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Manufacturers Index - Fosdick Machine Tool Co.
Last Modified: Jul 5 2018 9:25PM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1887 the Fosdick & Plucker Machine Tool Co. was established by Philip C. Fosdick and George E. Plucker, and was making radial drilling machines and jig boring machines. They reportedly manufactured radial drills for the Lodge & Davis Machine Tool Co. By 1897 Plucker was in ill health and retired from the business; the business was reorganized as Fosdick Machine Tool Co. Plucker died soon after, and in 1900 Fosdick partnered with one John K. Holloway and reorganized the business again, this time as the Fosdick & Holloway Machine Tool Co. In 1902 Holloway was in ill health and sold his interest to Fosdick, who reorganized (again!) as Fosdick Machine Tool Co.; Holloway died in 1905.

Fosdick Machine Tool and its predecessors specialized in jig boring machines, radial drilling machines and horizontal boring machines. They also made a range of other types of drilling machines, as well as grinding machines and lathes. In 1906 they sold their modest lathe business to Cincinnati Lathe & Tool Co. Apparently Fosdick resumed manufacturing lathes during World War I, but this was never a significant portion of their business.

Philip Fosdick was involved in a variety of businesses and activities. In 1895 he was elected to the State Legislature where he served one term. He was president of the Cincinnati Chuck Co., with R. K. LeBlond as vice president. He was also president of the Cincinnati Gear Co.

From the 1914 book, Cincinnati, The Queen City: Newspaper Reference Book

Philip Fosdick died in 1917. The business survived him and continued on successfully until in 1956 it was acquired by R. K. LeBlond Machine Tool Co., which operated it as a subsidiary under the Fosdick Machine Tool Co. name. In 1970 the Fosdick subsidiary was absorbed into the LeBlond organization.

