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Manufacturers Index - Luther Grinder Manufacturing Co.

Luther Grinder Manufacturing Co.
Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Sep 10 2019 11:12AM by Mark Stansbury
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The Luther Shop Tool Grinder, 1912

The company made hand-powered bench grinders and the Jackson hand-cranked lawn mower grinder. Clarence J. Luther founded the business that became Luther Grinder Manufacturing Co. in 1895. Luther had acquired a patent for a sickle grinder, and arranged with with Gilson Manufacturing Co.'s Port Washington, WI, foundry to manufacture it. In 1897, Luther and principals of Gilson formed C. J. Luther Co. to continue this arrangement. In 1899, Luther became dissatisfied and formed Luther Brothers & Neuens with a patternmaker from Gilson. Luther's behavior and the competing enterprises led to lawsuits and appeals. Luther moved his business to Milwaukee, in partnership with his brothers Oliver C., Charles, and George M. Luther, as simply Luther Brothers. According to city directories, by 1904 it was incorporated as Luther Brothers Manufacturing Co. In the 1907 city directory, it was Luther Brothers Co. Both names are used interchangeably on advertising for the period. For the 1910 directory, the name changed to Luther Grinder Manufacturing Co.

Luther used many brand or product-line names over the years. These included Best Maide, Bi-Pedal, Challenge, Hummer, Mechanics' Special, Dimo-Grit, Multi-Gear, Compacto, Fire Fly, Giant, Hummer, Farm Special, Gem, and Spartan.

A 1912 ad for the pedal-powered Luther Shop Tool Grinder showed some of its 16 attachments, a jig saw, lathe and saw, and a drill.

In 1930, "The Luther Grinder Manufacturing Company has been purchased and reorganized by a group of Milwaukeeans, who incorporated the concern as Luther Grinder and Tool company, for $100,000." The company was active through the 1940s, ending as a subsidiary of American Hydraulics, Inc., of Sheboygan, WI.

Related companies cited by the National Museum of American History include C. J. Luther Co.; Luther Bros. & Neuens; Luther Co.; Luther Grinder Mfg. Co.; Luther Grinder & Tool Co.

Information Sources

  • Posting to the oldwwmachines forum that mentions a grinder from this company and a 1919 newspaper ad.
  • Milwaukee City Directories
  • Luther et al. v. C. J. Luther Co. et al., The Northwestern Reporter, Vol. 94, pages 69-74.
  • 1922 patent, granted to Bernard Bethke and assigned to this company, for a hand-cranked grinder.
  • Article from the Milwaukee Sentinel, 26 Oct 1930.
  • The National Museum of American History's page, Trade catalogs from Luther Bros. Co. provides more history on this firm.
    Sickle grinding machines ; mower knife grinders ; tool grinding machinery ; "Western" automatic sickle grinder ; corundum diamond steels and scythe stones ; "Wonder" drill ; "Davenport Disc and Colter Sharpener" ; "Dewey Stock Waterer" ; "Combination Anvil, Vise and Drilling Machine" ; "Luther's Combination Brace and Force Feed Drill" ; "Luther's Ideal Drilling Attatchment"... "Bolens Patent Mower Knife Grinder" ; "Luther's Dimo-Grit Grinders" ; "Best-Maide" grinders ; buffing and polishing equipment ; hand grinders ; electric grinders ; belt-driven grinders ; "barber shear and clipper grinder" ; "Warren" tool grinders ; "Luther skate sharpener" ; vises ; grinding wheels and sharpening stones ; other hardware and grinding equipment.