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Manufacturers Index - South Bend Lathe Works

South Bend Lathe Works
South Bend, IN, U.S.A.
Company Website: http://www.southbendlathe.com/
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Jun 27 2019 10:36AM by Mark Stansbury
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The South Bend Machine Tool Co. was founded in 1906 by identical twins John O'Brien and Miles O'Brien. They had both spent their early working years at the Stanley Works; Miles worked for Thomas Edison for a time, and then the two of them studied engineering at Purdue University. After working for several years around Indiana, they founded their own firm to build a machinist lathe whose design they had been refining for many years. In 1908 they changed the company name to South Bend Lathe Works.

Their lathes were enormously successful, and they eventually manufactured a wide variety of engine lathes and general-purpose lathes. For many years, most machinists learned their lathe skills on machines from this maker.

The company was acquired in 1959 by American Steel, later known as Amsted Industries. They expanded the product line to include drill and tapping machines, and mechanical presses. It appears that it was during this time that they began making drill presses. It is not known when manufacture of drill presses ceased --- perhaps in 1975, when the company encountered financial difficulties. They survived, however, and continued making lathes, turret mills, and roll grinders until April orMay 2007. On 16 May 2007 the remaining assets were auctioned on-site, at the Bendix Dr. location.

Sibley Machine & Foundry Corp. produced castings for South Bend machinery, until the early to mid-1980s.

Address (1949 Popular Mechanics): 425 E. Madison St., South Bend 22, Indiana.

Final address: 1735 N. Bendix Dr., South Bend, Indiana 46628.

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