vulcan (Bench)
    • Victor

    Vises of Garage Journal Monster Thread Links:

    Lettered Series:

    2 Digit Series

    100 Series

    200 Series

    300 Series:

    400 Series:

    500 Series

    800 Series:

    900 Series:

    X,000 Series

    Other Models:

    View Reference: 

    Parker Models & Examples

    Standard Series Machinist Vises

    Image Description: 

    Victor #NNN Series, Flat Base Machinist Vise - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 2 Description: 

    Victor #NNNN Series, Swivel Base Machinist Vise - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 2: 

    Victor Vises

    Image Description: 

    Victor #376, Flat Base Woodworkers Vise - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 2 Description: 

    Victor #276, Swivel Base Woodworkers Vise - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 2: 
    Image 3 Description: 

    Victor 2xx and 3xx Series, Flat & Swivel Base Machinist Vises - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 3: 
    Image 4 Description: 

    Victor 2xx and 3xx Series, Flat & Swivel Base Jewlers Vises - 1895 Chas. Strelinger & Co. Catalog

    Image 4: 

    Peck, Stow, & Wilcox Co.

    Southington, CT (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Peck, Stow, & Wilcox History Page

    View Reference: 

    Pedrick & Ayer

    Philadelphia, PA - From

    In 1881, Daniel W. Pedrick and Henry C. Ayer founded Pedrick & Ayer as the successor to the L. B. Flanders' Machine Works at 1025 Hamilton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. The Flanders name was discontinued around 1886. The firm incorporated as the Pedrick & Ayer Co. in 1894.

    Despite the above reference, this statement in English & American Tool Builders by J. W. Rowe (1965) seems to indicate Pendrick & Ayer were making planers circa 1831-1840.

    It appears Mr. Pendrick left the partnership around 1903 and briefly teamed up with H. B. Underwood. This company turns out to be H. B. Underwood & Co., which traces back to at least 1887.

    A firm by the name of Pendrick & Underwood is briefly noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1895.

    This company may have been reorganized as Pedrick Tool & Machine Co., also of Philadelphia although notes an 1875 founding.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Directories:

    Peerless Tool Company

    Chicago, IL

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Directories:

    • UniTool - text inside a wavy lined rectangle (Vises, Wrenches, Lifting Jacks, Wire Stretchers, Post & Stump Pullers) (First Use 8/4/1920)

    Peter Wright

    Phoenix Hardware Co.

    Buffalo / Phoenix / Homer, NY - (Lena Salmanowitz)  The 2/28/1895 edition of The Chicago Journal of Commerce notes that Phoenix Hardware has succeeded the Barnes Manufacturing Company in Phoenix, NY and will continue the manufacture of Vises and other articles.  E. H. Hastings is listed as the "Manager of the Company."  This article from The Mechanical News (March 1887-March 1888) discusses the Colton patent vises being produced by Moore & Barnes Manufacturing Company of Phoenix, NY.

    Listed in the 1905-1906 Thomas Directory for Bench, Farmer's, Pipe, Hand, Coachmaker's, Woodworker's and Saw Vises..

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Directories:

    • Phoenix (Bench, Clamp, Machinist, Pipe, Saw, Swivel)

    Pittsburgh Automatic Vise & Tool Co.

    Pittsburgh, PA - Started ca. 1906 and manufactured John R. Long Patent #742,096 vise.  Here is an article describing the Motorboat & Automobile vise from Industrial Development and Manufacturers' Record

    They also manufactured the John R. Long Patent #732,758 Pipe Cutter Vise as described in this July 25, 1907 edition of The Plumbers Trade Journal.

    Person Tags: 
    Image Description: 

    695 lb. Vise!


    Pittsburgh Supply Co.

    Pittsburgh, PA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Information is hard to come by but it appears the company existed from around 1884 to the late 1920's.

    Pratt-Whitney Company History page for Pratt & Whitney.

    Bengt M. W. Hanson Patent #989,004 - Vise - Assigned to Pratt-Whitney

    Bengt M. W. Hanson Patent #989,005 - Vise - Assigned to Pratt-Whitney

    Prentiss Vise Company

    Research continues on this company but it appears to have been formed by Mason Prentiss, probably around 1868.  Mason Prentiss passed away on 9/10/1881.

    We should note here that our research indicates that the address commonly used for Prentiss, 23 Dey St., New York, was almost certainly an office building.  We find scores of companies throughout the late 1800s utilizing that address, including Prentiss, Hall Mfg., Lewis Tool, etc.

    The first time John E. Mulford is mentioned in the New York directories as "President, 23 Dey St." is 1875.  Neither Mulford nor Lewis are mentioned in earlier New York Directories.

    According to this newspaper clipping from the October 17, 1895 edition of the Montour Falls Free Press, almost all models of Prentiss vises are produced at Watertown, presumably by The Bagley & Sewall Company as noted below.  One exception noted is the Gipsy vise, produced by the Havana Bridge Company of Montour Falls.  Aside from Mr. Mulford, the article also notes Mortimer G. Lewis as a principal of the company.  Readers should note this name as a prolific vise inventor, and founder of the Lewis Tool Co.

    In addition to the above manufacturing note, the 1/5/1895 edition of the Star-Gazette of Elmira, NY notes that S. R. Van Campen as leased the W. H. Shephard & Sons bridge works in order to fill a large order from the Prentice (spelled this way in article) Vise Company, of which Gen. Mulford is President.

    This March, 1904 edition of Polks (Trow's) New York Co-Partnership and Corporation Directory has John E. Mulford as President, Edwin H. Milford as Sec.  The directors are the aforementioned, and Mortimer G. Lewis.  The 1902 edition lists the same officers and directors.

    According to Through Eleven Decades of History: Watertown, a History from 1800 to 1912 By Joel Henry Monroe, The Bagley & Sewall Company in Watertwon, NY (Bagley & Sewall History) has been producing iron workers and woodworkers vises for the Prentiss Vise Company for 36 years under contract.  This would take the Prentiss Vise Company back to at least 1876.

    In addition, this April, 1879 edition of American Machinist reports that Hall Manufacturing has re-tooled its factory to produce Prentiss vises.