Information Sources

  • 1880/81 Williams' Cincinnati Directory lists "Fosdick Philip C. clk. 34 Vine, h. Mt. Hope Road, Price's Hill". Also listed is "Holloway C. M., Wholesale Dealer in Ohio River, West Virginia and Kanawha Salt, Office, 34 Vine; Residence, Gilbert Av, Walnut Hills". Chas. M. Holloway was a dealer in salt. A decade later Fosdick partnered with John K. Holloway so this connection to Chas. M. Holloway is intriguing.
  • 1885 Spencer & Craig's Cincinnati Illustrated Business Directory has no listing for Fosdick or for Plucker.
  • June 1886 Williams' Cincinnati Directory has no listing for Fosdick & Plucker.
  • June 1887 Williams' Cincinnati Directory lists "Fosdick & Plucker, (Philip F. & Geo. E. P.) drills, n.e.c. 6th and Culvert".
  • 1887-8 Spencer & Craig's Cincinnati Illustrated Business Directory lists "Fosdick & Plucker, drills, n.e.cor. 6th and Culvert".
  • 1888-89 Williams' Cincinnati Directory list "Fosdick & Plucker (Philip C. F. & Geo. E. P.) drills, n.e.c. 6h and Culvert".
  • 1892 Spencer & Craig's Cincinnati Illustrated Business Directory lists "Fosdick & Plucker, drills, n.e.cor. 6th and Culvert".
  • 1894 Spencer & Craig's Cincinnati Illustrated Business Directory lists "Fosdick & Plucker, drills, n.e.cor. 6th and Culvert".
  • The 1896 Journal of the House of Representatives for the Ohio General Assembly, House of Representatives, mentions Philip C. Fosdick numerous times. He was on the standing committees of Finance, Common Schools, and Temperance. Fosdick was the Representative from Hamilton County. The 1896-7 Manual of Legislative Practice in the General Assembly of the State of Ohio has biographies of the Representatives, including one for Fosdick: "Philip C. Fosdick, Representative from Hamilton county, was born April 21, 1858, in Louisville, Ky., has resided in Cincinnati since he was four years of age. He was educated in the district and Hughes high schools of Cincinnati. Mr. Fosdick is a manufacturer and is president of The Fosdick & Plucker Machine Tool Company of Cincinnati. Has never taken any active interest in politics until elected as a Republican to the 72d General Assembly in 1895." Fosdick was best known for the Fosdick High Hat Law that required ladies to remove their hats in theatres and other public indoor spaces.
  • The 1920 Williams' Cincinnati Directory lists "Cincinnati Chuck Co (The), P C Fosdic pres, R K LeBlond vice pres, J A Collins secy and treas n e c Spring Grove Av and Sassafras". Also, "Cincinnati Gear Co. (The). Philip C. Fosdick, President; John Christensen, Vice President; Chas. A Stub, Secretary; John H. Clermont, Treasurer; Gears and Gear Cutting. 4th floor Murdock Bldg., 120 Opera Place". Also, "Fosdic Machine Tool Co (The) Wm Herman pres n w c Blue Rock and Apple".
  • From the 1914 book Cincinnati, The Queen City: Newspaper Reference Book. "PHILIP C. FOSDICK. President of the Cincinnati Gear Company, Cincinnati, Ohio.
    A life-long resident of Cincinnati; son of James William and Louise Fosdick. Attended district schools and Hughes High School of Cincinnati. In 1887 organized the Fosdick Machine Tool Company, which is still one of Cincinnati’s largest industries in that line. Was a member of the Seventy-second General Assembly, member and President of Board of Control for five years, and is at present Director of Public Service. Belongs to Business Men’s Club; Country Club; Automobile Club; Cincinnati Whist Club; Blaine Club and various Masonic bodies. Mr. Fosdick is the author of the celebrated High Hat Bill passed by the Legislature of Ohio in 1896, Ohio being the first State to adopt this law."
  • 1897-04-10 Hardware Age. "Cincinnati, Ohio.—Fosdick & Plucker, manufacturers of machine tools, at No. 616 Culvert Street, have turned the firm into a corporation under the name of the Fosdick Machine Tool Co., with William T. Fosdick as president and general manager, he having acquired control of the establishment, Mr. George Plucker, the junior partner, retiring from the business." We can make no sense of the name "William T. Fosdick". We have not found much information on William T. Fosdick: between 1917 and 1922 (at least), he was a consulting engineer in Cincinnati.
  • 1902-06-19 The Iron Trade Review: "A change has been made in the Fosdick & Holloway Machine Tool Co., Philip Fosdick having purchased the entire interest of J. K. Holloway. Mr. Holloway has been in ill health for some time and is compelled to leave the city. The name of the company will be changed to the Fosdick Machine Tool Co. and the business will continue as heretofore. Mr. Fosdick, speaking of the business of the concern, said that it was extremely good, though mostly domestic. 'However,' he added, 'we are looking for an increased trade in England now that their war troubles are over.'"
  • Williams' 1905-6 Cincinnati Directory lists "Fosdick machine Tool Co. (The), Philip Fosdick, President; William Herman, Vice President; Manufacturers of Radial and Horizontal Drills, and Boring, Drilling and Milling Machines, Blue Rock and Apple sts.; Telephone Park 17. / Fosdick Philip, Member Board of Control, Court House; Residence, c. s. Dakota Av. north of Dana Av.
  • Cassier’s Magazine Sep 1906 page vii
  • 1917-01-25 The Iron Trade Review. Some of the facts given here are at odds with other sources and we suspect this obituary is not very accurate. "Death of Philip C. Fosdick—Philip C. Fosdick, aged 59 years, president of the Cincinnati Gear Co., Cincinnati, died Jan. 22 at the hotel Halcyon, Miami, Fla., where he had gone in search of health. Death was due to uraemic poison. Mr. Fosdick was one of the best known men in the machine tool industry in Cincinnati. When a young man, he entered the employ of the Lodge & Davis Machine Tool Co., Cincinnati, and later organized the Fosdick-Plucker Machine Tool Co., which was later dissolved upon the death of Mr. Plucker. In 1887, Mr. Fosdick organized the Fosdick Machine Tool Co., Cincinnati, and became president of that concern. In 1897, he sold his interest to that company, and became associated with the Kern Machine Tool Co., but resigned when that company moved its plant to Hamilton, O. He was then elected president of the Cincinnati Gear Co., which position he held at the time of his death. Mr. Fosdick was also keenly interested in politics and served as the director of public service of Cincinnati in 1914 and 1915. He was also president of the board of control for five years, and a member of the seventy-second general assembly of Ohio, from Hamilton."
  • American Lathe Builders: 1810-1910 by Kenneth L. Cope, 2001
  • The 2009 book, Cincinnati's Northside Neighborhood, by Dann Woellert. "Phillip C. Fosdick (1858-1917) partnered in 1900 with John K. Holloway (1867-1905) and built the building shown here on Blue Rock Street, forming Fosdick and Holloway Company. They were famous for their jig borers and manufactured for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1956, the company became a subsidiary of the Leblond Machine Tool Company and then in 1970 were folded into Leblond."
  • The Smithsonian National Museum of American History lists 225 items related to Fosdick Machine Co., including catalogs, manuals, price lists and photographs. There are also uncatalogued items including blueprints and technical papers. They lists the products made: "Jig borers; grinders; radial and sensitive radial drills; hydraulic radial drills; upright drills; high speed drills; superspeed ball bearing sensitive drills; turret drills; tape drills; numerical control; tapping equipment; radial layout machine; spindles; traveling bases; automatic positioners; tape turn."
  • A FindAGrave webpage shows a gravestone: "Philip Fosdick / April 21, 1858 / January 22, 1917".
  • The UrbanOhio.com website has a page with a photograph of a stone building sign, "A. D. 1900 / The Fosdick & Holloway Machine Tool Co.".