This well-known maker of blacksmithing machinery was founded 1875 by 17 year old Henry Keiper to manufacture the rotary forge blower he had invented. They started manufacturing drill presses by 1889; the first models were hand-powered post drills.
Advertisement from the 1889-03-01 The Hub, a carriage-makers' trade magazine
The firm relocated to Roselle, IL in 1969, after a change in ownership. They ceased operations in 1986, but reopened the following year as Champion Fan Corporation of South Elgin, IL. They no longer make drills.
- This company received a handful of patents that provide some insight into their products and history; see the Patents tab, above.
- A bandsaw with open-web frame was reported by John Orvis. This machine has the Champion Blower & Forge name cast into it.
- A posting in the owwm forum reported a tablesaw from this maker.
- From the January 26, 1896 issue of The New York Times:
LANCASTER, Penn., Jan. 25.—The main building of the Champion Blower and Forge Company of this city was destroyed by fire this evening. George Miller, the watchman, is missing and is believed to have perished in the flames. The loss on property is $70,000; insurance, $60,000.
- From the June 22, 1963 issue of The New York Times, an obituary for Henry Keiper Long, perhaps a grandson of Henry Keiper:
LANCASTER, Pa., June 21—Henry Keiper Long, president of the Champion Blower and Forge Company of this city, and a former president of the Strasburg Rail Road, a well-known tourist attraction, died today at St. Joseph's Hospital. He was 54 years old.
Mr. Long, who attended the Hill School and Yale University, had been active as chairman of horse shows here. He was a past president of the Lancaster Manufacturers Association.
The four-mile Strasburg line, which runs from Strasburg to Paradise, is the nation's oldest short-line railroad. It thrives on the reverse of modernization—by having the oldest equipment possible.
Under the aegis of a group headed by Mr. Long, it recently converted from diesel to steam—and built its passenger payload up to 60,000 annually. Mr. Long also put in an ancient 0-6-0 Baldwin locomotive and an 1891 Maryland & Pennsylvania line coach.
He leaves his wife, Mrs. Helen Hamaker Long; two sons, Henry K., Jr., and Stephen; a daughter, Mrs. Bruce Gingrich; his step-mother, Mrs. Charles B. Long, and a sister, Mrs. S. Reed Keator.
- Carriage and Wagon Makers Machinery and Tools by Kenneth L. Cope, 2004 page 37