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Manufacturers Index - Shopmaster, Inc.
Last Modified: Apr 2 2020 12:47PM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1946 Shopmaster, Inc. was established to make home-shop woodworking machines that were designed by Dorr D. Beale. (Shopmaster should not to be confused with other, later, companies of the same name, including one that makes a home-shop milling machine). Beale's first machines were introduced in 1947: 15-inch scrollsaw, 12-inch bench drill press, 12-inch bandsaw, 6-inch jointer, and 10x31 wood lathe. It is not clear whether Beale was the one who originally formed the company, but by the late 1940s he was company president.

In 1955 Jones & Lamson Machine Co. acquired Shopmaster, Inc. For a year or so afterward the Shopmaster line of home-shop machines was sold by "Shopmaster, Inc., 1214 So. Third St., Minneapolis 15, Minn. A Subsidiary of Jones & Lamson Machine Company".

In 1956 the company learned that their factory was in the way of a newly announced freeway (I-35W). In 1957 or early '58 the Shopmaster business was sold to Energy Manufacturing Co. of Monticello, Iowa, which moved Shopmaster to their own city and operated it as the Shopmaster Division of Energy Mfg. Co. The new Shopmaster soon announced a revamped product line that included a radial arm drill press and a jointer-planer, plus re-designed versions of their previous products. Shopmaster survived until at least the mid-1970s. Meanwhile, Beale created a new company and a new line of home-shop woodworking machines: Du-er Tools.

According to Beale's 2005 obituary, Beale "became the President and ran the company until its merger and later sale in the 1950s." The obituary also claimed that at one time, Shopmaster was "the 5th biggest seller of power tools in the nation". It also notes that in the 1970s he created a new line of home-shop woodworking machines, Du-er Tools; see that entry for the full obituary.

Information Sources

  • Full-page ad in August 1947 Popular Mechanics (see Publications tab, above), and showing scrollsaw, drill press, bandsaw, lathe, jointer and tablesaw. "Shopmaster, Inc. / 1214 Third St. So. Minneapolis 4, Minn."
  • 1947 The Wood-Worker: "Shopmaster Bench Saw Offered—A saw made to satisfy the beginner as well as the skilled craftsman, is offered by Shopmaster, Inc., 1214 Third St., South, Minneapolis, Minn. The Shopmaster 8-in. "Master Model" tilting table bench saw is of ..."
  • 1948 American Machinist: "Norma-Hoffmann PRECISION Bearings HELP KEEP SHOPMASTER TOOLS SMOOTH RUNNING... Shopmaster Drill Press 12 inch 3/8 inch chuck—Shopmaster Jointer 6 inch, extra long table—Shopmaster Band Saw 12 inch tilting table"
  • Address (from RK-685 drill press router kit box): 1214 South Third St, Minneapolis 15, MN.
  • An ad in the October 1948 Popular Mechanics shows the introduction of the 8" ball bearing tilt-arbor bench saw.
  • An ad in Popular Mechanics shows the introduction of the J20 jig/scroll saw in late 1953.
  • Article in 1954 Popular Mechanics.
  • Ad in 1955-56 Hitchcock's Wood Workers Digest Directory; no mention in the 1964 issue.
  • The trademark filing indicates a first use of 1955-07-01. This date applies to their new logo rather than the Shopmaster name itself. The 1947 ad's logo is a circular saw blade with "SHOPMASTER" around the inside of the rim and "TOOLS" in the middle.
  • A 1958 issue of Hardware Retailer: "Energy Mfg. Co. Buys Shopmaster—Energy Mfg. Co., Monticello, Ia., recently purchased the assets, inventory and production facilities for Shopmaster Tools. The division will operate as a subsidiary with Charles L. Hiegel as sales manager. All facilities have been moved to the Monticello plant. Each tool in the line has been completely reengineered and will again be manufactured."
  • Article in December 1958 Popular Science: "The radial-arm drill press is one of the first in a new line of power tools being announced this year by Shopmaster, Monticello, Iowa..."
  • A Shopmaster catalog with price list dated April 15, 1960 says, "Shopmaster / 100 North Main St., Monticello, Iowa / a division of Energy Mfg. Co., Monticello, Iowa".
  • A 1974 trademark filing is to Shopmaster, Inc., of Minneapolis.
  • From correspondent Edward Mittelstaedt: "[Shopmaster's] address is right in the middle of the I 35W freeway which was constructed in the mid 1960s. (3rd street dead ends at the freeway and picks up again on the other side of the freeway). Note that the I-35W route determination in the city was made by 1956 according to the maps in this report. It seems clear that the owner of Shopmaster, Beale, 'merged and sold the company' in the late 1950s because he knew that the 1214 S 3rd street address was slated to be demolished for the freeway and he must have felt that the company production could not survive a move to a new building particularly since so many businesses at that time would have been moving out of the freeway's path and prices for commercial buildings would have been much higher than what Beale could have obtained from the government for condemnation of his building. Also, patents on the tools (most of which were designed in the late 1940s right after WWII) would have been expiring by then..." Mittelstaedt suggests that the Shopmaster building may have been acquired by a land speculator.