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Manufacturers Index - Parks Woodworking Machine Co.
History
Last Modified: Jan 3 2014 5:28PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Brief History

This company can trace its history back through 1887. Its first incarnation was as L. F. Parks. By 1900 the name had changed to the Parks Ball Bearing Machine Co., and in 1927 it changed again to Parks Woodworking Machine Co. The company survived until 1989, when it was dissolved.

Parks is—by far—most famous for their 12" and 20" planers. Many of the earlier and less common Parks machines are rather agricultural in appearance: they are built primarily of off-the-shelf parts, such as wood beams, angle iron, I-beams, and steel plate.


Ad from February 1914 issue of "Canadian Builder and Carpenter"

Parks 12" and 20" planers were also marketed under the Craftsman name. In Canada they were, for a time, sold under the Moody name.

Parks 18" two-wheel band saw along with the 10" and 12" radial saws were sold by Sears under the Craftsman label.

Parks Resources

All additional Parks articles are available in the Parks section of the OWWM wiki. Some highlights are listed below.

Information Sources

  • One of this company's logos says, "Since 1887." An 1899 issue of Carpenter and Builder has an ad for L. F. Parks, a predecessor to Parks Woodworking Machine Co. A 1900 issue of the same magazine lists a company called the Parks Ball Bearing Mch. Co., with the same address of 3900 Coleraine Ave. in Cincinnati.
  • A 1915 ad in Carpenter and Builder features their "Parks' Planing Mill:" a combination rip saw, crosscut saw, swing cutoff saw, and boring machine; 12" jointer, 22" bandsaw and hollow chisel mortiser were available as accessories.
  • A 1925 pamphlet gives the company name as The Parks Ball Bearing Machine Co., but a 1927 catalog gives the name as Parks Woodworking Machine Co. The State of Ohio's business-name database shows that a change of name was filed on 27 April 1927. The same database shows a registration of dissolution on 17 February 1989.
  • A 1928 ad notes, "Canadian factory: 208 Notre Dame East, Montreal."