    In the December, 1921 edition of Factory: The Magazine of Management, there is an advertisement for Prentiss.  In the advertisement text, the company asserts: "Many of the vises we made 53 years ago are still in use."  This would date the company founding to at least 1868.  Given the patent date on Mason Prentiss' first vise patent, this date makes the most sense.

    This snippet from the 1925 edition of Railway Locomotives & Cars announces the acquisition of the Henry Cheney Hammer Co. by Prentiss.

    This snippet from the April 1948 edition of Modern Machine Shop shows that by that time, Prentiss was a division of the Charles Parker Co.

    On 29 May 1957, The Bridgeport Post reports that the stockholders of the Charles Parker Company (which includes Prentiss at this time) have voted to sell 75% of company stock to the Union Manufacturing Company of New Britain.  Publications from the 1960's list both Parker and Prentiss as Division of Union Mfg. Co.

    Some names and models of Prentiss vises (From Trade Magazine Categories):

    • 20th Century (Pipe)
    • Rapid Transit (Machinist)
    • Anchor (sometimes referred to as the Anchor Line) (Machinist, Bench)
    • Bingham (Jaw Caps)
    • Blake (Pipe, Bench & Pipe)
    • BULL DOG (Woodworker, Bench, Machinist) (First Use 1886)
    • Challenge Pipe Grip
    • Eclipse (Wrench)
    • Gipsy (Bench)
    • Lewis (Bench, Machinist)
    • MAGIC (Pipe)
    • Malleable (Bench)
    • Monarch (Bench & Pipe, Machinist, Pipe, Woodworker) (First Use "about 1902)

    • "Peerless" swivel pipe grip - adapts to any vise
    • Prentiss - text in an arch (Vises) (First Use 1/1/1877)

    • P V Co.
    • Rapid Transit (Machinist, Bench)
    • Rex (Bench & Pipe)
    • Sampson
    • Shepard (Woodworker, Pipe, Bench, Drilling Attachment)
    • Star (Bench)
    • Triple Ser-Vise
    • Yankee (Bench)

    Prentiss Vise Co Assigned Patents from Google

    Mortimer G. Lewis (see first paragraph) Patents from Google.

    Mason Prentiss Patents:

    Patents Assigned to Prentiss Vise Company:

    Charles Darwin Bingham:

    Eli Zimmerman - Patent #713,038 - Vise (not in DATAMP)

    John A Blake - Patent #742,281 - Woodworkers' Vise (not in DATAMP)

    John A Blake - Patent #590,385 - Pipe/Rod Vise (not in DATAMP)

    Charles Foster Blake - Patent #1,586,959 - Vise Shaft Collar (not in DATAMP)

    Patent #498,288 - Bench Vise, John E. Mulford - 1893 (Not in DATAMP

    James Kenney - Patent #418,521 - Wrench Attachment - Assigned to Prentiss Vise Co.

    John A. Blake - Patent #396,066 - Vise - Assigned to Prentiss Vise Co.

    According to vise collectors, this patent, Patent #187,131 Feb 6, 1877 James F. Hall / Elbert P. Cook Improvement in Vises, was used on Prentiss vises for many years.

    Vise Trademarks

    • Prentiss - (Arched Text) 1930 Renewal (First Use Reported: 1/1/1877)
    • Bull Dog (Term) 1910 original filing (First Use Reported: 1886)
    • Unknown - 1910 - The document shows no mark but this is the original Trademark for the Prentiss Arched Text.
    • Unknown - 1930 Renewal of Bull Dog TM

    Other Resources Found:

    -- This text comes from a history being compiled on the Cheney Hammer Co. at

    ***NOTE*** Based on some of the indicators / references above, I'm not sure I agree with the founding members assertion nor the 1877 date made here.

    Elmer Sidway Mulford was born on November 8th in New York City. His father Edwin H. Mulford (5 Nov 1854 - 23 Aug 1945) was Secretary, Treasurer and Director of the Prentiss Vise Company. His Grandfather, Brevet Brigadier General John E. Mulford (26 Feb 1829 - 18 Oct 1908) was the President and Director of the Prentiss Vise Company. This company was organized by John and Edwin in Montour Falls, NY in 1877. It appears that they had acquired the Hall Manufacturing Company, who employed Mason Prentiss, who held US Patent 75,576, issued March 17, 1868 for a bench vise. Prentiss Vises were manufactured by Bagley & Sewall in Watertown, NY. Edwin, Elmer and the Prentiss Vise Company will become central to the Henry Cheney Hammer Company in 1925 and remain so through the end of both companies.

    On June 23, 1925 at 12 noon, the Prentiss Vise Company completed the purchase of the Henry Cheney Hammer Company. Elmer Mulford moved to Little Falls and became the Secretary and Treasurer of the Cheney Hammer division. Edwin H. Mulford was President. Advertisements proclaim Cheney Hammers as “World’s Standard Since 1836.” At this time the company employed 75 people.


    View Reference: 

    Prentiss Models and Examples

    Click here to view Dayid Models & Examples


    In 1914 (see reference: Automobile Trade Directory for Automotive Industrial ..., Volume 12, Issues 2-3, 1914), Prentiss made (at least) the following models: Machinist: Anchor, Bull Dog, Lewis, Monarch & Rapid Transit. Pattern Makers: Blake Pipe Vises: Blake, Monarch, Rex, 10th Century, Shepard, Magic.

    In 1915 (see reference: Automobile Trade Directory for Automotive Industrial ..., Volume 12, Issues 2-3,1915), Prentiss made (at least) the following models: Machinist: Anchor, Bull Dog, Lewis, Monarch & Rapid Transit. Pattern Makers: Blake Pipe Vises: Blake, Monarch, Rex, 10th Century, Shepard, Magic

    In 1920 (see reference: Automobile Trade Directory, Volume 18 of 1920), Prentiss made (at least) the following models: Machinist: Anchor, Bull Dog, Lewis, Monarch, & Rapid Transit Pipe: Blake, Monarch, Rex, 10th Century, Shepard, & Magic

    In 1922 (see reference: Engineering Directory, 1922), Prentiss made at least the following models: Bench: Anchor Line, Bull Dog, Gipay, Lewis Pat., Rapid Transit, Shephard (notice Shephard is spelled differently in the 1920 and 1922 reference documents). The Blake, Monarch and Rex models were combination bench and pipe vises. Machinist: Monarch and Prentiss Bulldog Pipe: Magic Woodworking: Bulldog, Monarch & Shepard (note spelling again -- 2 models?)

