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Manufacturers Index - Parker Manufacturing Co.

Parker Manufacturing Co.
Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Jun 30 2019 7:25PM by Mark Stansbury
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During World War II Parker Manufacturing Co. was a machine shop manufacturing aircraft parts, primarily for nearby Douglas Aircraft Co. When the war ended the company obtained a franchise to produce steel kitchen cabinets but found that the machine tools they needed were back-ordered for two years. Their chief engineer, Harold Verson, had been chief engineer of Verson Allsteel Press Co. in Chicago, which manufactured sheet-metal presses for the automotive and appliance industries. Verson proposed that Parker Manufacturing design and build their own shear, which they did. Because iron foundries were backlogged with work this shear avoided the use of iron castings and instead used steel plate. When the owner of another shop saw Parker's completed shear he immediately offered to buy it at a price they could not refuse, and two more presses sold in a similar manner, and then six more, and Parker found itself in the shear manufacturing business. The following year, 1947, the company introduced the Multi-Max Press, also made entirely from steel plate, which was a combined press, shear, notcher and bender. This compact and flexible machine also proved to be a success.

By the late 1940s the machine tool industry was again becoming more competitive and Parker would have to expand to achieve economies of scale. At the same time that they faced that challenge, they experienced labor unrest and demands for higher pay. Parker ended up selling their machine tool business to Diamond Machine Tool Co. of Los Angeles, and returned their focus to their steel kitchen cabinet business.

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