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Manufacturers Index - Richard C. Bennett Manufacturing Co.

Richard C. Bennett Manufacturing Co.
Laceyville, PA, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery

Last Modified: May 8 2017 10:31AM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1917, with the USA joining the Great War, third-year engineering student Richard Curtis Bennett left Penn State to join the Army, where he was a lieutenant in a field artillery unit. After the war he worked for Shell Energy and travelled extensively until he left the company in 1933 to take over the family farm in Laceyville, PA. In 1947 he began working for local firm Whipples Lumber Co., and while there he invented a vertical panel saw. He applied for a patent on his invention in 1952. Whipples was not interested in his invention and a 1954 building-industry recession left Bennett without a job. This was the push he needed to complete the commercial development of his panel saw.

Bennett Manufacturing Co. was established at this time. The first 22 saws were built in Bennett's basement; his wife painted them on their lawn. A longtime friend, Harold Jackson, became sales manager. Within a few months business had increased to the point that Bennett purchased the old Skinners Eddy School house and converted it to a factory. He soon had 50 employees and were making and selling about 1,000 saws per year.

In 1960 the 67 year old Bennett's health was failing. With demand for his saw continuing to increase and another factory expansion needed, he sold his US and Canada patent rights to Black & Decker Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which had just acquired radial arm saw maker DeWalt Products Co. The Bennett saw continued to be manufactured under the DeWalt brand, but it appears that DeWalt did not capitalize on B&D's investment in Bennett and the saw failed to match the success it had under Bennett's direction.

Information Sources

  • Thanks to Richard C. Bennett's grandson, Adam Bennett, who has his grandfather's papers and has provided much of the information presented here.
  • Richard C. Bennett obituary, from 1967-02-20 Daily Review, via from findagrave.com.
    Richard C,. Bennett, Retired Laceyville Manufacturer, Dies—Richard C. Bennett, 73, a retired Laceyville Manufacturer, died Monday at the Tyler Memorial Hospital Meshoppen, PA after an extended illness. Mr. Bennett, the son of Norval and Lucy McLaud Bennett was born December 19, 1893 at Clapper Hill, Stevens Township Bradford County. He was a graduate of the Camptown High School class of 1913 and attended Penn State College prior to his enlistment in the Army in 1917 for World War I service. He was a Lieutenant in A. Battery, 40th Field Artillery. Following his honorable discharge in 1918, he was employed as a contractor for Shell Energy Company, and during this period he traveled extensively throughout the country. He returned to the family farm in 1933 which he operated until 1947, when he and his family moved to Laceyville. Mr. Bennett was employed by Whipple Brothers for several years. He patented the two way panel saw, and in 1955 began manufacture of the saw in Skinners Eddy. Mr. Bennett's company employed many local residents and was considered an important contribution to the Laceyville Community. He retired in 1960 and moved to Camptown where he resided until the time of his death. Survivors include his wife Alverta, a son, Richard of Maine New York. Two brothers Dr. Calvin F. Bennett of Pomona California and M. V. Bennett of Laceyville, and a sister Mrs. David Taylor of Herrickville.