    Quick Automatic Vise Company

    Rochester, NY - This company only appears to have been active in 1909.


    Rae Models & Examples

    Read, Gleason & Read

    Brooklyn, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    H. F. Read & Co. is the first instantiation of the company we find, in 1854.  Probably in the early 1880s the company reorganized as Read, Gleason & Read.  The company appears to fade out in the early 1890s but we do find them in one listing in 1897.

    All patents were awarded in 1882.

    Henry F. Read Vise Patent #266522 - Assigned to Read, Gleason & Read

    Henry F. Read Vise Patent #266523 - Assigned to Read, Gleason & Read

    Henry F. Read Vise Patent #269709 - Assigned to Read, Gleason & Read

    Image Description: 


    Record Models & Examples

    Reed Manufacturing Co.

    Erie, PA - Here is a link to Reed's history page.  According to the company's page, Reed was started in 1896 by Carl Reed, and acquired by Reuben Wright in 1902.  The Wright family still runs the company, 5 generations later.

    This excerpt from A Twentieth Century History of Erie County Pennsylvania (1909) notes the company charter in 1899 and reorganized by the Wright(s) in 1902.

    Google Patents for Frank W. Hubbard (Reed Employee, both assigned to Reed Mfg. Co.)

    DATAMP Patents Assigned to Reed Manufacturing Co.

    This vise, Albert Katski Patent #633,286 - Vise may have been produced by Reed.  Katski had other unassigned patents produced by Reed.

    Vise Trademarks

    • Reed (Stylized, connected underline between R and D) (First Use Reported: 1903)

    View Reference: 

    Reed Catalog References

    Reed Models & Examples

    Reno Bench Vise Company

    Detroit, MI - Here is an advertisement from Engineering Mechanics of 9/29/1883This article from August of 1883 thoroughly explains the operation of this vise. 

    There are two products in this link from 1884.  One shows the "Seymour Wrench" and one shows the Reno wood clamp.  The article claims they own the patent for the Seymour wrench and are seeking a sutable manufacturer.  Fred H. Seymour Patent #273,170 - DATAMP notes 4 manufacturers: W&B, George W. Marble, Capitol Mfg. Co., Owsley Brothers & Marble.

    Here is a history for the company according to "The Clamp Guy" website.

    This company also produced the Crispin's Saw Clamp, based on Thomas Crispin Patent #265,761 - Saw Clamp.  An article about the saw clamp can be found the 9/1883 edition of Carpentry & Building.

    Richmond Foundry & Manufacturing Company

    San Francisco, CA - Listed for Bench Vises in the 1905-1906 Thomas Registry at 517 Market St.


    Ridge Models & Examples


    Ridgid Models & Examples

    Rock Island Manufacturing Co.


    Rock Island, IL - The Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Site has an extensive and detailed history of this company.  From the above referenced site:

    Rock Island Manufacturing Co., located in Rock Island, IL, was organized in 1906 by Frank G. Young, C.J. Larkin, and Carl E. Shields. Rock Island's products included vises for machine shop and foundry use, power grinders, grist grinders, stock waterers, and cement tools. Rock Island took over the vise business of Jacobson Machine Manufacturing Co., Warren, PA, giving them a start in the business. By 1913, their principals were Carl E. Shields, President, S.E. Hamilton, Superintendent, and Oscar J. Shields, Special Representative.

    To clarify the above, this article from the March, 1907 edition of Industrial Development and  Manufacturer's Record specifies that Rock Island will take over Vise production only, not the entirety of the Jacobson line.  Below is an article on a Jacobson Vise.  A newspaper article from February 1, 1907 notes the formation of the Rock Island Tool Company and names the same officers / founders as above.

    A newspaper article from October, 1911 notes that the Rock Island Manufacturing Company was recently reorganized.  They were previously know as the Rock Island Tool Company.

    Based on patent assignment information as can be seen below, it appears Birtman Electric Co. acquired Rock Island Mfg. in early - mid 1933.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Rock Island (Bench, Bench & Pipe, Machinist, Pipe, Saw, Swivel, Toolmakers, Woodworkers)

    ​Carl E. Shields Patents

    Warren U. Botsford Patent #1,903,163 - Vise Display Stand - Assigned to Rock Island Mfg. Co. - 3/28/1933

    ​William A. Rankin Patent #1,109,120 - Sivel Base Construction - Assigned to Birtman Electric Co. 3/14/1933

    Ray M. Nelson Patent #2,485,641 - Screw operated vise having a toothed nut and displaceable ratchet for quick opening - Assigned to Birtman Electric - 10/25/1949

    Ray M. Nelson Patent @2,471,444 - Base Lock For Vises - Assigned to Birtman Electric - 5/31/1949


    Image Description: 

    Jacobson Vise article from the June 12, 1902 edition of American Machinist

    View Reference: 
    Image 2 Description: 

    Newspaper advertisement from 11/1912

    Image 2: 

    Rock Island Models & Examples

    Rose Pipe Vise Co.

    Chicago, IL (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    This company was likely founded to produce/sell this patented pipe vise.

    Manufacturers S - Z

    Salzman Manufacturing Company

    Hamilton, OH - ca. 1900/1901.  Earlier versions of this company include Kennel & Salzman, Kennel, Salzman & Neeley, and Kennel, Salzman & Robbins.  Mr. Salzman passed away 6/8/1910.  He had many inventions such as cultivators, swings (porch), gaming tables, etc.

    Christian A. Salzman Patent #529,962 - Combination Tool - Assigned 1/3 each to Emil P. Kennel and John Robbins (of Indianapolis) - 11/27/1894

    Christian A. Salzman Patent #574,764 - Combination Tool - Assigned 1/2 to John A. Robbins of Hamilton - 1/5/1897

    Christian A. Salzman Patent #653,317 - Combination Tool - Assigned 1/2 to John A. Robbins - 1/10/1900

    A little more digging revealed this "related" patent.  Related due to Kissel, Blount & Robbins, a likely a decendent company.

