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 woodworking 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.
|From December 1938 Popular Science|
In 1952 Rockwell moved the manufacturing from Freeport, IL to Tupelo, MS.
- A web site on coffee grinders (archive.org mirror of now-defunct website) provided the founding date.
- 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.
- The company made a variety of other products as well: coffee grinders, toys, mops, window locks, doorstops, nutcrackers, pallet jacks, and so on. This website's focus is woodworking and metalworking machinery plus the engines and motors that power them; we do not attempt to provide information on Arcade's products that are outside our focus.
- 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. The announcement said that the Arcade Company will continue under the present management except that L. L. Munn, who had been president for a number of years, would retire.