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Manufacturers Index - Moak Machine & Foundry Co.

Moak Machine & Foundry Co.
Kimball, MI; Port Huron, MI, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

History
Last Modified: Jan 5 2017 10:29AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Established in about 1915, Moak Machine & Tool Co. In the early 1920s, Eugene Moak was the general superintendent of the Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co. (formerly Upton Manufacturing Co. of Battle Creek, MI), when the business went into receivership.

Gene Moak reportedly acquired patterns and manufacturing equipment from Port Huron Thresher. He and other members of his family founded Moak Machine and Tool Co., which apparently changed its name at some point to Moak Machine & Foundry Co.

Other information sources, including the company's own catalogs, suggest that this company was founded in about 1915. At this time we cannot reconcile the conflicting histories.

The company went under in mid-1992, but (as of 2004) some parts are available from Moak Repair Parts Co. in Kimball, MI: (810) 985-7164.

Information Sources

  • The 1918 edition of Penton's Foundry List includes Moak Machine & Tool Co. of Port Huron, as suppliers of Brass, Aluminum, Machine Shop, and Pattern Shop.
  • 1918-11-27 Iron Trade Review.
    The Moak Machine & Tool Co., Port Huron, Mich., has opened a new grey casting foundry. E. H. Moak and general manager.
  • 1918-12-03 The Official U. S. Bulletin has a list of government contracts and purchase orders, including, for November 6, 1918, "B-8928. Moak Machine & Tool Co., 6 ball-bearing cradle type stands for Liberty engine. Item No. 990, price each, $595; total price, $3,570."
  • December 1919 The Metal Industry.
    The Moak Machine & Tool Co. of Port Huron opened its new grey iron casting foundry November 1. Formal announcement was made by means of engraved cards. This company has unusually favorable prospects.
  • 1920-09-11 Michigan Manufacturer & Financial Record.
    Moak Machine at Capacity—The Moak Machine & Tool Company, in Sourth Park, near Port Huron, is running to capacity, according to officials. Among the big jobs the company is turning out is one for molders' benches for the American Bushings Company's Marysville plant.
  • January 1922 Automobile Trade Directory lists Moak Machine & Tool Co., 2547 Connors St., Port Huron, Mich., as providing aluminum castings, bronze and brass castings, grey iron castings, and machine work to order.
  • The 1928 edition of Engineers list Moak Machine & Tool Co. as providers of woodworking machinery, special woodworking and metal machinery and shop equipment. Company officers: Pres. Gus Hill; V. Pres. W. L. Jenks. Sec. E. L. Moak. Adv. Mgr., E. H. Moak
  • From 1930 issues of Industry Week.
    Eugene H. Moak, general manager, Moak Machine & Tool Co., Port Huron, Mich., died at his home in that city Sept. 10. He was also president of the Moak Realty Co.... Elmer D. Moak has been appointed general manager, Moak Machine & Tool Co., Port Huron, Mich., to succeed his father, the late Eugene H. Moak, who held that office since the company's inception.
  • In the 1955-56 Hitchcock Wood Workers Digest Directory—published in 1954—it says they have been in business "for more than 33 years.")
  • A Google Books search shows the Moak Machine & Tool Co. name in use until at least 1963; the earliest data point we could find for Moak Machine & Foundry Co. was 1968.
  • An email correspondent reports that the "Monotrol" name for their tablesaw dates to 1965. That name had earlier been used by Boice-Crane Co.
  • On their 1991 price list they claimed "over 76 years of continuous manufacturing".
  • An article in the 2002-04-07 issue of the Time Herald by Amber Hunt provides some information on the early history of the company, including the connections to Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co. It alludes to a memoir written by Eugene Moak II that provided some of the information. Moak II's son, Robert Moak, is also quoted in the article.
  • Correspondent Dan Lindberg reported the results of his research:

    I "believe" Moak Manufacturing started in 1915 and had nothing to do with the Port Huron Engine/Thresher Company, other then that the Moak brothers worked there for some time. The Port Huron Co went out of business in the early 20's and was liquidated in the late 20's, long after the Moak Co was started.

    I believe some/most of the roots of the Moak Co come from a company called Lee Manufacturing, which made brass valves and other things for industry. After the Moaks started their South Park Land company they apparently rented/sold a lot to this Lee Manufacturing. The company went under and the Moaks apparently received some of the business as creditors, this in 1907, which they may or may not have added to an existing company, either way, the new company was called South Park Manufacturing (1907-1914). There was also a reference to a South Park Foundry and Machine in 1903, but little else. It could be that the South Park Foundry/Machine was changed to the South Park Manufacturing. I suspect/believe that the South Park Manufacturing was then changed to Moak Machine and Foundry in 1915, creating the company we know of.