    182,218 - Reuben Meyers (Clarke County, OH), Assigned 1/2 to Kissell, Blount & Robbins (Springfield, OH) 9/12/1876

    Image Description: 

    From Craigslist/Garage Journal



    Sargent & Company

    New Haven, CT -   We believe this company started in 1858, by J. B. Sargent as J. B. Sargent & Co.  It is probable that the company existed in another form prior to 1858 but we have yet to locate that information.  Possibly related are several accounts of the shop of J. B. Sargent in West Amesbury, MA being destroyed by fire in July of 1842.

    DATAMP Patents assigned to Sargent & Co..

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Sargent (Bench)
    Image Description: 

    This is a catalog page courtesy of B100 from 1896.


    Sargent, John N. Vise Company

    Cincinnati, OH - Here is an article from the 8/2/1890 edition of The Age of Steel describing the operation of the vise.  E. A. Schumacher is the GM.

    John N. Sargent Patent #347,047 - Combined Vise

    Image Description: 

    Advertisement from Jan, 1891 The Age of Steel


    Saunders, D. Sons

    Yonkers, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    This company goes back to at least 1873 when they successfully secured a land grant to build their factory.  At that time, they are referred to as a gas fixture company.  D. Saunders' Sons was incorporated in New York in July of 1901 with $75,000 in capital stock.  Incorporators are listed as Alexander, L. M. and Ervin Saunders.  We also find patents by Andrew Saunders and assigned to D. Saunders' Sons throughout the late 1800s.

    In July of 1911 it was reported that Alexander gave 27 employees whom had worked for the company for more than 20 years a total of $35,000 in memory of his recently passed brother Leslie.

    In the 1932 edition of Poor's Register of Directors of the United States and Canada, William Lapham Saunders is listed as VP and Director of D. Saunders' Sons, Inc.  This is the last listing we find for the company.

    DATAMP Patents assigned to D. Saunders' Sons. History Page

    Sawyer Foundry & Machine Company

    Oswego, NY - This company is very difficult to track down history.  There appears to be some association with E. W. Fulton, based on some example vise models found.  They appear to have existed from the 1920s to possibly today.  They appear to be a military supplier currently for cylinder assemblies for transmissions.

    They are listed in many different forms, i.e.: Sawyer Foundry Co.; Sawyer Foundry & Machine Co.; Sawyer Foundry & Machine Works; Sawyer Tool Co. 

    In 1933 we find a William F. Sawyer listed under Sawyer Brass & Iron Foundry (Oswego).  Also listed in 1918 Oswego Directory with William F. and Joseph Sawyer as owners.  In 1910 the company is listed as Sawyer & Son (possibly William F. Sawyer & Son).  By the 1912 Oswego Directory publication, the name has been changed to the Sawyer Brass & Iron Foundry, listing Joseph and William F. Sawyer.  In February of 1923, the foundry caught fire.  This snippet indicates the company was founded in 1900.  In this snippet from the 1928 edition of Iron Age, they report the Otis-Sawyer Boiler & Foundry Co. will split operations of the foundry and boiler works.  The foundery operations will become the Sawyer Brass & Iron Foundry Co. and the boiler operations will become the Otis Boiler Co.  Sawyer Brass & Iron Foundry Co. fades out in the early 1940s, and is referred to as the Sawyer Foundry & Machine Works in local directories.

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    Sawyer Tool Company

    Athol, Fitchburg, Ashburnham, MA -  According to the Davistown Museum, this company was started by Burnside E. Sawyer in Athol in 1894.  The company moved to Fitchburg in 1898 and to Ashburnham in 1912.  By 1902 the company is referred to as the Sawyer Tool Manufacturing Co.

    This company should not be confused with the Sawyer Foundry & Machine Co. of Oswego, NY.

    Image Description: 

    This picture is from a 1904 exhibit hall.  The picture captures both Abernathy and Sawyer exhibits.


    Scroggins, J. C.

    Wichita, KS - A November, 1907 newspaper article notes that Mr. Scroggins is manufacturing vises for drills in Wichita, KS.  The vises are sold exclusively by A. W. Cooley.

    All Jesse C. Scroggins Patents from Google

    Jesse C. Scroggins Patent #776,553 - Work Holder

    Jesse C. Scroggins Patent #800,685 - Work Holder

    Jesse C. Scroggins Patent #832,087 - Vise

    Jesse C. Scroggins Patent #927,381 - Drill Vise


    Sears Models & Examples

    Seneca Falls Manufacturing Co.

    Seneca Falls, NY - Specialized in Machinery and Saw Vises.  This article from the July, 1906 edition of Black Diamond Express notes the company's founding in 1879 by Adelbert S. Davis, taking over the building formerly occupied by the Lewis Manufacturing Company.  They specialized in small metal and woodworking machinery.

    Patent #214,071 - Noiseless Saw Vise, William P. Wentworth (Seneca Falls, NY) 4/8/1879

    Image Description: 

    Advertisement for Wentworth's Noiseless Saw Vises from an 1890 Iron Age Edition (See Page 68).



    Sheldon, E. H. & Co

    Chicago, IL / Muskegon, MI - Edgar H. Sheldon - Advertisements from 1931 tout 32 years of service, from which we can deduce the company began in 1899.

    This company was acquired by the American Seating Co. of Grand Rapids, MI on 12/31/1962. page.

    This edition of The American School Board Journal from 1902 contains multiple advertisements and "opinion" articles regarding E. H. Sheldon.  Be sure to toggle through all the results found in the book.

    Sheldon patent for Woodworkers Vise

    E. H. Sheldon Patents from Google.

    E. H. Sheldon Patent #656,793 - Bench Vise - Unassigned

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    Image Description: 

    E. H. Sheldon ca. 1902

    View Reference: 

    Smith, H. B. Co. / H. B. Smith & Co - New York

    New York, NY

    Research continues on this company.  The "vise manufacturer" listing where it was found lists the company in Yonkers.  However, there seems to be many references to it, or a different company by the exact same name, in the same plumbing and heating trade.

