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Manufacturers Index - Kelley Electric Machine Co.

Kelley Electric Machine Co.
Buffalo, NY, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

Last Modified: Dec 17 2018 12:25PM by Jeff_Joslin
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Kelley Electric Machine Co. manufactured routers—they were the first to make a handheld router, in this case a monstrous router specialized for routing stair stringers. The router was patented in 1906 by George Kelley; the patent was assigned to Stevenson Machine Co., which went under a year later. By 1909 Kelley had acquired the rights to his router patent and established Kelley Electric Machine Co. to manufacture the router and accessories. In about 1913 they introduced a floor sander/polisher as well. The company survived until at least 1929.

Handheld power tools are outside the scope of this web site. Please do not upload pictures of handhelds!

From 1909-11-15 Canada Lumberman and Woodworker

Information Sources

  • 1907-01-03 Steel.
    The Stevenson Machine Co., Buffalo, has been incorporated with a capital of $100,000 by C. P. Stevenson, L. G. Kelley and A. Baker. The new company will manufacture a newly patented routingr machine for woodworking purposes and special tools. It is reported that factory premises have been secured.
  • 1907-01-10 Hardware.
    Buffalo, N. Y.—Stevenson Machine Co. has been incorporated for the purpose of manufacturing machinery, tools, etc; cap— ital, $100,000. Incorporators, C. P. Stevenson, G. L. Kelly and A. Baker, Buffalo.
  • 1908-08-20 The Iron Trade Review.
    A petition in involuntary bankruptcy was filed recently in the United States district court at Buffalo against the Stevenson Machine Co., by several creditors with total claims amounting to $1,441.
  • The router was patented by George L. Kelley in 1908 (the application was submitted in 1906). The patent was assigned to Stevenson Machine Co. Given the purported 1906 genesis of the Kelley Electric Machine Co., router, it is likely that Stevenson Machine Co. was a predecessor of Kelley Electric Machine Co.
  • Article on the Kelley Electric Routing Machine in September 1909 Wood Craft. "The machine is operated with ease and perfect safety... the Kelley router has stood the test of three years' constant use. Its work embraces routing cuts, molding dovetailing, fluting inlay cutting and carving... The stair-frame plate, Fig. 2, is adjustable to any range of pitch, width or thickness of stock... The dado frame, Fig. 3, allows for taper-dovetail cuts and blind housings, the machine working equally well on wooden patterns..."
  • Advertisments in The Wood-Worker between 1911 and 1929 shows their "Kelley Router" - a handheld router that looks to be at least twice the size of any hand-held router available today. The bit rotates at 6500 RPM. An ad in a 1920 issue of The Wood-Worker says that they have been selling their product for fourteen years, which puts their genesis at about 1906.