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Manufacturers Index - Gilman & Son
Last Modified: Sep 11 2014 8:34PM by joelr4
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This company manufactured last-making lathes. Their manufactory was known as the Gilman Mill.

     The titular Gilman was Farley B., and the son was Wilbert F. The firm was founded 1854,as F. B. Gilman. Gilman took a partner, F. V. A. Townsend in 1861 and reorganized as Gilman & Townsend. Townsend retired in 1861 and Gilman took his son, W. F. Gilman as a partner and renamed the firm Gilman & Son. In 1895, they employed 16 hands and probably lasted into the 20th century.

Gilmand & Townsend,

     As previously stated in this work, on the site occupied by these parties, there was originally carried on the manufacture of shoe-pegs. Ira and Isaac Davis, who were connected with this industry, began, about 1850, to manufacture locks of various descriptions suitable for banks, dwellings, etc., which had been invented by D. M. Smith, who was associated with them in business. This venture proved unsuccessful, and on March 18, 1853, the property was sold to Farley B. Gilman, who in connection with Isaac Davis ran a job machine shop. In the following year Mr. Davis retired. For a number of years a patent scythe-snath, the invention of Pinckney Frost, was manufactured. About this time Mr. Gilman helped to make a machine for turning shoe-lasts, which was sent to Canada. It was there seen in successful operation by an interested party, who soon after ordered a similar one made. This was sent to Boston, and, upon its being pronounced the best machine for the purpose in the market, Mr. Gilman began improving and making the same. The manufacture has been continued uninterruptedly up to the present date, various improvements having been made from time to time. In 1884 Mr. Gilman was successful in producing a lathe that turns both rights and lefts with perfect accuracy from a single model, by the simple change of a gear.

     The lathes find a ready market throughout the United States, and in European and other foreign countries. The firm also manufactured a rotary shears for cutting sheet iron, steel, brass, etc., which is used by last-makers and others, and they also do a general jobbing business.

      The present buildings were erected in 1869. Employment is given to ten hands, the annual production being about $15,000.

      The factory burned down on 04 Nov 1912 and was rebuilt on the same site. They were in business until at least 1921.

Information Sources

  • Carriage and Wagon Makers Machinery and Tools by Kenneth L. Cope, 2004 page 100
  • History of Windsor county, Vermont, 1891 pages 461 & 462