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Manufacturers Index - Jones & Lamson Machine Co.

Jones & Lamson Machine Co.
Windsor, VT, Springfield, VT, U.S.A.
Company Website: http://www.jlmetrology.com/
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Apr 2 2020 1:17PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.
Jones, Lamson & Co. Lower Factory ca 1917

Jones, Lamson & Co. evolved from the historically important Robbins & Lawrence Co., early innovators in the "American system" of mass-producing rifles. Robbins & Lawrence failed in 1856, and in 1861 their works were purchased by Lamson, Goodnow & Yale, which reorganized as E. G. Lamson & Co. in 1864 and again in 1865 as the Windsor Manufacturing Co. In 1869 the works were purchased by Jones, Lamson & Co. The principals were Russell Jones and Ebenezer G. Lamson. Their firm operated cotton mills, manufactured guns, and also made machine tools for making guns and sewing machines. They also made general-purpose machine tools. Besides metalworking machinery they also manufactured Lane's patent circular sawmills, drill presses, and wood-turning lathes.

In 1878 the company name changed to Jones & Lamson Machine Co. In 1888 they relocated to Springfield, Vt. Remarkably, they are still in business although they have not made woodworking machinery for over 100 years. They now go by J & L Metrology and specialize in making optical comparators.

In 1912 Jones & Lamson acquired Fay Machine Tool Co. of Philadelphia, makers of the important "Fay Automatic Lathe", which was used for production turning between centers. That lathe was originally patented by Rimmon C. Fay in 1909; in 1912 the design was improved by Fay Machine Tool employee Otto Schaum. After the design was acquired by Jones & Lamson, further improvements were made by a team led by Ralph Flanders. The Fay automatic lathe was a significant advance in production turning that was only made obsolete with the development of CNC.

In 1955 Jones & Lamson acquired Shopmaster, Inc. For a year or two afterward the Shopmaster line of home-shop machines was sold by "Shopmaster, Inc., 1214 So. Third St., Minneapolis 15, Minn. A Subsidiary of Jones & Lamson Machine Company".

Bourn & Koch, Inc. is now the OEM for the Jones & Lamson metalworking machinery side of the business (not the inspection equipment). For more information visit the Bourn & Koch website.

Information Sources

  • American Lathe Builders: 1810-1910 by Kenneth L. Cope, 2001 pages 84, 87 & 186.
  • From the 1874 work, Wiley's American iron trade manual of the leading iron industries of the United States: "Windsor Manufacturing Co.—Jones, Lamson & Co. Machinery, lathes, drill presses, milling machines, etc."
  • June 1874 Manufacturer & Builder.
    It is interesting to trace the history of our manufacturing establishments, and see what vicissitudes and changes have attended many of them, until by contributions from successive owners, or by changes of times or employment, or by judicious management, the latest holder acquires an enviable position in the business community. Such has been the case with the works of Messrs. Jones, Lamson & Co., of Windsor, Vt. This establishes was begun by Messrs. Kendall & Lawrence, custom gun-smiths. In 1845 they made 10,000 rifles for the United States army, under the firm name of Robbins, Kendall & Lawrence; two years later, they were incorporated as the Robbins & Lawrence Co., and in consequence of the excellence of arms exhibited by them at the first World's Fair in England, they were employed by that government to furnish a set of machinery for the Enfield Armory, and 20,000 Enfield rifles. This machinery was the first introduced into that country for making guns with parts interchangeable upon the American plan. They also made a full set of machinery and tools for the Sharpe's Rifle Co., Hartford, Ct. By a complication of circumstances the Robbins & Lawrence Co. failed in 1856.

       The works were purchased about 1861 by Lamson Goodnow & Yale, and were employed by them and their successors, the Windsor Manufacturing Co., in manufacturing machinists' tools and arms. During the late war, more than 60,000 guns were made here. In 1870 the works were purchased by the present firm of Jones, Lamson & Co., who found it profitable to change the main buildings into cotton mills. They are now running in their cotton mills 12,000 spindles and 224 looms, and employ in them and their machine-shop an aggregate of 200 hands.

  • January 1876 Manufacturer & Builder.
    That a single house should turn out the number of different machines as that of Messrs. Jones, Lamson & Co., of Windsor, Vt., is surprising. They make among other the following first class machines; all in the very finest manner and at very reasonable prices: Clamp Milling Machines, Screw Milling Machines (6 sizes,) Small Trip Hammers (iron beds,) Screw Slotting Machines, Tapping Machines, Press Drills (4 spindles,) Press Drills (3 spindles), Die Sinking Machines, Edging or Profiling Machines, Rotary Stamping Machines, Squaring-Up Machines, Counter Boring Machines, Polising Machines (Ball's Patent,) Bullet Lubricating Machine (Ball's Patent,) Lane's Patent Circular-Saw Mills, Dutcher Looms, Iron Planers, Shaping Machines, or Compound Planers, Engine Lathes, Hand Lathes, Chucking Lathes (3 spindles) Chucking Lathes (6 spindles,) Breaching Machines, Hot Trimming Machines, Common Milling Machines, Index Milling Machines, etc.
  • From the official catalog of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, under the list of exhibitors of metal-working machinery: "Jones, Lamson & Co., Windsor, Vt.—Engine lathes, screw machines, gang drills, etc."
  • August 1876 Manufacturer & Builder, in an article about the Centennial Exhibition.
    Messrs. Jones, Lamson & Co., of Windsor, Vt., have some very attractive engine-lathes, screw-milling machines, drill-presses, etc., among their display, some of them of new patterns, and all possessing more or less improvements. One of the engine-lathes for screwcutting exhibited is a very pretty tool; it has a 14-inch swing with a 4 1/2-foot bed, and though not large, looks like a worker. Among the leading features of this lathe are the arrangements by which the stud quadrant at the end of the head-stock can be so shifted and fastened that the stud-gear will operate either the screw or the feed-rod; the hand-wheel in front of the head-stock may be so turned that, according to its position, it will reverse or stop the stud-gear, and consequently the carriage. By means of this simple arrangement a single stud-gear answers both for feeding and for cutting right and left hand screws, and any stud-gear may be obtained for turning. In this machine the friction arrangement for fastening the spindle-cone to the large gear is especially convenient, while the spindle itself is made tubular, so as to admit of working wire or bars through a chuck. Then there is a 4-spindle press-drill for gun and sewing-machine work, of a new pattern. This drill being without gears, is almost noiseless. Messrs. Jones, Lamson & Co. also show some screw-milling machines or turret-lathes, which have many points of excellence. Their whole display is very creditable.
  • June 1912 Machinery, in a report of the convention of the National Machine Tool Builders Association. "The following consolidations and changes of membership names were reported... Fay Machine Tool Co., Philadelphia, Pa., to Jones & Lamson Machine Co., Springfield, Vt. ..."
  • December 1912 Mechanical Engineers Catalog and Product Directory has an ad from Jones & Lamson Machine Co. for the Fay automatic lathe.
  • A 1955 issue of Wood Working Digest.
    Shopmaster Sold—Jones & Lamson Machine Co., Springfield, Vt., has bought Shopmaster, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. Shopmaster manufactures power tools for light production use and home workshops. This line will be carried on by the new owner.
  • The Wikipedia entry on the Fay automatic lathe provides a good overview of that product.
  • The American Precision Museum website has a biography of E. G. Lamson.
  • Recent history is from an article by Madeline Bodin in the January 1995 issue of Vermont Business Magazine.