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Manufacturers Index - Chicago Machinery Exchange
Last Modified: Aug 30 2016 3:44PM by Jeff_Joslin
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Chicago Machinery Exchange (CME) was established in 1897 as Machinery Exchange Co. by A. J. Kirkland, W. A. Rice and W. D. Sherwood as a woodworking machinery dealer. In early 1905 they changed their name to Chicago Machinery Exchange.. The business survived until 1976, when its then-owner, Waldemar Giertsen, died.

A great many machines have brass reseller's plaques from Chicago Machinery Exchange, but we have also seen machines with that name cast into them. It's impossible to be certain, but we suspect that they did not actually manufacture anything themselves.

Information Sources

  • 1885—According to the book Origin, Growth, and Usefulness of the Chicago Board of Trade, at that time the business located at 13-15 North Canal Street was Dixon & Peters, manufacturers of wood mouldings, brackets, balusters, etc.
  • 1893—The 1893-04-30 The Age of Steel mentions a new catalog from "Chas. P. Willard & Co., 13 ad 15 North Canal Street, Chicago, Ill." of their steam yachts and launches in hand. "This firm are builders of and dealers in steam yachts, steam launches, naphtha and gasoline launches, tug boards and marine machinery of all kinds."
  • 1897—1897-03-11 The National Corporation Reporter, in the section titled "New Illinois Corporations".
    Machinery Exchange, Chicago; $10,000; A. J. Kirkland, W. A. Rice and W. D. Sherwood.
    According to the 1893-01-29 The Age of Steel, W. D. Sherwood had been one of the incorporators of the Simplex Engine & Machine Co. of Chicago.
  • 1897—The 1897-04-29 Engineering News, in the section titled "New Companies".
    Machinery Exchange, Chicago, Ill.; $10,000; to deal in machinery; A. J. Kirkland, W. A. Rice and W. D. Sherwood.
  • 1897—The 1897-05-27 The Iron Age.
    Charles P. Willard & Co., manufacturers of marine enges and biolers, steam launches, yachts, tugboats, &c., have removed from 197 South Canal street to 13 and 15 North Canal street, Chicago.
  • 1897—The 1897-12-23 American Machinist has this classified ad.
    For Sale—One second-hand 400 lb. Morgan steam hammer, in good order, at a bargain. Machine Exchange, 13-15 No. Canal St., Chicago, Ill.
  • 1898—The 1898 Beeson's Marine Directory of the Northwestern Lakes lists "Willard, Chas. P. & Co., 15 North Canal St., Chicago" under "Boat Builders" and "Engine Builders". The July through October 1898 issues of Cassier's Magazine" carry ads for that company's "Willard Water-Tube Marine Boiler for steam yachts and launches".
  • 1900—March 1900 The Wood-Worker has an ad from "Machinery Exchange, 13 and 15 North Canal Street, Chicago, Ill." listing second hand machinery for sale. The ad is about 100 lines long; sample lines include "20, 26, 28, 30 and 36-inch band saws"; "24-inch Walker patent resawer"; "Two-spindle oscillating sander, Buss make"; Dovetailing machine, Boults patent"; "26-in. Michels stationary bed geared roll planer".
  • 1901—In Corporations of New Jersey, List of Certificates Filed in the Department of State During the Year 1901.
    Chesley Machine Co., Agent, Auble T. Chesley. Name changed to Machine Exchange Company, June 19, 1901. 10 Van Beypen St., Jersey City.
    We presume that this is an unrelated business.
  • 1901—The February 1901 The Wood-Worker has a lengthy text ad from "The Machinery Exchange, 13-15 N. Canal St., Chicago".
  • 1903—1903 Proceedings of the Illinois State Board of Equalization lists "Machinery Exchange Co." at 15 Canal Street in Chicago. They had $10,000 in capital stock.
  • 1905—The 1905-03-04 The Iron and Machinery World.
    The Machinery Exchange, Chicago, has changed its name to the Chicago Machinery Exchange.
  • 1905—The June 1905 Ice and Refrigeration lists "Refrigerating Machinery Exchange, Chicago" as a supplier of refrigerating and ice making machinery. We do not believe this business is connected to the woodworking machinery seller.
  • 1906—The 1906 Annual Report of the Illinois Department of Factory Inspection mentions Chicago Machinery Exchange.
  • 1906—Directory of Directors in the City of Chicago, 1906, from the Audit Company of New York, lists Waldemar Giertsen, "13-15 North Canal Street, Chicago Machinery Exchange, President, Treasurer and Director."
  • 1909—The November 1909 issue of Wood Craft lists Chicago Machinery Exchange as a dealer in second-hand machinery, and supplier of bandsaws, boring machines, box making machinery, cabinet planers, carving machines, cutoff saws, cutter heads, dovetailers, dowel machines, end matchers, flooring machines, flue heaters, glue spreaders, grinders, jointers, patternmaker's lathes, turning lathes, mortisers, pattern shop machinery, planing mill machinery, resaws, ripsaws, sanders, sash and door machinery, blind machinery, saw tables, shapers, surfacers, swing saws, tenoners, trimmers, trucks, and veneer presses.
  • 1919—Ad from a 1919 issue of The Wood-Worker for this company.
  • 1941—Norwegian-American studies and records, Volume 12, from 1941, and available in snippet view in Google Books, has this snippet: "Waldemar Giertsen from Bergen died some years ago after becoming the owner and president of the Chicago Machinery Exchange. Dore Lavik, who soon returned to ..."
  • 1957—A 1957 issue of Hitchcock's Wood Working Digest mentions Chicago Machinery Exchange.
  • 1976—Snippet from a 1976 issue of American Machinist.
    WALDEMAR GIERTSEN, president and owner of the Chicago Machinery Exchange, died at his home in Chicago ...
  • An S. A. Woods No. 1 inside moulder has a dealer plate, "Machinery Exchange / Wood Working Machinery / 13 & 15 N. Canal St. Chicago". This plate presumably dates from 1906 or earlier.
  • A tilting-table saw has been seen with "Chicago Machinery Exchange" cast into the base.
  • We have seen 27-inch bandsaws labeled with the "Chicago Machinery Exchange" name. The machines were made by Sidney Tool Co.