Register :: Login
Manufacturers Index - Gillespie Motor Co.
Last Modified: Nov 12 2011 10:48AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

During World War I, the T. A. Gillespie Co. created a subsidiary, the American Shell Co., to manufacture munitions for the war effort. In 1919, the latter firm received a large additional investment of capital and the name was changed to Gillespie Motor Co., with the manufacturing focus shifting to electric motors. The following year, Gillespie Motor Company consolidated with its sales organization, the Brokaw-Eden Co., plus washing-machine maker Gillespie Manufacturing Co., and their foundry, Gillespie Foundry Company. The resulting business was named the Gillespie-Eden Corp.

In 1923, Gillespie-Eden moved all the manufacture of their washing machines from Lowell, Mass., to Paterson. This seems to have been a last gasp of the business as all evidence of their existence stops rather suddenly at that time.

The motors division of Gillespie Eden primarily made fractional horsepower motors for Gillespie clothes washers, although they apparently made other motor types as well. So far we have not seen any motors labeled with the Gillespie-Eden name, only the Gillespie Motor Co. name.

Information Sources

  • We learned of this maker from a discussion on owwm.org.
  • The 1919-08-28 Iron Age has a news item on the name change from American Shell to Gillespie Motor:
    The American Shell Co., an interest of T. A. Gillespie Co., 50 Church Street, New York, with plant at Paterson, N. J., has filed notice of change of name to the Gillespie Motor Corporation. Its plant at Twenty-first Avenue is being converted from a munition works to a plant for the production of motors, Deisel type engines, centrifugal equipment, screens for sewerage work, etc. Plans have recently been prepared for a new one-story foundry. 120 x 240 ft., to cost about $100,000. Coincident with change in name of its subsidiary, the Gillespie company, a Delaware corporation, has increased its capital from $500,000 to $5,000,000.
  • Elsewhere on the same page, a news item regarding recent equipment purchases included a "10-ton crane for the American Shell Co.'s plant at Paterson, N. J."
  • This firm is included in a listing of "Training agencies: Industrial establishments providing vocational rehabilitation training for disabled soldiers, sailors, and marines under direction of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, in the fiscal pear ended June 30, 1920".
  • The 1920-06-12 Electrical World has this article under the heading, "Big Consolidation in Washing Machine Industry":
    THE most recent consolidation in the electric washing: machine industry has just been announced under the name of the Gillespie Eden Corporation, effective June 1. With the former Brokaw-Eden Company, which was the sales organization and which also manufactured washing machines at Alton, Ill., there have been joined the Gillespie Manufacturing Company, which makes washing machines and wringers at Lowell, Mass; the Gillespie Motor Company, which manufactures motors at Paterson, N. J., and the Gillespie Foundry Company, which produces castings for both motors and washing machines at Paterson, N. J. This makes the Gillespie Eden Corporation a self-contained manufacturing organization, with over $4,000,000 of net assets, without additional outside assistance.
  • The 1920-06-16 Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering has a brief news item:
    The Gillespie Eden Corp. Is the name of the consolidation of the Gillespie Manufacturing Co., the Gillespie Motor Co., the Gillespie Foundry Co. and the Brokaw-Eden Co. Executive offices are at 50 Church St., New York City.
  • The 1920-06-30 Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering lists this firm as a maker of centrifugal dryers and centrifugal extractors.
  • The 1921 EMF Electrical Yearbook lists Gillespie Eden Corp. as a maker of AC fractional HP motors, AC polyphase squirrel-cage induction motors, AC induction poly-phase wound-rotor or slip-ring motors, synchronous motors, washing-machine motors, and washing machines.
  • The December 1922 edition of McClure's magazine has a full-page ad for "The Eden" washing machine from Gillespie-Eden Corporation, Paterson, N.J. / Canada: Canadian General Electric Co., Toronto".
  • The May 1923 edition of Country Life carried an ad for The Eden washing machine.
  • A circa 1923 edition of Stone & Webster Journal has a note that "The Gillespie-Eden Plant [in Lowell, Mass.] is to be taken over by the Imperial Upholstery Company of Everett and Portland, Me., and the latter company will begin preparations at once for the installation of suitable machinery for the manufacture of furniture." The date is approximate because the journal was accessed through Google Books in "snippet view", which makes it impossible to tell exactly what issue the snippet came from.
  • The 1978 book, The Lower Merrimack River: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, by Peter M. Molloy, has this mention: "In 1920 the Gillespie Eden Electric Washing Machine Co. moved into the buildings, and in 1928 this company was replaced by the Imperial Upholstery Co. The buildings are used as warehouses today."
  • A University of Massachusetts webpage has the following:
    Gillespie-Eden Corporation, incorporated on May 13, 1919, manufactured electric washing machines. The company remained in Lowell a scant 3 years before on April,, 1922 managers shocked their 175 employees by announcing the factory’s closure and a consolidation of all operations in a larger plant in Paterson, New Jersey.