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Manufacturers Index - J. H. Miner / Miner Edger Works

J. H. Miner / Miner Edger Works
Baton Rouge, LA; Meridian, MS, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery

Last Modified: Sep 4 2012 8:15AM by Jeff_Joslin
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James Henry Miner, of Baton Rouge, La., received 1888 and 1889 patents for sawmill dogs. His was an elegantly simple design that automatically drew the log tightly against the knee. Miner manufactured and sold his design under the name J. H. Miner. Apparently Miner had considerable experience working in sawmill sharpening shops, because he wrote a well received treatise on the subject.

In 1892 or '93, Miner relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi, where he apparently continued making his sawmill dogs, and opened a small shop making and conditioning sawblades for sawmills. In early 1895 Miner became seriously ill and required surgery. After recovering he moved his operations about 60 miles inland from Biloxi to Lumberton, Mississippi. He continued to manufacture and recondition saws for the lumber trade, but so far as we can tell he did not continue making sawmill dogs.

Miner continued manufacturing and reconditioning bandmill and circular sawmill blades for the rest of his career. He obtained several patents related to this work, including patents for insertible teeth and a machine for cutting the tooth-sockets in sawblades. He also received numerous patents related to systems for lubricating a railroad locomotive's outside wheel while going around a curve. He also received multiple patents related to generating acetylene gas.

In 1923 Miner designed a new one-piece lumber edger. Miner started a new business, the Miner Edger Works, to manufacture his design, which represented a signicant safety advance because it virtually eliminated kickback. His new firm also made a shingle mill, although that product was not as successful as the edger.

James Miner died in 1944 at age 82. At some point the Miner edger design was acquired by Meadows Mills, Inc., which continues to manufacture a considerably updated version of the original design.

Information Sources

  • Ad in May 1889 issue of The Wood-Worker, courtesy of Keith Rucker.
  • Patent records provide Miner's complete name and also provide design details of the sawmill dogs.
  • The 1890 book, The Mill and Lumberman's Success: a treatise on the care of all kinds of saws is available online through Google Books.
  • The 1905 booklet, Miner's Manual of Saw Hammering and Filing is available online through Google Books.
  • The U. S. Forest Products Laboratory published a booklet dated March 1936, Operating small sawmills, methods, bibliography, and sources of equipment by C. J. Telford. A table lists the makers of various types of equipment, including circular sawmills, band sawmills, edgers, and planers. This company was listed as a maker of sawblades and edgers.
  • A 1944 edition of American Lumberman carried the following obituary, which is truncated because of Google Book's copyright-based restrictions.
    JAMES HENRY MINER, 82, founder and president of the J. H. Miner Saw Manufacturing Co., Meridian, Miss., and prominent industrialist, died at his ... Miner entered the sawmill business In 1881 and in 1904 established the J. H. Miner Saw Manufacturing Co. in Lumberton, ...
  • Based on the data points we have, we can put Miner in the following locations.
    • Baton Rouge: 1889-05 to 1891-07.
    • Biloxi: 1893-04 to 1893-04
    • Lumberton: 1895-04 to 1918-02.
      • As "J. H. Miner" 1890-05 to 1895-04.
      • As "J. H. Miner Saw Works" 1905 to 1911-07.
      • As "J. H. Miner Saw Manufacturing Co. 1915-03 to 1947. One source said "Incorporated 1912".