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Manufacturers Index - Fox Machine Co.

Fox Machine Co.
Grand Rapids, MI; Jackson, MI, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Mar 14 2016 9:35PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

In 1879, William R. Fox, of Middletown, CT, patented what was arguably the first workable "universal" miter trimmer. (A universal trimmer is one where the miter angle is adjustable over a range of at least 45 degrees.) This first design was probably never manufactured.

About 1880, Fox moved to Grand Rapids, where he worked briefly for Willis J. Perkins at Perkins & Co., and then a succession of other jobs. In 1885, he developed an improved version of his trimmer, and founded the Fox Machine Co. He received a patent for the improved design in 1888.

Advertisement from the 1891 American Carriage Directory

Fox hired a salesman named Joseph W. Oliver. Oliver didn't last long, but after he left, he designed a new trimmer and went into business with Fox's old boss, Willis J. Perkins. Perkins received a patent in 1891 for the design.

By 1909 the company was making a line of horizontal milling machines. These machines are small enough to suit a home shop when they can be found.

From February 1909 Canadian Machinery

In 1915 Fox sold his operations, with the woodworking machinery going to J. A. Fay & Egan Co. Fox moved to Jackson, MI, where he made drill presses and milling machines. Fox died in 1934 from a fall off the roof of his factory.

Information Sources

  • Most of the information for this manufacturer is courtesy of Jeff McVey, who is currently researching a book on miter trimmers.
  • An ad in the April 1915 issue of "Carpenter and Builder" shows Fox's model 6-A universal trimmer.
  • An undated catalog gives Jackson as the company location. Both benchtop and floor-standing miter-trimming machines are shown.
  • Grand Rapids Public Library has a Fox Machine Co. Catalog No. 44 in their archives.
  • A posting by Jeff McVey in the oldwwmachines discussion forum provides information on machines that were sold, but not manufactured, by Fox.