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Manufacturers Index - Roberts & Pierce
Last Modified: Aug 5 2008 8:53PM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1854 this now-forgotten partnership manufactured a patented lathe for production of furniture parts, especially bedposts. By 1856 Pierce was out of the picture and instead Roberts was partnered with Isaac N. Felch and Isaac Roberts. By 1860 Roberts was in Worcester, MA, when he received one more lathe patent, which was not co-assigned. In 1861 Mr. Felch, by then living in Hollis, ME, was granted a patent for a hub lathe that used a design reminiscent of those of Roberts.

We have not been able to find any more information on this maker or the men involved. Please let us know if you can provide any more data!

Information Sources

  • An 1853 lathe patent was granted to Milton Roberts of South Levant, ME. The patent covered an attachment to an ordinary lathe that put suitably shaped cutters in a frame that moves transversely so that it makes a slicing cut, leaving the stock in the reverse shape of the cutters. This approach is the basis for all his subsequent patents as well.
  • An 1854 patent for a "machine [lathe] for turning prismatic forms" is assigned, according to the specification to "Roberts & Pierce". According to the patent listing in the 1854-12-30 issue of Scientific American, the patent was assigned to Milton Roberts and H. E. Pierce.
  • 1856 patents to Roberts were assigned to Roberts and Isaac N. Felch. An 1860 Roberts patent was unassigned.
  • A cemetery listing for "York County, Maine—Tory Hill Cemetery, Town of Buxton, Lower Corners" includes an entry for Isaac Newton Felch, born ca. 1815 and died 1870-04-21. Web searches for information on
  • The 1872 book, History of the press of Maine, edited by Joseph Griffin, mentions Felch:
    WALDO SIGNAL. An enthusiastic political campaign in 1840 induced the establishment of another Whig newspaper in Belfast, and in October, Chas. Giles, a practical printer (who a few months previously had made an ineffectual attempt to institute the Democratic Standard), gave to the public the Waldo Signal, a weekly paper of medium size. On the 26th of June, 1846, it was enlarged, and the name of State Signal substituted for the old one. Isaac N. Felch, Esq., afterwards Deputy Collector, edited it until the termination of the seventh volume, Oct. 27, 1847, when Messrs. Giles and Felch retired, and a change of name and proprietors took place.
  • Searches of the "Making of America" archives did not turn up any additional information on Roberts, Pierce, or Felch.