Register :: Login
Manufacturers Index - Rae Machine Tool Works, Ltd.

Rae Machine Tool Works, Ltd.
Hamilton, ON, Canada
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Oct 5 2019 4:16PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

By 1914 Rae Brothers, Ltd. of Hamilton were in business. By 1916 they were making metal-working lathes, pedestal grinding arbors and 4-jaw lathe chucks. At the beginning of 1918 it appears that the business was re-incorporated as the Rae Machine Tool Works, Ltd.

During World War I (1914-1918) Rae's lathes were designed for shell production. At the end of the war, Rae's lathes were redesigned to become more versatile. Their lineup included 14", 18", 20" and 22" engine lathes with double back gearing, quick change, and gap bed. By 1920 they were also making metal shapers and drill press vises.

Canada had been a major centre for shell production and numerous companies had been making lathes; after the war, most of those makers failed to remain viable as lathe manufacturers, and it appears that Rae was one of those that were forced out of the lathe business.

Advertisement from the 1919-11-06 issue of "Canadian Machinery"

In 1942 Rae was still making shapers, as well as various kinds of vises. Rae vises had become well established and likely accounted for the bulk of the company's business. Sometime between 1942 and 1947 the company was reorganized as the Rae Tool & Engineering, Ltd. Under that name the company survived for some years—more research is needed to pin down their years of operation—but at some point the Rae vise line became part of the McCoy Foundry of Hamilton. Subsequently the line fell into the hands of OTACO (originally the Orillia Tudhope-Anderson Co.) of Orillia, Ontario. In 1948 OTACO had become the first Canadian licensee of the Ductalloy Iron process. It is likely that Rae vises were made by OTACO under the McCoy Foundry and perhaps even the earlier Rae Tool & Engineering names for some years before the Rae vises were branded as being from OTACO.

In 1972 OTACO sold their Rae vise division to Harcox Holdings Ltd., of Orillia. We do not know how post-1972 Rae vises were branded, nor do we know when they ceased manufacture.

Information Sources

  • An excellent blog post on Rae vises filled in many key details, including the connections to McCoy Foundry and OTACO.
  • A web page on one John Rae provides information on a "Rae Brothers and Company" partnership in Hamilton, Canada West (now Ontario). Between at least 1852 and 1868, Thomas Rae and Richard H. Rae were in the commission merchant pork packing, and shipping business in Hamilton as Rae Brothers. That firm declared bankruptcy 1865-05-26. We believe this business is unconnected to the later business of the same name.
  • 1914-01-15 Canadian Machinery has an article on a paper-bag machine. "The machines... are built... by Rae Bros. of Hamilton, Ont...."
  • September 1916 Machinists' Monthly Journal. "Hamilton, Ont.—The machinists and toolmakers of this city are still on strike for the conditions awarded them by the Royal Commission. These include the fifty-hour week, a minimum rate of 37½ centers per hour for machinists and 42½ cents for toolmakers, time and a half for all time worked over nine hours per day or night, double time for Sundays and holidays and recognition of the shop committee..." A list of shops on strike includes "Rae Bros." The October issue reports that the strike continued.
  • 1916-18 Canadian Trade Index lists "Rae Brothers, Hamilton, Ont. Chucks; lathes." Besides chucks and metal lathes they were also listed as making emery stands, drill press vises
  • 1918-01-17 Industry Week. "Hamilton, Ont.—The Rae Machine Tool Works, Ltd., has been incorporated, to manufacture machinery, castings, implements and tools with $45,000 capital stock. The directors are Willis B. Sturrup, John S. Duggan, Craig McKay and others, Toronto, Ont."
  • February 1918 Mill Suplies. "The Rae Machine Tool Works. Ltd.. Hamilton. Ont., $45000, by William B. Sturrup. Craig McKay and John S. Duggan. 6 Adelaide street, East."
  • 1919-11-06 Canadian Machinery: ad for Rae Machine Tool Works' 18" double back geared quick-change lathe.
  • 1920-08-26 The Iron Age, in a list of used machinery from Simonsen-Koons, who had a warehouse in Woodstock, Ontario: "Rae Bros. Gap Lathe. 22-inch swing, 7' between centers. 12-inch width of gap, swing 14 inches over carriage."
  • 1920-21 Canadian Trade Index lists "Rae Machine Tool Works, Limited, Hamilton, Ont." as makers of Emery Stands; Iron-working Lathes; Lathe Chucks; Iron-working Shapers; Machine Tools; Iron-working Machinery; Drill Press Vises; and Special Machinery. There is an alphabetical list, not for Rae Machine Tool Works but for "Rae Machine Tool Mfg. Co., Ltd., cor. Emerald and Shaw Sts., Hamilton. Chucks; lathes. Brand, "Rae."
  • 1942 Canadian Manufacturers' Association Industrial Canada lists "Rae Machine Tool Works, Limited / Cor. of Shaw and Emerald, Hamilton / Shapers and vises / W. A. Rae".
  • 1947 edition of The Machinery Industry in Canada (PDF) lists "firms in the machinery industry, 1947", including Rae Tool & Engineering, Limited, Shaw and Emerald Streets, Hamilton.
  • 1948 Heaton's Commercial Handbook of Canada lists, among manufacturers in Hamilton, Rae Tool & Engineering Ltd., 65 Shaw St.
  • 1949 Hardware, Tool and Cutlery Manufacturers lists Rae Tool & Engineering Limited, 65 Shaw St., Hamilton.
  • 1952 Vernon's Hamilton City Directory lists Rae Tool & Engineering Ltd., 65 Shaw. Employees:
    • Acs, Michi Jr. machinist
    • Czemerynski Anthony operator
    • Duncan, Wm painter
    • Jabtschanick, Stephan machinist
    • Jones, Geo assembler
    • Mabley, Francis assembler
    • Polzer, Alois machinist
    • Rae, Arthur IM machinist
    • Sim, James manager
    • Sterling, Howard E shipper
    • Windich, Ignaz machinist.
  • A genealogy page lists Robert Allan Rae, born 1859-11-28, died 1928-02-22. He was secretary-treasurer of Ray Tool & Die Co. in both 1911 and 1928.
  • Shaper or mill vise with jaws marked "RAE TOOL CO. / HAMILTON / CANADA". The text fills all available space so "& ENGINEERING" may have been left out.
  • 2013 Blog post on a Rae vise with a water-slide label, "CANADA'S LARGE VISE MFGS. / OTACO LTD. / RAE / ORILLIA, ONT. / ?EETLM? DUCTALLOY ..."
  • 15" benchtop drill press with no markings other than "Rae" (including the quotes) on the main head casting. Looks to be 1930s to 1950s vintage. Machine is in Canada.