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Manufacturers Index - Niagara Machine & Tool Works
Last Modified: Sep 2 2017 9:09AM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1879 the Niagara Stamping & Tool Co., also known as the Niagara Stamping & Tool Works, were established by Adam Heinz, Michael J. Stark and George J. Munschauer. Heinz and Munschauer were already partners in a manufacturing firm that made ice boxes and bird cages among their products. In their early days, the Niagara Stamping & Tool Co. made tools and machinery for cans and canning, plus they did stamping and punching for other manufacturers.

From 1897-07-03 The Metal Worker

By 1884 the company had 60 employees, and was increasingly specializing in sheet metal machinery. Stark left the business in 1888, and the local soap-making business of Lautz Brothers—Munschauer's wife, Margaret, was a member of the Lautz family—became a partner. The business continued to thrive and by 1889 they had nearly 150 employees. In 1890, George Munschauer died unexpectedly. We do not know how the ownership changed at that time. In about 1897 the name changed to Niagara Machine & Tool Co., and by 1900 the name Niagara Machine & Tool Works was being used. By 1909 George A. Lautz was president, Adam E. Heinz was vice president, and George R. Munschauer was secretary and treasurer.

Information Sources

  • The 1884 book, History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, Volume II, by H. Perry Smith.
    The Niagara Stamping and Tool Company, 147 Elm street, was established in 1879, by the present proprietors, Adam Heinz, Michael J. Stark and George J. Munschauer; they employ about sixty hands and manufacture tools and machinery for making tin cans and canning outfits, and stamp tin and other metals.
  • 1884 Buffalo Directory lists Niagara Stamping and Tool Co. (M. J. Stark, Heinz & Munschauer), 147 Elm, as makers of japanned ware, fruit can tools, seal presses, die sinkers, tinmen's stock and tools, tin cans, seamless tin boxes, canmakers' tools, patterns, jewelers' tools,
  • The 1888 The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide lists Niagara Stamping & Tool Co., Buffalo, N. Y., as suppliers of sheet metal and power and foot presses.
  • January 1888 Duetsch-Amerkanischen Techniker-Verbandes lists Edmund Zeh as a mechanical engineer with Niagara Stamping and Tool Works of Buffalo, N. Y.
  • 1889-08-01 The Iron Age.

    Niagara Stamping and Tool Company.—Conspicuous among the manufacturing establishments of Buffalo, N. Y., and occupying an important position in the field of industry devoted to the production of sheet-metal-working machinery is that of the Niagara Stamping and Tool Company. The plant of this concern is located at the corner of Randall and Superior streets, Buffalo, and gives employment to nearly 150 hands all the year round. The buildings include a fine four-story factory, with blacksmith forge, stamping annex and other accessories, including a spacious fire-proof vault for the storage of patterns, of which the firm own many dollars‘ worth in active use. The factory is situated directly opposite the large brick factory of Heinz & Munschauer. The office is on the ground-floor in the northeast corner of the building. The first floor is devoted to the manufacture of power and foot shears, forming-rolls, foot-presses, power-presses and special machinery of large build, numbers of which are at all times in process of manufacture. Behind this is the stamping-room, where coal-vase tops and bottoms, bird-cage bottoms, cooler tops and bottoms, besides many other specialties which the firm are called on to manufacture, are turned out. The blacksmith shop is fitted up on the most improved plan and is well supplied with steam-hammers, rolls and everything necessary for the vigorous prosecution of this branch of the business. The second floor is devoted entirely to the manufacture of dies, in which the firm have a steady and continuous business. Leading from this floor is a room devoted to light stamping and the manufacture of certain kinds of hardware specialties on which the firm are employed year round. The third floor is devoted chiefly to the manufacture of tinners‘ tools and machines, and is replete with all the latest devices for milling, boring and shaping such as the demands of the business of the resent day require. The fourth floor is utilized as a stock-room, pattern-shop, &c., and together with the paint-shop, furnaces for drying same, shipping department, boiler and engine room, make a complete plant, which enables the proprietors to prosecute their business with vigor and dispatch.

    Their specialty is machinery for working sheet-metal and wire, their squaring shears meeting with a marked success. In addition to the manufacture of tinners‘ tools and machines the firm deal largely in canning outfits for canning factories and are extensively engaged in the manufacture of presses and dies. In July, 1888, Mr. Stark retired from the business and Lautz Bros., the noted soap manufacturers, entered into a copartnership with Heinz & Munschauer and now constitute the members of the firm.

  • 1890 Seeger and Guernsey's Cyclopaedia of the Manufactures and Products of the United States / New York lists Niagara Stamping & Tool Co. of Buffalo as makers of press dies, power shears, power presses, dies, burring machines, can makers' tools, cornice machines, corrugating machines, crimping machines, hand punches, foot presses, tinsmiths' tools, turning machines, and wiring machines.
  • 1890-10-23 The Iron Age.

    Consequent on the death of George J. Munschauer, a meeting of the employees of Messrs. Heinz & Munschauer and the Niagara Stamping and Tool Company was held Thursday noon, October 2, at which the following resolutions were adopted:

    Resolved, That inasmuch as it hath pleased the Almighty to remove from a career of usefulness from our midst our esteemed fellow citizen and employer, George J. Munschauer, we hereby ten er to his afflicted family our sincere sympathy in this the hour of their bereavement We desire to place upon record the many virtues of the deceased gentleman, his patriotic response to the call of his country, his careful and prudent business habits, his cordial disposition and unfailing courtesy, which endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. In him we lose a kind and considerate employer, an upright man of business, the city a good citizen, and his family by his loss a kind father and loving friend, whose loss can never be repaired.

    Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the bereaved family, and that we attend the funeral in a body.

  • 1893 issue of The Buffalo Directory lists Niagara Stamping & Tool Co., Superior cor. Randall, as makers of tinners' and canners' machinery and tools, plus presses, dies, cornice makers' machines, boxes and tinware. Frederick Juergens was superintendent, William Aspdin was salesman, Charles Schweigert and William F. Schweigert Jr. were employees, and Jessie Tuley was bookkeeper.
  • 1896-05-21 Stove and Hardware Reporter has a small advertisement from Niagara Stamping and Tool Co.
  • May 1898 Modern Machinery.
    POWER GAP SHEARS—Intended for cutting iron and soft sheet steel up to 3-16 inch in thickness, and to trim and split sheets of any length up to 15 niches from the edge; has an arrangement on the clutch controlling the motion by which it is coupled in a positive manner to the gear wheel, thereby preventing heavy cross-head from dropping ahead of the wheel on account of its weight; a construction which does away with counter weights or undue brake pressure employed to overcome this trouble. Niagara Machine and Tool Company, Buffalo, N. Y.
  • 1900-03-15 The Iron Age from "Niagara Machine and Tool Works, Buffalo, N. Y."
  • December 1905 The Metal Industry.
    Owing to their increased business the Niagara Machine and Tool Works of Buffalo, N.Y., may build a new boiler house and blacksmith shop. They manufacture sheet metal machine tools.
  • 1909-11-25 The Iron Trade Review.
    The Niagara Machine & Tool Works authorizes the statement that it will build a new plant. The company has purchased a site of 6½ acres in Buffalo, near the Belt Line crossing of Northland avenue. This project is to supplement the present plant located at Superior and Randall streets. A heavier type of tools will be manufactured at the new plant, including shears, presses, punches, sheet metal, working machinery, etc. Considerable new equipment will 'be purchased, such as planers, lathes and milling machinery. A part of the mechanical equipment of the present factory will be removed to the new works. It is expected building will begin in January or February. The Niagara Machine & Tool Works was established in 1880. Its officers are: George A. Lautz, president; Adam E. Heinz vice president; George R. Munschauer, secretary and treasurer.
  • 1918-03-28 The Iron Trade Review.
    George R. Munschauer, formerly secretary and treasurer of the Niagara Machine & Tool Works. Buffalo, was recently elected president to succeed George A. Lautz. He has been connected with the company for about 20 years and is succeeded as secretary by W. F. Schweigert, who has seen 30 years' service, and by F. E. Munschauer as treasurer, affiliated with the company for the past 10 years.
  • From a web page on the Margaret Lautz Munschauer house.

    The house was built in Queen Anne style in 1894 for Mrs. Margaret Lautz Munschauer, widow of George J. Munschauer, one of the founders of Niagara Machine & Tool Works, a company that was active from its founding in 1879 until the 1990s.

    George Munschauer was also a partner of another company which he joined in 1868. It was founded in 1865 and manufactured ice boxes, bird cages, toilet ware and other goods. It originally was called Gessellgen, Heinz & Fisher. The firms name changed as partners came and left. In 1872 it was known as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer when George N. Pierce became a partner. He left in 1878, moved down the street and made the same products, then bicycles and eventually the Pierce-Arrow car.

    George's widow inherited the two businesses. Her two oldest sons ultimately ran Niagara Machine and Tool Works and her youngest son became president of Heinz & Munschauer that was making electric refrigerators when it went out of business in 1941.

  • In the 1959 patent infringement lawsuit, Niagara Machine & Tool Works v. Famco Machine Co., concerns alleged infringement of Niagara's design patent D167,710, which covers the ornamental design of a power squaring shear, by several models of Famco shears. The court found that the various "ornamental" features of the Niagara patent were anticipated by various Niagara machines pre-dating the patent application, and the Famco designs more strongly resembled those older designs than they did the patented design.
  • 1994-01-12 The Buffalo News.

    Niagara Machine & Tool Works and sister company Clearing Inc. of Chicago have merged into one new firm, according to an announcement by Verson International Group, which is the parent of both companies.

    Clearing-Niagara begins operation with more than 175 years of experience in mechanical/hydraulic press design and manufacturing under its belt.

    Verson purchased 115-year-old Niagara Machine from the Munschauer family, and Clearing Inc. from the Japanese firm Hitachi-Zosen in 1992.

    The consolidated firm will maintain its corporate headquarters, manufacturing operations and new equipment sales at its Buffalo complex at 683 Northland Ave. Total employment locally is about 350, said Elmer Marien, the new company's manager of marketing communications.

    Aftermarket sales and service will be handled from offices in Chicago, Detroit and Mexico City.

  • A progress-is-fine blog post gives a brief history of this firm and provides several nice ads and photographs related to the company.
  • 2012-09-19 Amherst Bee.

    Edwin A. Munschauer Jr., engineer

    Edwin A. Munschauer Jr., 94, of Snyder, died Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.

    Mr. Munschauer was born in Buffalo and attended Lafayette High School. He went on to receive a degree in engineering from Cornell University in 1939.

    For 55 years, he worked at his family’s company, Niagara Machine and Tool Works, which was founded by his grandfather in 1879. Mr. Munschauer was serving as executive vice president when he retired in 1991 and had many patents established throughout his career...