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Manufacturers Index - Wilkin Manufacturing Co.
Last Modified: Apr 25 2013 10:40AM by Jeff_Joslin
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This company, founded by machine designer Theodore S. Wilkin, was a maker of sawmill machinery. It appears to have been founded about 1884, and was bought out by E. P. Allis & Co. sometime before 1902.

Information Sources

  • The history given above is speculative because we have so far found very little direct information on this company.
  • According to patent records, Theodore S. Wilkin was a sawmill designer who moved from Saginaw, MI to Milwaukee sometime between 1881 and 1884. Wilkin received numerous patents for sawmill machinery, many of which were witnessed by William W. Allis or Charles Allis. We had earlier assumed that Wilkin worked for the Milwaukee sawmill maker E. P. Allis & Co., but it now appears much more likely that Theodore S. Wilkin was the man behind Wilkin Manufacturing Co., and his patents were not used by E. P. Allis & Co. until later.
  • In a 2003 article about the machines installed at a Texas sawmill built in 1902, "All were designed by Theodore S. Wilkin, the East Texas sawmill machinist for the E. P. Ellis Co., a sawmill manufacturer of Milwaukee."
  • There was another sawmill designer named Wilkin: William M. Wilkin. Patents record put him in Detroit in 1870, Kalamazoo, MI later that same year, Oscoda, MI in 1880, East Saginaw in 1883 through 1884, Eria, PA in 1884 through 1898, Mobile, AL in 1904, and back to Erie in 1918. Since Theodore was in East Saginaw in 1881, it is likely that the two men are related.
  • The biography of Theodore Trecker, which says that in about 1886 "he moved to Milwaukee and entered apprenticeship at the Wilkin Manufacturing Co. which produced saw-mill machinery. After his three-year apprenticeship, he went to work for the Kempsmith Manufacturing Co. in Milwaukee, a pioneer builder of milling machines..." (Trecker's name is recognized among woodworking machinery aficionados because he formed the firm Kearney & Trecker, which at some point bought Walker-Turner Co., Inc.)
  • A page on one Henry Fink, says of their subject, "He is also financially interested in the Wilkin Manufacturing company, makers of machinery." That was published in 1909, though it may have been written earlier.