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Manufacturers Index - Adjustable Saw Table Co.

Adjustable Saw Table Co.
Fitchburg, MA, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

Last Modified: Oct 2 2012 7:16PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This business was established in 1888 by Frederic E. Farwell to manufacture a patented tablesaw and fence. He expanded into manufacturing other woodworking machinery plus engines and boilers. In December of 1898 the name changed to Wachusett Machine Co. The business survived until 1911 but we have found no data points after that time.

Advertisement from the 1891 "Fireside Legends"

Information Sources

  • The book Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester, Massachusetts, edited by Ellery Bicknell Crane, 1907, has the following entry.

    Frederick E. Farwell, youngest child of Levi Farwell, was born at Lancaster, July 12, 1849. He attended the public schools of his native town and could have gone to college, but he preferred business and at an early age went to work in tht furniture factory of Merriam & Hall at Leominster. At the age of eighteen he went to Fitchburg to work for A. A. Beckwith & Company, lumber dealers, and held a responsible position with this concern for seventeen years. Mr. Farwell was gifted with mechanical ability and acquired skill as a machinist as well as at wood-working. He devoted his spare hours to devising machinery, and in 1888 secured a valuable patent on a new saw table. He decided to manufacture his machine himself and started in a small building on Newton Lane. In addition to the construction of his saw tables, he began to make and sell engines, boilers and wood-working machinery and to rebuild second-hand machines taken in trade. He soon developed a prosperous business which outgrew the original quarters. He bought the property at the rear of 5 Main street and added from time to time to the buildings according to the growth of his own business and that of his tenants. At present he has three large buildings, one of which is forty by one hundred feet, three story and basement; another forty by seventy-two feet, three story and basement; and the third thirty by sixty feet, three story and basement, with ell twenty-five by fifty-two feet. He has also just built a new -factory there for his own use forty-five by eighty feet, part of which is two stories high. Among the concerns located there are the C. H. Cowdrey Machine Company; the Penniman Company, manufacturers of piano case trusses; the Mossman Novelty Wood Turning Company; Tenancy & Merriam, pattern makers; E. H. Whittemore. maker of paper boxes; the American Comb Company; the Fitchburg Plating Works; the Star Laundry.

    Since his beginning with the saw table Mr. Farwell has continued to invent useful machinery. He makes a specialty of working out ideas and plans for inventors, and of supplying the needs of manufacturers who arc devising new machinery for their factories. He has taken out fourteen patents. Among the more valuable of these is a machine to cut the aperture in a window frame for the weights to be put in, an edging saw for joining long boards, and a quick-acting vice. ...

  • Report of the Sixteenth Triennial Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, held September-November 1887, contains this report:
    Adjustable Saw Table Co., Fitchbury, Mast.—This exhibit consisted of Farwell's Adjustable Saw Table, several patterns. Common Saw Bench, Gauges, Moulder Collars, Screw Vise. Rip Saw, Edging Machines, Cut-off Saw, etc.; also the Baker Planers, and other wood-working machinery, Baud and Scroll Saws, Boring and Plowing Machines, and Jointing Saw.—These various machines were of good design, excellent material and workmanship; and the exhibition was in all respects a very commendable one. Users of wood-working machinery will make no mistake in trying those of the make exhibited by this company. For manifest superiority, the award is a Silver Medal.
  • Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for the Year 1891 mantions the purchase of "Sixty Farewell's [sic] rapid-transit wood-working screw vise. Manufactured by Adjustable Saw Table Co., Fitchburg, Mass."
  • Annual statistics of manufactures for 1898 by the Massachusetts. Bureau of Statistics of Labor, in its "Industrial Chronology", indicates that "Wachusett Machine Co. succeeded Adjustable Saw Table Co."
  • The 1912 edition of Abstract of the Certificates of Corporations Organized Under the General Laws of Massachusetts lists Wachusett Machine Company of Fitchburg as having filed a certificate of condition on July 11, 1911.