In 1873, William F. Moody of Chicago was granted a patent for a dovetailing machine. The judges' report at a large Chicago exhibition gave favorable mention to his machine, concluding, "The merits of this machine are worth the attention of all manufacturers." Another of the exhibitors was a Chicago manufacturer of a portable "spring bed bottom", Ames & Frost, and they soon began manufacturing Moody's machine. Late that same year Moody was granted a patent on a rotary steam engine that was assigned to Charles Ames and Abel Frost. In 1874, Moody patented two more improvements to his dovetailing machine. In 1876, Moody exhibited his Ames & Frost dovetailing machine at the Centennial Exhibition, where it again received favorable mention.
- The Inter-state Exposition Souvenir: Containing a Historical Sketch of Chicago; Also a Record of the Great Inter-state Exposition of 1873, from Its Inception to Its Close; Names of Exhibitors, and Description of Articles Exhibited, 1873.
Wm. F. Moody, co. Monroe and Clinton streets, Chicago. Moody's Patent Dovetailing Machine. This machine makes a perfect and complete dovetail, of the same kind as the hand-made. The work is done by chisels, working alternately. The machine is easily adjusted, not liable to get out of order, and seems to require but very little skill or practice in its use. The work is done with perfect accuracy and great rapidity, dovetailing complete 600 drawers per day. The merits of this machine are worth the attention of all manufacturers.Ames & Frost exhibited a portable "spring bed bottom".
- A flyer from Ames & Frost for the Philadelphia Centennial exhibition: "Moody's Dovetailing Machine, Patented by W. F. Moody, April 1st, 1873, March 24th, 1874, June 9th, 1874." These patents can be seen by clicking on the patent tab, above.
- United States Centennial Commission, International Exhibition, 1876. Reports and Awards Group XXI lists Wm. F. Moody of Chicago:
DOVETAILING MACHINE. Report.—This machine is characterized by great originality of idea, and it performs its work in a very satisfactory manner.
- A bicycle web site lists "Ames & Frost Company" of Chicago as a maker of several models of bicycles, with datapoints spanning 1892 to 1900.