In 1919 a group of tool and die makers in Highland Park, Michigan—all of them former employees of Ford Motor Co.—established Ex-Cell-O Tool & Manufacturing Co. Over the next few years they found a niche in making parts and fixtures for aircraft, although they also made grinding machines and air-driven grinding spindles. In 1927 the company name changed to Ex-Cell-O Aircraft & Tool Corp. In 1937 the name changed again to Ex-Cell-O Corp., likely to indicate their increasingly diverse lines of business, including machine tools such as grinders and milling machines.
In 1948 Ex-Cell-O acquired Robbins Engineering Co. of Detroit, whose primary line of business was jet-engine rotors and related components, but also had a machine tool business, including magnetic chucks, sine bars and sine plates. In 1958 Ex-Cell-O acquired the Bryant Chucking Grinder Co., of Springfield, Vermont, whose line of production grinding machines dovetailed nicely with Ex-Cell-O's line of special-purpose grinding machines. In 1963 they acquired honing machine maker Micromatic Hone Corp., and in 1968 they acquired woodworking machinery maker Greenlee Brothers & Co. of Rockford, Illinois. In 1977 they acquired McCord Corp., maker of automotive, industrial and agricultural products.
In 1986 the firm was acquired by defense-industry conglomerate Textron
, and at some point the machine tool division became EX-CELL-O Machine Tools, Inc.
Ex-Cell-O went under in 2008 or '09. So far as we know, parts and service for Greenlee machinery are no longer available. Many of the Ex-Cell-O machine tool products are supported by Kenrie, Inc., of Holland, Michigan.
In Canada, Ex-Cell-O Corporation of Canada, Ltd., was located at 120 Weston Street in London, Ontario, where they manufactured a very successful line of heavy machine tools such as ram-type milling machines.