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Manufacturers Index - Samuel J. Shimer & Sons
Last Modified: Dec 16 2010 9:09PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This large and successful maker of cutter-heads was in business from 1869 (or earlier) until 1957. It first operated as Shimer & Co. Between 1884 and 1886 the name changed to Samuel J. Shimer. In 1888 the name became Samuel J. Shimer & Sons.

This company was known primarily for their cutter-heads, but they also made planers and spindle shapers. Tooling makers are not normally listed in this index to manufacturers of woodworking machinery; it is Shimer's wood planers and shapers that qualifies them.

In 1913 Shimer opened a Canadian manufacturing operation in Galt, Ontario (Galt is now part of Cambridge). About mid-century the Canadian executives purchased the Canadian operations from the Shimer family and operated it as Galt Wood Tool & Machine Co.

Sometime after the last grandson retired from the business in 1957, the business was sold to the Wisconsin Knife Works.

Information Sources

  • From the April 1885 issue of Manufacturer & Builder:
    Over 12,000 Shimer cutter-heads have been sold by the manufacturer, Samuel J. Shimer, of Milton, Pa., which is not surprising in view of the excellence of this device. It is claimed to be the strongest, cheapest and most durable cutter-head made—a claim which is well sustained by its remarkable record of sales.
  • The April 1886 issue of Manufacturer & Builder has the following brief writeup:
    The Shimer cutter heads have had a deservedly large sale, over 12,000 having been sold to date. They arc cheap, strong, durable, light and run easily. Wood-workers unacquainted with them will find it to their interest to write to the manufacturer, Samuel J. Shimer, of Milton, Pa., for illustrated price-list.
  • From the April 1887 issue of Manufacturer & Builder:
    The Shimer cutter-heads have a world-wide reputation, and deservedly so, being the result of long practical experience on the part of the manufacturer, Samuel J. Shimer, of Milton, Pa., in this class of tools, and combining as they do all the numerous valuable improvements which he has added from time to time.
    The December 1887 issue contains a similar item.
  • The August 1888 of Manufacturer & Builder says the following:
    The daily use of more than 25,000 matcher heads in all portions of this and other countries, made in the single establishment and under the personal supervision of Samuel J. Shimer & Sons, Milton, Pa., satisfactorily proves the truth of their claim that theirs are the cheapest, the strongest, the most durable, and yet the lightest and easiest running matcher heads in the market. Circulars, which are furnished on application, will give all the information desired by those interested.
  • The November 1890 issue of the above-mentioned journal has this advertorial:
    Cutter heads to fit any matcher, molder or tenoner for flooring, siding, doors, sash, blinds, etc., are fully illustrated and described in a catalogue issued by the manufacturers, Samuel J. Shimer & Sons, of Milton, Pa.
  • The February 1894 issue of Manufacturer & Builder has an illustrated article on the operation of Shimer's tonguing head and grooving head.
  • The December 1894 issue Manufacturer & Builder says the following:
    The fact that over 50,000 Shimer cutter heads are in use, is ample proof of their appreciation by wood-workers. Write Samuel J. Shiner & Sons, Milton, Pa., for catalogue.er & Sons, of Milton, Pa.
  • A 1949 issue of Hitchcock Wood Working Digest lists a couple of used Shimer ball-bearing shapers.
  • We have found about thirty Shimer patents spanning 1875 through to 1920. Note that we have never made a systematic search for Shimer patents; these are merely the ones we have found while searching for woodworking machinery patents.