Benjamin Root was a machine designer who developed agricultural machinery, including for A. B. Farquhar Co., Ltd. In 1898, he designed and began manufacturing a line of machinery for making plow handles. The products were sold under the B. M. Root name. The business was incorporated in 1908, operating as B. M. Root Co.
Advertisement from February 1899 "The Wood-Worker". The ad ran unchanged for a couple of years.
In 1912, Root introduced a line of boring machinery for furniture manufacturers, and this quickly became the mainstay of their business. In 1927 they introduced an innovative hydraulic feed system for their boring machinery.
By 1920 Root was able to sell a full line of woodworking machinery when he became a dealer for Jos. O. Colladay & Bros. Reportedly, Root acquired manufacturing rights to Colladay's machinery when that firm got into financial difficulty during the World War I era. However, it is difficult to reconcile that report with the more solidly documented version of events where Colladay's product line was taken over by Lawrence Power, formerly of L. Power & Co.
B. M. Root Co. was, at some point, acquired by G. M. Diehl Machine Works, Inc.
We have a report of a B. M. Root machine labeled "The Porter B", which suggests that Root was reselling machines made by C. O. Porter Machinery Co.
Parts for Root Boring Machines
Parts for Root horizontal and vertical boring machines are available from
Colonial Machinery Sales, Inc.
P.O. Box 99
300 Robertson Dr.
Elizabethton, TN. 37644/37643
- Patent records provide some evidence of Benjamin M. Root's activities early in his career.
- The February 1899 The Wood-Worker has the following item in its "Trade Notes" section.
Makers of plow handle machinery ought to investigate the merits of the new line of machines for this purpose recently placed on the market by B. M. Root, York, Pa. His advertisement on page 10 of this number may prove interesting.
- Ad for "B. M. Root" in January 1901 The Wood-Worker for their plow handle machinery.
- 1912 catalog, "No. 16".
- An ad in a 1920 issue of The Wood-Worker shows a Root multiple borer, "for talking-machine motor boards and similar work."
- An ad for Colladay Machine works in the January 1921 issue of The Wood-Worker that lists B. M. Root Co. as a representative of Colladay Machine Works.
- Ad in 1955-56 Hitchcock's Wood Workers Digest Directory.
- According to a posting in the OWWM discussion forum, this company was created when Colladay Machine Works closed down and their production machinery was relocated to York, PA. This change would have happened sometime after 1920. This story is incompatible with the facts of when Root was in business, and when Colladay Machine Works was in business.