This maker of woodworking and metal-working machinery was established in 1917, but really started to pick up steam in the early 1930s with the decrease in cost of small motors that enabled "portable" (i.e., not driven by line-shaft) machinery. Duro machines were aimed at the light industrial and high-end home users. In the mid-1930s Duro hired machine designer Theron Hedgpeth, who was general manager of home-shop machinery maker Portable Power Tool Corp. Hedgpeth's early designs for Duro were nearly identical to their equivalents in Portable Power Tool Corp.'s product lineup.
Duro's lathe was sold by Montgomery Ward. In 1968 Rockwell Manufacturing Co. purchased the overarm router-shaper and a belt sander from Duro; the belt sander was never made by Rockwell.
The company survived to at least 1981, and probably into the late 1980s. By that time they were facing strong competition from Taiwan. A company named JAF, Inc. of Ashland, WI, owned the rights to the name from 1989 though 1996. The Duro name no longer exists, and parts and service are not available. If you need parts, your best option is to buy a parts-donor machine.
Address (1949 Popular Mechanics): 2651 N. Kildare Ave, Chicago 39, Illinois.
- Since 1929, according to trademark filings. Batory's catalog list says, "Est. 1917".
- Duro trademarked a "Tools of Progress" logo; first use was 1934, and it was apparently used for "wood-working and metal-working machines, tools, and apparatus, namely bench saws, band saws, scroll saws, jig saws, drill presses, drilling machines, lathes, jointers, shapers, carvers, routers, portable sanders, and belt sanders." The "Duro" trademark lists table saws, jointers, drill presses, bandsaws, shapers, routers, carvers, scroll saws, jig saws, grinders, and belt sanders.
- The name "Duro Metal Products Co." appears as late as 1976 in trademark filings, but the "active" Duro trademarks belong to JAF, Inc. of Ashland, WI; that firm was registered in September 1989 and dissolved in March 1996. This means that the Duro name is no longer used. As far as we know, no Duro parts or service are available.
- Thanks to Eduardo Fisher for providing the business registration information.