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Manufacturers Index - Lyon Iron Works
Last Modified: Apr 13 2018 9:31AM by Jeff_Joslin
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This company was established as a foundry in 1840. After three generations of Lyon family ownership, George G. Raymond, Sr. purchased the Works in 1922 from Walter Lyon. In 1941 the business was renamed to the Lyon-Raymond Corp., and in 1951 the name changed again, to the Raymond Corp. George Jr. sold the company in 1997, for $353 million, to BT Industries of Sweden. That company was, in turn, acquired by Toyoda Automatic Loom of Japan. As it has for over 50 years Raymond Corp. continues to make material handling equipment, including lift trucks.

In about 1890 this firm made "The A. B. Ireland shingle machine". This same patented design was also made by Ireland Machine & Foundry Co., Inc. Norwich, NY. The Lyon versions had a wooden frame and the Ireland M&F versions had a cast iron frame.

Information Sources

  • The name was registered on 28 July 1887 with the State of New York.
  • Flyer ca. 1890 for a shingle machine.
  • A west coast distributor for Raymond Corp., Raymond Handling Concepts Corp., has a history page about their parent company.
  • A history article on the Raymond Corp. website provides an overview of the history from the time that George Raymond, Sr., took over the Lyon Iron Works.
  • The web site for Symplicity, an IT consulting company, includes a database of employer information, including an entry for Raymond Corp. that provides a history of the company.
  • A press release from Alfred University provides some background on this company:

    It was in upstate Greene, NY, that in 1840, the Lyon family established the Lyon Iron Works. By the time the third generation took over, the family was no longer interested in running the business—something today’s family business owners would recognize as a common problem.

    George Raymond’s father persuaded Walter Lyon, who owned the business at the time, to sell it to him for $6,000, said Raymond. "I used to joke that my father hocked everything he had, including me, to get the money to buy the company," said Raymond. His father had made a deal to pay Lyon the money he owed from the company’s profits, and he did that in just five years and by 1927, Raymond owned the company outright—just in time for the Great Depression. The company that had once employed 100 people dropped to only two and a half people at one point when things were the toughest, Raymond recalled."

  • An MSN CareerBuilder page provided the information on the recent ownership changes.
  • A posting to the Smokstak forum mentions a "Lyons" drag saw. It is possible that Lyon Iron Works made a drag saw. An 1866 patent to a Lewis S. Hayes of Greene, NY, is for a drag saw, but we have no direct evidence to suggest that this is the saw in question.
  • From the Seventh Annual Cooperative Tractor Catalog, 1922, this firm is listed as a maker of "wood sawing machines".
  • An example of An A. B. Ireland shingle mill was reported to us with a plaque reading, "A. B. Ireland's / Pat. May.18.1886 / Aug.28.1894".
  • Thanks to correspondent Alan Estus for providing us the results of his research on the A. B. Ireland shingle mill.

    here is limited information on the transition of production of the Ireland Shingle from the Lyon Iron Works to the Ireland Machine and Foundry. I have a news article from the days before the Ireland company began in Norwich and the Lyons company was not going to let the Ireland's produce the shingle mill in Norwich. I never found a second article that gave insight to how the issue was resolved but somehow it was as mills were made in Norwich.

    I think both companies made the same basic machine at the same time for a short period. The best way I can tell the difference is that the Lyons version had a wooden main frame while the Ireland version made in Norwich was all cast iron. As yet this theory has held up to all the (few) machines I have seen. I have only seen pictures of a Norwich version as they only began production in 1907 and by then asphalt shingles were on the scene. The same goes for several Ireland products, progress made them obsolete.