This firm began in 1828 as a machine shop known as the Paddock Iron Works. At some point it was taken over by O. V. Hooker and Frank Hooker, and the name changed to O. V. Hooker & Son. The name reportedly changed in 1878, to Hooker Manufacturing Corp., but we have seen the O. V. Hooker & Son name as late as 1920. In any event, the Hooker Manufacturing Corp. name was in use by 1922. It is possible that the business used both names at the same time.
In 1916, Frank and Ralph Hooker sold their interest to Perley Hazen, Louis Smythe, Alexander Dunnet and Morton J. Reed. Reed gradually acquired the others' shares and at some point the name changed to Hooker-Reid Co. and then, in 1926, to Reed Supply Co., Inc. Under the Hookers' ownership the business manufactured saw sharpening and sawmill machinery plus a tablesaw with sliding table. Under the Reeds the company's focus shifted to dealing in machinery, industrial and mill supplies.
Hooker apparently bought out the earlier Johnsbury firm of L. D. Howard: we have seen a sliding table saw, clearly of L. D. Howard design, labeled as "Manufactured by Hooker Manufacturing Corporation / St. Johnsbury, Vermont". The ad below, from 1922, shows the model of saw in question.
L. D. Howard-designed saw. Article from January 11, 1922 issue of "American Machinist".
- An ad in the September 1920 issue of Woodworkers Record, for the "Berry Combination Band and Circular Automatic Saw Sharpener", gives the name as O. V. Hooker & Son.
- A brief article in the January 11, 1922 issue of American Machinist, referring to Hooker Manufacturing Corporation.
- An ad in the May, 1925 issue of The Wood-Worker, which gave the company name as Hooker Manufacturing Co.
- Correspondent Robert Bernstein pointed out the Howard-Hooker connection to us.
- The history page on the Reed Supply Co. website provided some of the history here, although some of it is perhaps inconsistent with other information obtained from primary sources. We learned of this Reed Supply connection from a discussion on owwm.org.