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Manufacturers Index - W. F. & John Barnes Co.

W. F. & John Barnes Co.
Rockford, IL., U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Feb 14 2017 8:47PM by joelr4
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W. F. & John Barnes Co. Factory, ca 1922

      W. F. & John Barnes Co. was established 1869, made a formal partnership between William F. Barnes and John Barnes in 1872, and incorporated in 1884. This company was an early manufacturer of pedal-powered equipment. (By 1881 they were also making powered machinery.) There were many companies making lightweight foot-powered equipment, but Barnes and the Seneca Falls Co. were the only ones to also make professional-grade machines. From the beginning of their existence, they focused on pedal-powered machinery, especially scroll saws.

Ad from May 1889 issue of The Wood-Worker

By 1937 their focus had completely shifted to automotive assembly machinery, and their production of foot-powered machinery had ceased. In the intervening years they have got out of manufacturing completely. After a series of ownership changes, their parts and paper were purchased in 1998 by LeBlond Ltd. of Amelia, OH.

Barnes Resources

Information Sources

  • From the December 1881 issue of Manufacturer & Builder: "W. F. & John Barnes, of Rockford, Ill., have commenced the manufacture of power lathes, in addition to that of foot lathes."
  • From The Railroad, Telegraph, and Steamship Builders' Directory, 1888: a listing under wood-working machinery for "Barnes Co. W. F. & Jon, Rockford, Ill. (*49)"
  • An ad in a 1915 issue of "Carpenter and Builder" features their No. 7 treadle-powered scrollsaw.
  • A listing of pamphlets from woodworking machinery makers in the June 1926 issue of Building Age and National Builder includes an entry for W. F. & John Barnes Co.: Barnes Catalog. 38 pp. Illus. Covers line of saws, etc. / Barnes Motor Driven and Foot Power Woodworking Machines. Booklet. 14 pp. Illus. Takes up various types."
  • American Foot Power and Hand Power Machineryby Kenneth L. Cope, 2001 page 15.