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Manufacturers Index - Logan Engineering Co.
History
Last Modified: Mar 28 2018 10:09AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Founded in 1935 as the Logan Engineering Company by Henry H. Logan to manufacturer a Hoist Safety Controller. In 1940, the company began Manufacturing metal lathes in 9", 10", 11", 12", 14" and 15" swing sizes under the Logan and as well as Montgomery Ward Powr-Kraft brands (they did not make the Powr-Kraft woodworking lathes). Between 1940 and 1971, Logan Engineering manufactured around 90,000 metal lathes.

In 1968, Logan Engineering was sold to Houdaille Industries, who continued production of metal lathes until 1985. In 1971, Houdaille moved Logan lathe production out of Chicago and into the hands of another Houdaille business, the Tennessee-based Powermatic Machine Co.; having metalworking machines made by a woodworking machinery specialist led to a drop in quality, at least for a time. By about the mid-1970s the Logan lathes were branded "Logan-Powermatic".

Logan (or Logan-Powermatic) sold milling machines that were made by the Fenlind Engineering Co. See that entry for more information on those "Rockford" style mills.

The book From Industry to Alchemy: Burgmaster, A Machine Tool Company, by Max Holland, examines how the Houdaille acquisition of various machine-tool companies affected product quality; it says that the Powermatic workers, used to the level of precision needed to produce woodworking machines, struggled to understand and deliver the precision needed when making a Logan lathe. We are not certain when Logan lathes ceased production but Houdaille went under in the early 1980s in a leveraged-buyout fiasco. Given the then-emerging competition from offshore makers it is unlikely that Logan lathe production continued beyond that time.

The Logan Actuator Co. was founded in order to continue manufacturing the Lift Safety Controller (which they still make).  Eventually Logan Actuator began offering parts and support for the line of Logan metal lathes that the company made for many years.

Logan Actuator is still in business today and still providing parts and supports for Logan manufactured metal lathes.  They have a web site at http://www.lathe.com/.

Logan Serial Number Information:
To determine the date that a Logan machines was manufacturerd based on its serial number, see Serial Numbers for Logan Lathes, Montgomery Ward Lathes, and Logan Shapers.

Information Sources

  • A detailed history of the Logan Engineering Company is posted on the Logan Actuator web site.
  • Additional information was obtained via an email from Scott Logan, VP of Logan Actuator Co.
  • A 1949 Popular Science publication lists a current address of 4901 Lawrence Ave., Chicago 30, Illinois.