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Manufacturers Index - Valley City Machine Works

Valley City Machine Works
Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery

Last Modified: Jul 28 2012 1:47PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This firm was established by Nicodemus Bosch in the 1880s or '90s. By 1897, John C. De Bruyn and John Boda were partners with Bosch. In 1905, Bosch moved to Holland, Mich., and co-founded Western Machine Tool Works. The Valley City Machine Works, however, continued without him for at least a few more years.

Advertisement from the September 1912 "Wood Craft"

Information Sources

  • From the website for the City of Holland, MI: Nicodemus Bosch (1863-1944), with two associates, founded Valley City Machine Works (date unspecified). In 1905 he moved to Holland, MI, and founded Western Machine Tool Works, which he ran for 40 years. He served a total 10 years as mayor of Holland.
  • According to an inspection report of the Michigan Department of Labor, on May 27, 1895, Valley City Machine Works was in full-time operation.
  • The Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1897 lists "Valley City machine Works (John C. De Bruyn, Nicodemus Bosch, John Boda), 1 Pearl".
  • According to an inspection report of the Michigan Department of Labor, in 1898, Valley City Machine Works was in the business of "general repairs", was running 10 hours per day, had been in business for at least one year, had 30 employees including 23 males and 7 females, at an average daily pay of $1.73.
  • The June 16, 1904 issue of American Machinist was mentioned in a listing of new catalogs:
    Valley City Machine Works, Grand Rapids, Mich. Carving lathes, rounding, routing and rosette machines, twist machines, wood lathes and other wood-working machinery. Illustrated. 7x9, pp. 8, paper.
  • From "Board of Trade of Grand Haven et. al. v. De Bruyn et. al.", Supreme Court of Michigan, Nov. 15, 1904. In 1900, the Board of Trade of Grand Haven negotiated with the owners of Valley City Machine Works to relocate that business to Grand Haven and rename it to the Western Michigan Tool Works. An agreement was signed that, in exchange for the Board of Trade providing the building and a loan, the partners in Valley City Machine Works—De Bruyn, Bosch, and Boda—would establish a machine shop and foundry in that building. But it turned out that the partners did not intend to move the entirety of their operations to Grand Haven, which was not what the Board of Trade was expecting. The negotiators for the Board of Trade were not authorized to negotiate a contract for anything but the complete relocation of the partners' business. The Board of Trade sued for relief. The court held that there was no meeting of the minds in the contract and therefore the contract should be canceled.
  • The December 26, 1907 issue of The Iron Trade Review has this news item:
    The Valley City Machine Works, Adrian, Mich., has been incorporated with a capitalization of $30,000 by John Hulst, John C. De Bruyn and Adrian M. De Bruyn to conduct a general machine shop.
  • According to an inspection report of the Michigan Department of Labor, on May 13, 1909, Valley City Machine Works had 19 male employees and 1 female employee.
  • The June 1909 issue of Machinery had this item:
    Valley City Machine Works. Grand Rapids, Mich., has purchased a plot of land thirty-three feet wide adjoining its factory and win build an addition 42 feet by 66 feet to provide for Its increasing business In the manufacture of woodworking and grinding machinery and water motors for washing machines. This motor has been on the market about one year and has made "a hit" with the washing machine manufacturers because of its simple, compact construction and power.
  • The June 1909 issue of Wood Craft has this item:
    The Valley City Machine Works, Grand Rapids, Mich., advise us that their business covering the manufacture of woodworking and grinding machinery and water motors has increased to such an extent during the past year, that they are forced to enlarge their plant. An addition 33 by 35 feet will be built at the rear of the present factory and a wing 33 by 50 feet, both to be two stories high and constructed of brick. The company reports that it is overcrowded with work in all departments and has been working overtime to keep up with its orders.
  • The September 1909 issue of Wood Craft lists Valley City Machine Works as makers of boring machines, carving machines, knife grinders, mortising machines, planing mill machinery, sanders, and surfacers. A used-machinery ad from Chicago Woodworking Machinery Company lists a "rounder" from Valley City Machine Works.
  • A 1910 dowel-machine patent was assigned to "Valley City Machine Works", which proves that the business continued after Bosch left.
  • The May 1910 Industrial Engineering and The Engineering Digest has this news item
    GRINDING MACHINES.—Valley City Machine Works, Grand Rapids, Mich. A combination surface and tool grinder with an 18-in. grinding disk and tilting table, and an improved combination wet and dry grinder.
  • The January 1913 issue of Mill Supplies had this item:
    Consolidation of the Grand Rapids Machine & Tool Co., and the Valley City Machine Works, Grand Rapids, Mich., has been effected and the machine and tool plant removed to the Valley City plant. Capital has been increased from $30,000 to $47,500, of which $45,000 is common stock and $2,500 preferred. The company will operate under the name of the Valley City Machine Works, with Christian Gallmeyer, president: M. Lund, vice-president and general manager, and C[harles] H. Gallmeyer, secretary and treasurer. Lines manufactured by both shops will be continued, and new lines added and buildings erected.
  • The January 1915 Southern Machinery has an illustrated article on this company's new gang drill. "The machines are especially intended for drilling holes in pipe and drill the opposite walls at the same time. One machine shown has 34 spindles, and the other one has four spindles.
  • The March 1921 The Wood-Worker has a two-page illustrated article about this company's new automatic multi-operation machine, which was a large and complex machine intended for high-speed production wood machining. The description does not provide any clues as to what applications the machine might have.
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  • The November 19, 1921 Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record has a listing of companies approved by the Michigan Securities Commission, including the Valley City Machine Works, $100,000 preferred stock.
  • The 1922 Grand Rapids City Directory lists this firm at "12-16 Campau av."