    Smith, H. B. Co. / H. B. Smith & Co - Westfield, MA

    Westfield, MA

    Research continues on this company.  The "vise manufacturer" listing where it was found lists another company in Yonkers.  However, there seems to be many references to it, or a different company by the exact same name, in the same plumbing and heating trade.

    Snediker, W. E.

    Jersey City, NJ

    W. E. Snediker Patent #188,688 - Improvement in Vises

    W. E. Snediker Patent #237,331 - Vise - Assigned 1/2 to Herman Funke Jr.

    W. E. Snediker Patent #280,769 - Metal Mold for Casting Vises (Also Canadian patent #19,612)

    W. E. Snediker Patent #406,181 - Mold for Making Steel Castings

    W. E. Snediker Patent #519,008 - Vise

    W. E. Snediker Patent #519,028 - Vise

    W. E. Snediker Patent #579,022 - Vise

    W. E. Snediker Patent #586,370 - Vise

    W. E. Snediker Patent #686,484 - Vise

    W. E. Snediker Patent #699,585 - Vise


    South Haven Foundry & Machine Co.

    South Haven, MI - Incorporated in 1918 by H. E. Skinner, Aaron. W. Herriman and S. H. Wilson

    Possible Clues: The 12/29/1960 edition of The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, MI) carries Aaron W. Herriman's obituary.  The text notes that he was born in 1875 in Milwaukee, moved to Chicago, the moved to South Haven, MI in 1907.

    We believe his father was Charles Herriman and they had previously run a business under C. A. Herriman in Chicago, IL.

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    Spafford Tool Works

    Hartford, CT - Found as early as 1914, Stanley E. Spafford owner.

    Patent #1,321,627, Albert G. Hagstrom - Machinist Vise, Assigned to Spafford 11/11/1919

    St. Louis Sales Co.

    St. Louis, MO - Chartered in Missouri on 1/8/1910 by G. Stewart Lang, Alexander & Robert B. Galt with $5,000 Capital.  They appear to have lasted until ca. 1920.

    St. Louis Vise & Artesian Well Co.

    St. Louis, MO (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    We believe this company began in 1874 as the St. Louis Vise & Tool Works.  The State Journal (Jefferson City, MO) of 4/17/1874 carries a notice that the company has been formed to manufacture blacksmith and machinist' tools.  Throughout the late 1800's, we find many notices of the company demonstrating their well drilling tools and equipment. 

    Google Books searches indicate the company went by both names.  They are located at the same address throughout the late 1800s.  The company fades away by the late 1890s.

    Stanley Rule & Level Co.

    New Britain, CT -

    Patent #1,150,632, Edmund A. Schade - Bench Vise, assigned to Stanley 8/17/1915 (Not in DATAMP)

    Stanley Models & Examples

    Star N


    Starrett, L. S.

    Athol, MA - Link to "The Story" about Laroy S. Starrett.  Mr. Starrett started the company in 1880 after buying out the owners of the machine shop producing his first square design.

    Patent #1,121,891 - Bench Vise, Dresser T. Bates, assigned to Laroy Starrett 12/22/1914 (Not in DATAMP)

    Athol Catalog References

    Athol Models & Examples

    Stearns, E. C. & Co.

    Stephens & Co.

    The earliest reference we can find is in 1869 for the A. P. & M Stephens & Co.  We are assuming that the "A P" represents Anson P Stephens, but we have found no reference for M Stephens to date.  A. P. Stephens first patent for improvement of vises is 1864, therefore we can assume company founding sometime between 1864 and 1869.

    We do find a library citation in the BCIN directory for an 1870 A. P. & M. Stephens & Co. catalog.

    There are many sources that cite Asa S Cook as beginning to manufacture Stephen's vises in 1872.  These references include:

    Anson Stephens Patents from DATAMP

    View Reference: 

    Stephens Patent Vise Co.

    The Trow City's Directory in 1879 announces the incorporation of the Stephens Patent Vise Co.  President: Nathan Stephens, SEC: Benjamin F. Stephens - $10,000 capital

    Despite the above announcement, we find the company listed in the Centenial International Exhibition in 1876.

    I do find references to a patent for a vise in 1842, and an improvement in 1845.  I've yet to find those patents.

    In the 1882 edition of the Hartford City Directory, we find the advertisement for Asa S. Cook claiming they are the manufacturer for the Stephens patent vise.  (See Image below)

    Image Description: 

    1882 Hartford, CT City Directory Advertisement

    View Reference: 

    Sterling, Chas. A & Co

    Detroit, MI (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Stevens Watch Maker

    Strange's Machine Works

    Taunton, MA - Advertisement for Mr. Strange's combined Vise & Drill on page 281 in this Bristol County Directory of 1888.  Note that the advertisement indicates the company was formerly Strange's Cylinder Saw & Machine Company.

    Combined Vise and Drill based on patents:

    Emerson C. Strange Patent #361,600 - Combined Vise and Drill

    Emerson C. Strange Patent #373,539 - Combined Vise and Drill


    Studebaker Machine Co.

    The 8/5/1941 edition of The Corpus Cristi Caller-Times announces the formation of the Studebaker Machine Co. in Chicago (Maywood), IL.  J. M. Studebaker - President; J. M. Studebaker 3rd - VP.  The article notes they will market their new hydraulic machines, particularly a hydraulic vise.  On 11/7/1945 at only 46, J. M. Studebaker 3rd passes away.

    The company seems to disappear around 1954.


    Swedish Pewe



    Taskmaster Models & Examples

    Thompson, D. H. Co

    Elgin, IL - Founded ca. 1919 by Herbert L. Thompson.

    Here is an excellent PDF document explaining the history of D. H. Thompson and his company and inventions.  D. H. Thompson vises are specifically for fly tying.

    H. L. Thompson Patents from Google

    Trade Names, Models and Brands:

    • Model A through Model H
    • Model J
    • Ultra
    • Cobra (modern)
    • 360 SLT (modern)
    • Pro Vise (modern)
    Image Description: 

    Thompson Model "A" Fly Tying Vise



    Cobra is a model designed by D. H. Thompson Co.

