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Manufacturers Index - Heinrich Co.
Last Modified: Dec 6 2019 10:24PM by Jeff_Joslin
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National Machine Tool Co. of Racine, Wisconsin, was in business by 1914. In 1921 the business was being run by C. E. Feigenhauser, Jr., and Robert Heinrich. In 1928 they were making "HANDNIB" brand metal shears. By 1935 they were making the Heinrich "Grip-Master, drill press vise" as well as the Handnib nibbler, search rod cutter and hand punch, plus a shaper vise attachment.

Sometime between 1950 and 1954 the "National Machine Tool Co." name disappeared and the vises and hand tools were being made by Heinrich Tools, Inc. of Racine. And sometime between 1992 and 2001 the name changed to Heinrich Co. In 2016 the Racine-based RRC, Inc. acquired Heinrich Co., which continues to operate today under the Heinrich Co. name, making the Grip-Master vises and their Safety Drill vise, which is similar to the well-known Float-Lock vise.

Information Sources

  • 1914 The Iron Age. "The National Machine Tool Company, Racine, Wis., is inquiring for a 12-in. speed lathe with three-jaw chuck and slide rest, an 18-inch late and a 14-in. or larger shaper."
  • 1921 Polk's Wisconsin State Gazetteer and Business Directory lists "National Machine Tool Co (C E Feigenhauser jr. Robert Heinrich), 1326 16th".
  • 1928 trademark registration S/N 265,676, Reg. #246,929: "HANDNIB", for metal shears, first use 1928-01-01. Registered by National Machine Tool Company, Racine, Wis.
  • 1935 Trade Catalogs on Grip-Master Drill Press Vise, Handnib Nibbler, Shear, Drill Rod Cutter, and Hand Punch, and Shaper Vise Attachment from national Machine Tool Co. (Racine, Wis.)"
  • January 1946 Machinery has a brief illustrated article on the "Heinrich 'Grip-Master' Vise" from National Machine Tool Co., Racine, Wisconsin.
  • A 1950 Welding Engineer mentions "National Machine Tool Co., Racine, Wis." This is the latest mention we could find but data is quite sparse.
  • S 1954 Western Machinery and Steel World mentions "Grip-Master fixture locks and vises, and air vises, are described in a folder by Heinrich Tools of Racine, Wis. Nice tools."
  • A 1956 The Tool Engineer mentions "The Grip-Master locking mechanism on the vises permits high-speed operation, particularly when handling small parts. Heinrich Tools Inc., Racine, Wis."
  • A 1958 Manufacturing Engineering and Management mentions Heinrich air vises, manufactured by Heinrich Tools, Inc., Racine, Wis.
  • A 1962 Machinery mentions "Heinrich Drill-Jig Attachment / Booth 1227 / A production drill-jig attachment to be exhibited for the first time by Heinrich Tools, Inc., Racine, Wis., is designed to convert this manufacturer's 'Grip-Master' vise into a fast-action adjustable drill jig for precision cross-hole drilling of 1/8- to 2-inch round or hexagonal stock. In addition to the jig attachment, the exhibit will include the full line of Grip-Master vises as well as several other products. The 'Vise'Jig' is simply attached to the stationary vise jaw in place of the removable jaw insert as shown in the..."
  • A 1962 Welding Engineer mentions "GRIP-MASTER — Vises. Heinrich Tools, Inc."
  • A 1970 American Machinist mentions "Line of jigs designed for cross-hole drilling—A line of drill jigs, made by Heinrich Tools, consists of three hand-operated and three air-operated models. The jigs are designed for cross-hole drilling of 1/8 to 2½ in. hex stock. A clamping plate adjusts to the size of the work- piece and is pulled down against the workpiece by a locking lever or b> actuating an air valve. Travel is 3/16 of an in. An adjustable stop, located on a nine-in.-long rod, is furnished on either side of the jig. All jigs are furnished with liners to hold a variety of standard ASA bushings. The three basic models offer capacities of....Circle 355 on reader service card or write Heinrich Tools Inc., 2707 S. Memorial Drive, Racine, Wisc."
  • 1985 New Trade Names lists "HEINRICH GRIP MASTER - Tools - Heinrich Tools Inc., 2707 S. Memorial Dr., Racine, WI".
  • 2007 book, Companies and Their Brands lists "Heinrich Co. 2707 S Memorial Dr., Racine, WI" as makers of "HANDNIB - Scissors—hand-operated / HEINRICH GRIP MASTER - Tools".
  • 2016-05-20 Milwaukee BizTimes, article titled "Racine's RRC Inc. acquires Heinrich Co.".

    Racine-based umbrella company RC Inc. has acquired Racine-based workholding tool manufacturer Heinrich Co. for $850,000.

    The 90-year-old Heinrich designs and manufactures industrial vises and workholding tools used in the metalworking industry.

    RC now has five manufacturing companies under its umbrella: Racine-based metal stamping company Ace Stamping & Machine Co. Inc.; Mexico-based metal fabrication company Ace Stamping & Metal Fab Co. Inc. de Mexico; Racine-based specialty tapes manufacturer Innotec of Wisconsin Inc.; Racine-based abrasive wheel manufacturing component supplier Shakespeare Machine Stamping of Wisconsin; and Heinrich.

    Both Ace Stamping companies and Shakespeare can now offer their customers and vendors workholding equipment from Heinrich for their machine shop, assembly and production needs.

    “It is important to look at current capabilities and think, ‘How can we add more to better assist our customer base and potential customers?’” said James Haarsma, vice president at RC Inc.

    RC now has a total of 125 employees, including Heinrich’s 10 employees. They all remained onboard, and the company will continue operating at its current location under its brand, Haarsma said.

    “Our goal is to grow the company here in Racine and continue to offer their strong line of products and get behind it with our brand name in marketing it,” Haarsma said.

    The transaction is highly complementary to RC’s existing brands, he said.

    “All of our companies are technically job shops and this will be our first company that offers their own products,” Haarsma said.

    “With a diverse product line of workholding equipment that is globally recognized for quality, Heinrich is well positioned to grow under RC Inc.,” said Ronald Haarsma, president of RC.