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Manufacturers Index - West Haven Manufacturing Co.

West Haven Manufacturing Co.
West Haven, CT, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Metal Working Machinery

History
Last Modified: Dec 29 2016 1:04PM by joelr4
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West Haven Mfg. Co. Factory


      In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this firm made "Acme" and "Universal" branded power hacksaws. Charles Wicksteed & Co. made a patented power hacksaw that used hydraulics to lift the blade on the return stroke. The patented hacksaw designs were made in the US by West Haven Manufacturing Co.

      The men behind the company were Charles E. Graham (president and treasurer) and Frank S. Bradley (secretary and general manager). In 1920 the company was acquired by Millers Falls Co., who were apparently interested only in their hacksaw blades as there is no evidence that power hacksaws were made after the acquisition.

Information Sources

  • Thanks to correspondent John Orvis for bringing this maker to our attention.
  • The information on the Millers Falls acquisition is from Randy Roeder's Millers Falls site.
  • From A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County, by Everett Gleason Hill, 1918:

    FRANK STURGIS BRADLEY.

    Frank Sturgis Bradley, secretary and general manager of the West Haven Manufacturing Company, one of the important industrial concerns of the borough, was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, January 4, 1862. His parents, Fernando and Elizabeth (Goodrich) Bradley, were born respectively in Naugatuck and in Wethersfield. In 1862 the father enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of the Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and was assigned to the commissary department. He was taken prisoner and for a considerable period was confined in Andersonville prison. He turned his attention largely to farming, which occupation he followed for the greater part of his life, however, for a considerable period after the war he worked in a factory in Collinsville. His wife survives and resides with our subject.

    Frank S. Bradley received a common school education, attending the schools of Wethersfield, Hartford and Unionville, Connecticut. When thirteen years he entered the shop of the Standard Rule & Level Company of Unionville and from that time to the present has been connected with manufacturing interests. He has always taken a keen interest in mechanical problems and as a boy and youth made it a point to acquire as much varied experience in shops as possible. With this end in view he worked first for one concern and then for another including the Hartford Machine Screw Company, Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company of Hartford, in which he was a tool maker, and Pratt & Whitney, in whose employ his work was that of fitting spindles. In 1881 he was with the Wetmore Machine Company of New Haven, manufacturers of the Bosworth Waxed Thread sewing machines. After leaving their employ he was for seven years expert machinist with the Henry G. Thompson Company, manufacturers of pamphlet-wiring machines. During his connnection with that concern he was sent by them to various places where an expert in that line was needed. From 1889 until 1896 he was with R. H. Brown & Company of New Haven, but in the latter year came to West Haven and organized what is now the West Haven Manufacturing Company. He had perfected and patented a number of new devices to be used in the manufacture of saws and established a business of his own in order to put these machines to actual use. For some time he worked unaided and seemed to make little progress but persevered and at the end of six years was able to demonstrate the practicability of his inventions. In partnership with C. E. Graham he established the West Haven Manufacturing Company, which in 1902 was incorporated under the same name. Mr. Bradley is secretary and general manager of the company and is in charge of the mechanical end of the business. He has invented and patented wire-stitching machinery and saw-making machinery and the frames used in hacksaws. The company manufactures a diversified line of tools and hardware specialties, employs from one hundred to two hundred men and has found a market for its products over the entire country. Mr. Bradley is also a director of the Orange Bank & Trust Company.

    In 1889 occurred the marriage of Frank S. Bradley and Miss Clara Gardner, of New Haven, a daughter of John P. and Georgie Gardner, the father a well known music teacher. To Mr. and Mrs. Bradley have been born two children, Clara May and Florence Estelle.

  • New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, edited by William Richard Cutter, 1913:
    Charles E. [Graham], only child of James Graham, was born at Branford, February 9, 1858. He removed with his parents to New Haven when he was but five years old and was educated at the Webster school there, in the public schools of West Haven; in General Russell's Military School at New Haven and at the Williston Seminary at Easthampton, Massachusetts. He was ambitious to follow the business in which his father had engaged and he became associated with him in business. He succeeded his father and since the senior partner died has conducted the business of James Graham & Company with notable success. In addition to the brass business he has other and varied interests. He organized the West Haven Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of hardware specialties, and has been from the first its president and treasurer. He is vice-president of the Utah & Eastern Copper Company; president of the Wire Novelty Company; was treasurer of the Mayo Radiator Company, which he helped to establish, and director of the Evening Leader Company, publishing the New Haven Leader, also vice-president of J. H. Burwell & Company. New York, manufacturers of telegraph instruments.