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Manufacturers Index - Oliver Instrument Co.
Last Modified: Jul 1 2011 9:36PM by joelr4
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Oliver of Adrian factory

      The history of Oliver of Adrian, Inc. all began with a man named Edd C. Oliver. Mr. Oliver was considered an “engineering wizard.” Mr. Oliver graduated from Purdue University and later received his master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1900. He then taught mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and also the University of Minnesota. As expressed by one of his associates, “he wasn’t the type of engineer who had an idea once in five years, he had a continual flood of ideas, many of them ahead of the times. And he always could find ways to make them work mechanically.” Mr. Oliver engineered and manufactured several custom pieces of equipment to help businesses increase their production. In 1913, Mr. Oliver organized Oliver Instrument Company in Detroit, Michigan as a small jobbing shop and it was here that the need was found for a filing machine. Since no such machine was in existence, Mr. Oliver proceeded to design and build a machine. The Oliver Die Filer had several variations throughout the years, varying from a bench style filer to a large pedestal heavy duty die making machine. With the decline in industry requirements throughout the years, in 2005 this machine was discontinued. About the same time of the introduction of the Oliver Die Filer, automakers in Detroit were growing and Oliver found it impossible to hold help—the “here today, gone tomorrow” syndrome. In search of labor in 1916, Mr. Oliver decided to move his business to a small industrial town called Adrian, Michigan. By 1931 the company was incorporated. At this point Oliver was manufacturing drill grinders, filing machines, razor stroppers, paring knives and controls for the Manophone Corporation. In 1921 the first drill grinders were introduced. These were known as Models #2, #4, and #5. These Models were replaced somewhere around 1925 with the Models #31, #41, and #51. In 1934 the Model #21 was introduced to sharpen smaller drills from 3/32” to ½” in diameter. This machine is still manufactured today with few variations. In 1938 the Oliver Model 510 was produced to sharpen ¼” to 3” drills in diameter. The Oliver Model 600 Drill Grinder was introduced in 1960 and this machine is still manufactured today. In 1948, a machine to thin the web of the drill was designed called the Drill Point Thinner. With few variations, this machine continues to be manufactured today. Another machine that is still produced today is the Oliver Model 300 HD ACE Tool and Cutter Grinder, which began manufacture in 1946. This machine was originally designed in 1935 and known as the Model 340S ACE. In 1967 Oliver introduced the Recipromatic Cutter Grinder for straight line grinding, which was later changed to the Recipromatic II. In the early 1990’s, with the same principles of the Recipromatic II, the CV Joint Grinder went into production. To compliment the CV Joint Grinder, the CV Joint Puller was designed. Throughout the years, Oliver manufactured numerous tool grinding machines, which include the tumbling barrel, radius grinder, double end grinder, face mill grinder, tap grinder, and the tool bit sharpener. Every piece of equipment delivered to our customers includes quality craftsmanship, reliability, service, and the security in knowing that this equipment is made with pride in the U.S.A.

Oliver of Adrian, Inc. also has a Facebook page.

Information Sources

  • Thanks to Phil Morris for bringing this information to our attention
  • Thanks also goes to Mary Smith ( marys@tc3net.com ) who is the Office Manager at Oliver of Adrian, Inc.