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Manufacturers Index - A. S. & J. Gear & Co.

A. S. & J. Gear & Co.
New Haven, CT; Concord, NH, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery

Last Modified: Oct 27 2012 3:49PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This important early maker of woodworking machiney, active in the 1860s and 1870s, was best known as an innovator in spindle shapers. The titular Gears were Alonzo Stockbridge Gear and John Gear, believed to be son and father, respectively.

There was a messy lawsuit and advertising war between Gear and the Combination Molding and Planing Machine Co., with each accusing the other of patent infringement. The CM&PMCo ad in the January 1, 1869 issue of Scientific American is headlined "IMPORTANT", and warns that they are exclusive holder of certain rights to molding machines; the Gear ad appears immediately below it, and is headlined "MORE IMPORTANT", and claims the same rights for themselves. For another example of Gear's territory-marking contests, see the entry for J. P. Grosvenor.

Gear's dovetailing machine and spindle shapers were manufactured by John A. White Co. White was based in Concord, NH, and Gear had some kind of presence there: a Gear molder has been seen with "Concord, N.H." on it, and Gear had an address in Concord, but it is not yet known whether it was a factory or a business office, or both.

It appears that sometime between 1874 and 1881, this firm sold out to S. K. Lovewell & Co., who continued to make several of the machines, epecially the spindle shapers.

Information Sources

  • This firm had many ads and article in Scientific American; scans of issues to 1869 are available online in the Cornell Making of America archive.
  • A listing in the 1874 work, Wiley's American iron trade manual of the leading iron industries of the United States: "Gear Machine Co. A. S. Gear, 56 Sudbury Street."
  • A genealogy web site had the following information:
    1858 - A S Gear of St Paul MN marr in Concord Miss Sophia E Wiggin of Straham per Exeter News-Letter of 22 Feb 1858 [Chipman, New England VR from the Exeter News-letter 1853-58, 1994, p241].

    1865 Apr 7 - Alonzo S Gear app Capt A Q M USV, b Durham, ae 26 res Concord, must our 27 Apr 66, Bvt Maj USV to date 27 Apr 66 for faithfull services in Quartermaster's Dept, PO ad London Eng [Rev Reg of the Sold & Sailors of NH in the War of the Rebell, 1861-1866, 1895].
    Alonzo Stockbridge Gear (1838-02-10—?) was the son of John Gear (1810-01-12—1892-05-28) and Martha Stockbridge (1812?-00-00—1879-10-12).
  • A beautifully illustrated A. S. Gear catalog is available online at archive.org. The catalog is from about 1875, and contains machines made by a variety of makers.