    Toles, W. C. Company

    Chicago, IL - The January, 1902 edition of Steel announces the incorporation of the company, $50,000 Capital.  Incorporators are W. C. Toles, E. A. Toles and H. M. St. Clair.

    An article in the 11/12/1894 edition of The Tennessean (Nashville) notes that Mr. W. C. Toles is seeking exhibit space to demonstrate his new rapid acting wood worker's vise.

    Image Description: 

    Tolman & Proctor

    Fitchburg, MA - 1840s-1850's, founded by Nathan Tolman and Sullivan G. Proctor.  Nathan's son took over around 1850, Cyrus S. Tolman.

    C. S. Tolman was involved in many businesses, including this, Fitchburg Novelty Works and Fitchburg Manufacturing Co.

    In the 1870s, there is evidence C. S. Tolman took over production of John Sherman Hoar's "off-shot" vise (New England Vise Company).  This advertisement shows C. S. Tolman manufacturing the Hoar patent vise.

    Image Description: 

    1845 Advertisement.


    Tower and Lyon

    Trenton Vise & Tool Works

    Trenton, NJ (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    The 2/1/1918 edition of Rubber World published a profile on J. Howard Murray noting that he moved to Trenton in 1865 as owner of Trenton Vise & Tool Works.  The company appears to have been incorporated in New Jersey in 1868.  The incorporation papers note the following officers: J. Howard Murray, Thomas S. Murray, Daniel P. Forst, James E. Darrah and Edwin G. Stones.  Here is a good article on the company from the July 1870 edition of The Technologist.

    By 1872, Hermann Boker & Co. is listed as the proprietors of Trenton Vise & Tool Works.

    In an 1892 edition of Iron Age, the Van Wagoner & Williams Hardware Company announces they have taken over the Trenton Vise & Tool Works and moved all operations from Trenton to Cleveland.  Here is a good overview of the Van Wagoner company's goods from 1894, which also mentions the acquisition of Trenton Vise.

    On May 4, 1897, the Trenton Vise & Tool Works charter was declared null & void.

    This article from the 4/10/1905 edition of Hardware notes that Van Wagoner / Trenton Vise have been succeeded by The Columbian Hardware Company.  We have not yet found the acquisition date but it is logical to assume Columbian was formed in 1901 as a new entity taking over the business of Van Wagoner & Williams.

    Pinterest photo of a Trenton Vise.

    Image 2: 


    Union Anvil & Vise Forge

    Philadelphia, PA - Active in the mid to late 1800s and located at the corner of Washington and Church Streets in June of 1852.

    Union Vise Company

    Hyde Park, NY / Boston, MA - The Union Vise Company was first incorporated on February 4, 1867 at 61 Water St. in Boston, MA.  According to this article, A. H. Brainard invented a vise (Patent 45,693) in 1865 which spurred the company's success.  However, if we refer to our article on Early Vise Makers, an advertisement from 1865 for Henry N. Stone's shop, it states that Mr. Stone manufactures "Brainard's Patent Vises."  This article from the 2/2/1899 edition of Iron Age notes that Mr. Brainard originally invented his famous milling machine in order as a better way to face off the jaws of his vises.

    Advertisements in 1869 from various newspapers indicate G. H. Nott was President.

    In the winter of 1870, in order to shift focus to their milling machine, the vise business was sold to the Backus Vise Company of Millers Falls, which was acquired by Millers Falls Co. shortly thereafter.  It is listed in the MA list of dissolved corporations in 1892.  G. H. Nott is President.

    This company appears to have been reorganized as the Brainard Milling Machine Co. and the Brecker-Brainard Milling Machine Company in 1899.  It appears that in early 1899 the Brainard Milling Machine Co. merged with the John Brecker Manufacturing Co. according to the April, 1899 edition of Machinery.  This article notes the invention of Brainard's vise in 1861.

    Nice article in the Hyde Park Historical Record from 1905.

    A. H. Brainard Patents from DATAMP

    Union Vise Company Patents from DATAMP

    Image Description: 

    This advertisement is from the Lawrence Daily Journal, (Lawrence, KS) 3/9/1869.

    View Reference: 
    Image 2 Description: 

    Here is an advertisement from the NH Business Directory of 1868.  Note that the address is now 30 Water St.

    Image 2: 
    Image 3 Description: 

    Amos Brainard ca. 1902

    Image 3: 

    Van Wagoner & Williams Hardware Company

    New York/Cleveland - This company was formed as the Van Wagoner & Williams Company, by C. S. Van Wagoner and William H. Williams, in 1871 and incorporated in 1893.  In 1894 the reincorporated as the Van Wagoner & Williams Hardware Company.  In about 1892 they acquired the Trenton Vise & Tool Works.  By 1905, they had been acquired (or reincorporated?) by the Columbian Hardware Company of Cleveland.

    Mr. C. S. Van Wagoner (President) had scores of hardware related patents throughout the latter half of the 19th century.  However, until the 1890s his patents were unassigned.

    In May of 1893, newspaper ads note the owners are selling the remainder of their 8% of preferred stock in the company at $100 / share.  Another article at the end of May notes E. S. Cook and C. S. Van Wagoner were appointed as receivers of the company.  However, by the time of Mr. Williams passing, the company was again thriving.  Mr. Williams passed away 2 years later on 8/15/1895.

    Vanderman Manufacturing Co.

    Appears to have been founded in 1878 by William Vanderman in Willimantic, CT.  Here's a brief historic review on the Nesci Enterprises Website.  They predominately produced strong boxes and pipe / steamfitter vises.

    This article from the June, 1908 edition of Engineering Review notes that the company was first organized as the Vanderman Plumbing & Heating Co. and reorganized as the Vanderman Manufacturing Co. in 1892.

    Here are the results of a Google search on William Vanderman patents.

    Image Description: 

    Here's an example of a #1 Pipe Vise courtesy of Skip and posted here on Tool Talk.

    View Reference: 

    Vanderman's Plumbing & Heating Company

    Willimantic, CT. - Here is an excellent biography describing the life of William Vanderman and his business endeavors.

