Founded in 1885, Arcade Manufacturing Co. made small cast iron machinery for home use, especially coffee grinders. They made coffee grinders from their inception until the 1930s. Edgar and Charles Morgan invented new grinders for Arcade in their early years.
By 1935 Arcade had a line of inexpensive home-shop machines that used the "Arcade", "Arcade Craft Tools", and "Craftmaster" names. In 1941 Arcade introduced the Homecraft line of woodworking machinery. In 1946, Arcade was purchased by Rockwell Manufacturing Co.; so far as we can tell, Rockwell made use of Arcade's foundry and machining facilities but never produced any of the old Arcade line of products. This is a point of confusion because both Arcade and Rockwell/Delta had a "Homecraft" line, but none of the old Arcade Homecraft products were sold as Rockwell/Delta products, "Homecraft" or otherwise.
In 1952 Rockwell moved the manufacturing from Freeport, IL to Tupelo, MS. Rockwell's woodworking machinery line now belongs to Delta Manufacturing Co.
- A web site on coffee grinders (archive.org mirror of now-defunct website) provided the founding date and the names of the founders.
- Harry Harsha provided us with some ca. 1935 catalogs, and Karl Shields scanned and uploaded them.
- According to the U.S. Trademark database, the Homecraft name was trademarked in 1941.
- A correspondent reports a cast-iron toy car from this maker; another correspondent reports a lemon squeezer. Patent records imply that the company made a variety of other products as well, including mops, window locks, doorstops, and nutcrackers. Please note that this website is focused on woodworking machinery and we do not attempt to provide information on non-woodworking products.
- Several sources give 1945 as the date when Rockwell bought Arcade. The sale was announced on January 26, 1946 (Source: Billboard issue of February 2, 1946):
Rockwell Company Buys Out Arcade Mfg., Freeport, Ill.
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 26.—Rockwell Manufacturing Company, of Pittsburgh, announced that it has acquired the Arcade Manufacturing Company, of Freeport, Ill. Announcement said that the Arcade Company will continue under the present management except that L. L. Munn, who has been president for a number of years, will retire.