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Manufacturers Index - W. P. Davis

W. P. Davis
North Bloomfield, NY; Rochester, NY, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Sep 24 2015 9:55AM by Jeff_Joslin
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From 1881, and perhaps earlier, W. P. Davis operated out of North Bloomfield, NY, making drill presses and key seating machines, and also acting as a full-line dealer in machinery for working metal and wood. In early 1889 he opened a sales office in Rochester, and by late 1890 the works (factory) had also moved from North Bloomfield to Rochester. By this time Davis was also manufacturing engine lathes.

William P. and Charles F. Davis reorganized the firm in 1894 as the W. P. Davis Machine Co. of Rochester, NY. William died in 1904 and Charles left in 1914, the company being again reorganized in 1915 as the Davis Machine Co., and was located at 126-130 Mill Street, Rochester, NY.

From 1911 Rochester City Directory

Davis Keyseaters are still being made by Hansford Parts & Products Co. of Macedon, NY.

Information Sources

  • Article in the September 1881 issue of Manufacturer & Builder, described W. P. Davis's drill press.
  • July 1882 issue of Manufacturer & Builder.
    W. P. Davis, of North Bloomfield, N. Y., ran his works day and night, from January 1st to April 1st, when he increased his facilities until he thought he could keep up with orders. Now he is again obliged to start up on overtime, and states that, judging from letters received from users of his machines, he will continue to have a large sale for some time to come.
  • Brief mention in the March 1885 issue of Manufacturer & Builder, in an article about the New Orleans Exhibition. Davis was exhibiting a pair of key-seating machines.
  • The American Artifacts web site has a web page that quotes a 7 September 1883 letter from Davis. The letter is signed, "W. P. DAVIS, Proprietor, North Bloomfield Foundry and Machine Tool Works."
  • 1889-01-10 American Machinist.

    W. P. Davis (Upright Drills and Slotting Machines), North Bloomfield, N. Y., writes us:

    Business has been fairly good the past year and have turned out and sold as many of our special machines as in any previous year. We have not brought out any new machines the past year, but expect to build a very large machine the coming year, especially for heavy key-seating. We find, since we have made a push on key-seating machinery, many have learned the value of such special machinery, and the demand is increasing, and we have now a call for special heavy machines, suitable for cutting key-ways in large gears, propeller wheels, etc., etc., and expect to bring out such a machine the coming season. There is a large field in this direction; but mechanics, as a rule, have to be educated up the the point that it is really advisable to have special tools for such work, instead of using a "makeshift" arrangement, as is used in many shops at the present day.

    We are to open a salesroom and office at Nos. 169 & 171 Mill street, Rochester, N. Y., next month, and shall keep a full line of machinists' tool, engines and boilers. This will give us better shipping factilies, and ship more promptly. We shall run our foundry and machine works at North Bloomfield as usual. We are running full time (10 hours) and full complement of workmen, and expect to continue the coming year. We have made a trip within past month both East and West, and find everything looking well for a good year's business, and also find thre is already a demand springing up that is felt especially by the larger dealers in machinery. We have made several minor improvements in the manufacture of our tools, but nothing of importance.

  • 1890-09-01 The Mechanical News.
    W. P. Davis has recently been moving to his new shop in Rochester, N. Y. It is located directly on the Genesee Falls, having a water power of 100 ft. tall. The building is strictly fireproof, and is thoroughly heated by steam and ventilated, having elevators and every modern appliance. It was expected that everything would be in running order by the 10th of this month. Mr. Davis is putting in quite a large quantity of new machinery, including lathes, millers, planers, grinding machines, etc. He writes: "I shall continue to operate my works at North BLoomfield at the present, but my facilities here are such that I am increasing my output of machinery. I shall soon be in condition to furnish promptly upright drills of the latest improved pattern, from 10 in. to 36 in., planers from 20 in. to 42 in., of any length of bed required, and lathes from 10 in. to 30 in. I shall operate my store as usual, in which we keep a full line of every kind of machine tools that is kept in stock by any machinery house in the country, also tools and supplies. My works here are distinctly separate from my sales room, and all work will be made in large quantities, thus insuring the best possible tool for the least money. I am positioned to ship promptly all goods manufactured by me, and shall soon have out a full line of larger tools."
  • 1891-01-10 The Age of Steel, advertisement.
    Key Seating Machines, 20-inch Drills. Iron Planers a Specialty. Send for list of New and Second-Hand Lathes, Planers, Drills, or Anything in Machinists' Tools or Supplies. W. P. Davis, Rochester, N. Y. Works at North Bloomfield.
  • 1892-11-15 Scientific Machinist.
    W. P. Davis, of ROchester, N. Y., reports business satisfactory. Mr. Davis is the only dealer in machinery and supplies in Western New York. He removed from North Bloomville to Rochester a few years ago and opened a supply store, which has prospered beyond his expectations. He has a factory down on Mill race, where his very popular line of drill presses and cutting-off machines are built. Mr. Davis has an 1892 catalogue of his machinery and supplies, containing some 300 pages, which he will be pleased to send free to any one thinking of purchasing machinery and supplies.
  • A posting on a genealogy mailing list says that William P. Davis was the proprietor of W. P. Davis Machine Co., and his brother, Charles F. Davis, also worked for the company.
  • American Lathe Builders: 1810-1910 by Kenneth L. Cope, 2001 page 38