This company was best known for making handsaws, circular sawblades and bandsaw blades, but they also made grinders and cooperage machinery.
Elias C. Atkins started business under his own name in 1855. The following year he moved from Cleveland, OH, to Indianapolis, and formed a partnership with W. Knippenberg. An 1858 ad shows that he had licensed and manufactured patented designs for muley saws and crosscut saws. The partnership incorporated as "E. C. Atkins & Co." in 1885. It lasted until at least 1944.
As far back as 1860, Elias C. Atkins received patents for sawblades and for machines for manufacturing saws.
Note that this website is focused on woodworking machinery (and this company is only listed because they made a grinder that might be found in a woodworking shop), and we cannot provide any information on this company's hand tools except for their patents; see the patent section by clicking on the "Patents" tab, above.
- From McEvoy's Indiapolis City Directory and Business Mirror for 1858-9: An ad for E. C. Atkins, "Manufacturer and Agent for the United States, for N. T. Coffin's patent mill & muley saws. Also, manufacturer of J. H. Tuttle's patent cross-cut saw."
- The January 1883 issue of Manufacturer & Builder has a brief article on a new sawblade patent granted to Elias C. Atkins.
- From The Railroad, Telegraph, and Steamship Builders' Directory, 1888: listings under "Saw Guides—Band" and "Wood Working Machinery" for "Atkins, E. C. & Co., Indianapolis, Ind."
- Although this company used several earlier patents, the earliest patent we have found that was explicitly assigned to E. C. Atkins & Co. was a patent granted in June 1888. The latest patent we have found is a 1950 chainsaw patent.
- The June 1889 issue of Manufacturer & Builder carried the following note: "E. C. Atkins & Co. have issued a revised edition of their "Saws and Saw Tools", which, in addition to illustrations and descriptive accounts of the extensive list of manufactures of the firm, embracing circular, hand, gang and cross-cut saws of all dimensions, and all the leading supplies used in mills, contains much that is useful and instructive to sawyers and others, in the form of suggestioas respecting the use and care of circular and hand saws. The catalogue embraces 128 pages, and is neatly printed, and the illustrations are well executed. To accommodate their customers, the firm have opened branch houses in Memphis, Tenn., and Minneapolis, Minn., where they carry a fall line of saws, saw tools and mill supplies."
- A bookseller listed the following: E. C. Atkins & Company Saws, Saw Tools And Machine Knives. Paperback E. C. Atkins & Company 256 pages. 1928.
- A web page for the alumni of the Arsenal Technical High School of Indianapolis mentions that one of the alumni had apprenticed to "E. C. Atkins Saw Company" in 1941-1942.
- The September 1996 issue of the MWTCA Gristmill had an article, "E.C. Atkins - The Rise of The E.C. Atkins Saw Empire in Indianapolis". We have not yet seen this article.
- Kenneth Cope's American Cooperage Machinery and Tools lists this maker. Cope provided the founding date of the company, the name (Knippenberg) of Atkin's partner, and gives the year of incorporation.