    The company incorporated in May of 1892, and changed it's name to Vanderman Manufacturing Co., but he had been in the business since establishing his own plumbing shop in 1879.  In 1908 he established a new business in Hartford and turned it over to his 3 sons shortly thereafter.  Also in 1908, the name of the company in Hartford was changed to The Vanderman Brothers Company.  William F., Edward L., and Charles A. Vanderman are the principals. 

    On or about 1900, Mr. Vanderman purchased the Gorry Foundry and endeavored to restart that business.  We believe this to be about the time vises under the Vanderman name came about.

    W. Vanderman Patents from DATAMP

    Not in DATAMP:

    Patent #371,805 - Pipe Vise, W. Vanderman

    Patent #455,136 - Pipe Vise, W. Vanderman

    Image Description: 

    Combination Pipe and Bench Vise from The Metal Worker of November, 1897.

    View Reference: 
    Image 2 Description: 

    Here is a Vanderman's example from the Garage Journal.

    Image 2: 
    Image 3 Description: 

    Vanderman's Catalog excerpt.

    Image 3: 

    Veit & Young

    Huntingdon Valley, PA - Synopsis:

    1925: Founded in Philadelphia, PA by Hermann Veit & Gottlob Young

    1945: Moved to Huntingdon Valley, PA; Gottlob Young's share was bought out by Carl F Haeussler

    1991: Business closed 

    The below text comes courtesy of a family member:


    My uncle Hermann Veit came from Germany in 1925.  He was a machinist by trade there.  He partnered with Gottlob Young to start Veit and Young in 1925.  First place was the basement of a home at 5th and Chelten in Phila.  Later moved to American Street by the Delaware River then to Olney for during WW II.  (even though they were all German they had top clearance and did a lot of work for the Frankford Arsenal)  They made a lot of parts for our cause.  My father had come over in 1929 from Stuttgart.  His sister Eugenie (my aunt) was married to Hermann.  After the war, Hermann wanted to move into the suburbs (Huntingdon Valley. PA) but Gottlob did not want to move from the City.  He told Hermann, "buy me out".  Hermann said "no" but lent the money to my father to do so.  But they kept the name.  This all transpired in 1945.  My Dad became the partner and in 1957 they incorporated.  Since I was 13 I worked at the plant whenever I was not in school and got every dirty job they could find.   After College and 5 years in the Sears training program I left Sears and "came home" to the "family" business as Controller and later V. Pres. and CFO (when Dad retired in 1981)    By that time Herman C. Veit (my cousin - Hermann's son) had become Pres.   Hermann died in 1974.   In 1991 Herman C decided he wanted to sell out  (owned majority interest) so there was an auction and everything went.  In 1993, Herman C. passed away. 

    Velox Vise Company

    Lowville, NY - This company begins appearing in trade publications in 1918. 

    This article from the 12/29/1921 edition of The Iron Trade Review announces the formation of the Atlas Vise Co., noting that they have acquired all patents and rights to the Velox Vise Co.

    This small snippet from a 1924 edition of Iron Age notes that The Atlas Vise Co. and Velox Vise Company, both run by Edwin W. Fulton, have been acquired by The Oswego Tool Works.  Mr. Fulton will become the works manager at Oswego replacing Mr. Benjamin W. Dow.

    Google Patents Assigned to Velox

    View Reference: 

    Victor Vise Co.

    Springfield, OH - Active ca. 1912-1918.

    Image Description: 

    Description of their vise from Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, 1913


    Walworth Manufacturing Co.

    Boston, MA - According to The Walworths of America, James J. Walworth, along with Joseph Nason established Walworth & Nason.  This company prospered until 1852, when Mr. Walworth continued the business under his own name and Mr. Nason went to NY to run the Joseph Nason & Co..  In 1872, Mr. Walworth organized the Walworth Manufacturing Co. with himself as President.  The company continued until 1962,

    Here is another good JJ Walworth biography.

    Walworth Vise example on Garage Journal

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

    • Walmanco (Vises - among many other tools) (First Use 3/1/1902)
    • Klingfast (Bench & Pipe)
    • Walworth (Pipe)
    • Walworth Mfg. Co. (Bench)
    Image Description: 

    James Jones Walworth Picture from Hydraulicians in the USA 1800-2000

    View Reference: 
    Image 2 Description: 

    Advertisement from 1917

    Image 2: 
    Image 3 Description: 

    Mr. Joseph Nason, from the publication Valve World, Volume 1, December 1905.  Interestingly, this publication was the product of Crane Co.

    Image 3: 

    Wells Brothers & Co.

    Greenfield, MA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897) History page on this company.

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    Post #2694

    Western Tool & Manufacturing Co.

    Springfield, OH - On 14 March, 1904, The Piqua Daily Call reports that the Western Mfg. Company has changed its name to the Western Tool & Manufacturing Co.

    Here is some good information from regarding the company's bankruptcy filing.

    This company made a line of vises, clamps, wrenches and other tools branded "Champion."

    Google Patents Assigned Patents (Assigned to Western Mfg. Company)

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Magazines:

    • Champion (Machinist)


    Champion Models & Examples

    Wetherell, John

    John Wetherell - corner of Anderson & Robinson Sts. Allegheny, PA - Listed in newspapers as "manufacturer of solid box and brazed box vises" in 1852 - 1855.

    John Wetherell Patent #1,132 - Vise

    Wheeler, J. S. & Co.

    Worcester, MA - Appears to have been run by Joshua Stephen Wheeler, along with Asa N. and Orange Wheeler.  We have not found any information on formation or disposition dates. J. S. Wheeler page.

    Whitney Metal Tool Co.

    The 2/2/1910 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribute announces the incorporation of the Whitney Metal Tool Company with an inital capital of $20,000.  Incorporators are: W W and Elizabeth Stackhouse, and H. B. Andrews.

    We are unsure if the reference in this link is to the appropriate company, but will include it just in case.

    It appears there are at least 2 companies during the time period bearing this name and in the Chicago area.  The company mentioned in the incorporation announcement, and the W A Whitney Company that purportedly emerged out of the W A Whitney Mfg. Co.  Research continues.

