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Manufacturers Index - Perkins & Co.
Last Modified: Jun 19 2019 9:06AM by Mark Stansbury
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This firm was founded in 1873 or 1874 by Harford J. Perkins and Willis J. Perkins. At that time they had one patent on a shingle machine; by 1891 they had nearly fifty patents on various types of woodworking machinery, when they employed about 100 men.

See also the history of the Fox Machine Co. for more information on Perkins & Co.'s connections to the early development of the universal miter trimmer. Also, a 1908 catalog from S. Tyzack & Son includes a "Perkins" draw-stroke trimmer and a "Fox" pattern universal trimmer. Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Willis J. Perkins' improved shingle mill machinery, 1888 is available for full view at Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Information Sources

  • Patent records provided most of the information here.
  • Ad in the May 1889 issue of The Wood-Worker. "Shingle mill machinery, and O. K. saw gummers".
  • The following information was included in History of the City of Grand Rapids by Albert Baxter, published in 1891:
    In the winter of 1873-74, in a small room, the shingle machine manufacturer of Harford J. and Willis J. Perkins was begun. Starting with one small patent, they now have and control nearly fifty. Two years after beginning they doubled their room, and in 1880 moved to the old stone wagon factory building on North Front street, doubling its size in 1882 and again in 1888, until they have nearly forty thousand square feet of working space (against one thousand in 1874), and (in 1888) gave employment to about 100 men. Perkins & Company make a large share (they think half) of the most improved shingle machines in the United States. The works are located at 60 and 120 North Front street.