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Manufacturers Index - L. Power & Co.
History
Last Modified: Sep 18 2010 1:44PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This mid-sized maker of mid-sized industrial woodworking machinery was founded by Laurence C. Power of Philadelphia. We are uncertain exactly when the company began; they claimed 1867 but that date may be the date some acquired company was established. The earliest confirmed sighting of the "L. Power & Co." name is 1879. They survived until about 1960.

Some products of L. Power & Co.—probably later ones—were marked simply as "Power".


Ad from December 1886 issue of Power & Transmission"

Laurence C. Power and Colladay Machine Works

By 1919, Mr. Power, who was by that time no longer with the company bearing his name, purchased Jos. O. Colladay Co., Inc., and renamed it Colladay Machine Works. That company survived past 1920, but at some point their production machinery was relocated to York, PA, and became B. M. Root Co., which was eventually acquired by G. M. Diehl Machine Works, Inc.

Information Sources

  • Report of the Auditor General on the finances of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Year Ending November 30, 1879, has a "List of corporations and limited partnership registered under Section One of the Act of 1879" that includes "L. Power & Company".
  • Ads in 1920 and 1921 issues of The Wood-Worker for their "Power Ball-Bearing Jointer."
  • 1929 catalog.
  • Their ad in the 1955-56 Hitchcock's Wood Workers Digest Directory establishes that they lasted until at least 1954, but there was no mention of the company in a 1964 issue of Hitchcock. The 1955-56 ad says, "Since 1867".
  • Mentioned in Planers, Matchers & Molders in America, by Chandler W. Jones, 1980, as active in 1897, and as having made traveling-carriage planers for use during World War I.
  • Photos of a 24" planer accompanying an eBay auction clearly show the name "L. Power & Co." on the chip-breaker cover, and "Power" on the base.