    W A Whitney Patents from Google

    Wilcox, Morris

    Morris Wilcox - Norwalk, OH - 1837 - According to the Huron Reflector (newspaper) of 7/25/1837, Mr. Wilcox is manufacturing vises and the article also states the vises are being sold at the store of Hon. T. Baker in Norwalk.  This article aslo mentions Mr. Wilcoxs' vises are based on the below patent.

    Linus Dean Patent #127 - Vise, Mode of constructing bench and other vises

    Wilkinson Co.

    Chicago, IL (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Will Burt made Versa-Vise

    Williams, J. H. Co.

    Please see our Williams page under Hand Tool Manufacturers for company history here.

    Vise Trademarks:

    • Vulcan (Claimed First Use: 6/1897)
    • Agrippa (First Use 5/13/1905)

    DATAMP Patents assigned to J. H. Williams

    Williams, T & Co.

    Brooklyn, NY (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

    Williamson Vise Company

    Bradford, PA - A 1907 edition of Domestic Engineering carries the announcement of organization of this company.  The incorporators are: S. A. Holbrook, H. E. Gaffney, and J. M. Jack.

    The 8/1/1910 edition of Industrial World reports that the entire plant has been purchased by the G. M. Yost Manufacturing Co. of Meadville.  The announcement also states that the entire plant and equipment will be moved to Meadville.

    We are surmising that this company was formed in order to produce the various Williamson Vise Patents.

    Patent #711,607 - Vise, B. L. & E. S. Williamson (Buffalo) 10/2/1902

    Patent #727,246 - Bench Vise, Benjamin L. Williamson (Buffalo) 5/5/1903

    Patent #790,165 - Bench Vise, Benjamin L. Williamson (Buffalo) 5/16/1905

    Patent #791,741 - Bench Vise, Eli S. Williamson (Buffalo) 6/5/1905

    Garage Journal Monster Vise Thread Links:

    Post #42709

    Image Description: 

    Williamson advertisement from July 6, 1905 American Machinist



    Wilton was founded in 1941 by Mr. Hugh Vogl, a Czechoslovakian immigrant. An excellent history can be found on the Wilton website here.

    Trade Names, Brands & Trademarks:

    • WILTON - Block Text (Bench Vises) (First Use 4/1/1941)
    • TORRO - Block Text (Bench, Pipe and Combination Vises) (First Use 3/3/1947)
    • TORCO - Block Text (Bench, Pipe and Combination Vises) (First Use 5/29/1947)
    • JUNO (Bench Vises) (First Use 11/30/1949)

    View Reference: 

    Wilton Catalog References

    While commonly believed Wilton sold exclusively to the military during WWII after starting the company in 1941, we have found a small advertisement from 1942 that suggests attempts were made to market the product outside the War Department. This ad from the 1942 edition of The Tool Engineer, while not completely viewable, can be found here.

    Image Description: 

    Subsequent to the war, Wilton begins advertising through multiple periodicals of the day in 1947. Here is an example from the June, 1947 edition of Popular Mechanics.


    Wilton Models & Examples


    Woden Models & Examples

    Wooley, John & Son

    Boston, MA - Active in the mid to late 1800s  Example listing.

    Wright, Peter

    Dudley, England -


    US Patents

    Patent #38,621 - Improvement in Vises, Peter Wright.

    Wyman & Gordon

    Worcester, MA - Founded in 1883 by H. Winfield Wyman and Lyman Francis Gordon.  The History of Worcester and its People, Volume 4 provides a nice history on the company and its founders.  They principally produced pattern and wood workers vises, but also had early in their life a rapid-transit vise.



    Yost Models & Examples

    Yost, G. M. Co.

    Mechanicsburg, PA - This company appears to have started circa 1907 through the purchase of the plant of the Peter A. Frazer Co. of New York reports the Iron Trade Review.  However, we do find a reference to the company in 1905, located here.  The company appears to have had a factory in Yonkers, NY with offices in Waynesboro, PA prior to moving to Meadeville, PA.  In 1907, the officers were: I. E. Yost - Pres; G. M. Yost - VP / GM; T. J. Kennedy - Sec / Treas.  In 1909, the company purchased the Meadeville Vise Co.

    Update - 5/9/2017: An article in the 1/19/1907 edition of the Carlisle Evening Herald announces the purchase of the building of Louis Heiges (carriage engine maker) in Mechanicsburg, PA by the G. M. Yost Manufacturing Company.  The article further notes that they are moving there from Yonkers, NY.  This article is clipped below in image 1.  In addition, we find an article from September of 1907 explaining that after a contract for vise production with the Jacobson Machine Mfg. Co. was cancelled, the Yosts have purchased all the machinery of the National Vise Company of NJ.  The article notes that this is the equipment of the "old Stevens Vise Co.," having been taken over by the National Vise Co.  We believe this is actually "Stephens" vise company.  All equipment was moved to Mechanicsburg, PA.

    The 8/1/1910 edition of Industrial World reports that the entire plant of Williamson Vise Company (Bradford, PA) has been purchased by the G. M. Yost Manufacturing Co. of Meadville.  The announcement also states that the entire plant and equipment will be moved to Meadville.

    Their final disposition is still unknown but they fade out of periodicles circa 1921.

    It is very interesting to note that we find 2 patents by G. M. Yost, the first filed in 1916, that are assigned to Columbian Hardware CompanyThis advertisement indeed shows that Mr. Yost was employeed by Columbian by 1916.

    An overview of some G. M. Yost machines from 1906.

    Gilmore M. Yost Patents

    For reference: DATAMP patents for W. E. Snediker. // Google Results

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Stephens Improved
    • Stephens Quick Acting
    • Snediker Quick Acting
    • Ajax Oval Slide
    Image Description: 

    Mechanicsburg, PA move from Yonkers, NY.

    View Reference: 

    Young, Josh H Company

    Boston, MA

    Trade Names and Brands from Trade Publications:

    • Crawford (Bench & Pipe)

    "Crawford" likely refers to Middleton Crawford's Patents

    Zylyiss Multi Vise AKA Profi-King Plus