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

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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.