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Manufacturers Index - Vonnegut Moulder Corp.
Last Modified: Dec 17 2010 3:37PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This maker dates back to at least 1910, and was incorporated in 1930. Anton Vonnegut had made some significant improvements to molding machines, and this firm was apparently founded by him. In its early days the company was known as Vonnegut Machinery Co.

Vonnegut's molder line was sold to Diehl in 1949. The book Planers, Matchers and Molders in America notes that the "cutterhead spindles of the Vonnegut molders were noted for their rigidity and anti-whip characteristics made possible by an extra-heavy shaft section between the two main spindle bearings. This made it unnecessary to use an outboard bearing on machine with up to 6 inch wide cutter heads. This principle has been adopted by most molder and matcher manufacturers, both domestically and in Europe."

Remnants of Vonnegut were acquired by the newly-formed Grinding and Polishing Machinery Corp.; an ad in 1955-56 Hitchcock's Wood Workers Digest Directory for that company notes that they are "successors to Vonnegut Moulder Corp.", and promotes a flap sanding head.

This company was founded by relatives of well-known author Kurt Vonnegut, who worked at the company part-time as a teenager.

Information Sources

  • An ad in a 1920 issue of The Wood-Worker for Vonnegut Machinery Co. shows their Eaglesfield molder.
  • A pair of 1922 molder patents are assigned to Anton Vonnegut of Indianapolis.
  • A correspondent advises that if you wish to know more about Anton Vonnegut and his contribution to UK moulder manufacture, read Two Hundred Years of History and Evolution of Woodworking Machinery by William L. Sims. This book was published in 1985 by Walders Press, Burton Lazars, Leicester LE14 2UH, England.
  • A correspondent reports a 1910 postcard for the Vonnegut Machinery Co., 43 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis. The card was advertising the monthly "Vonnegut's Magazine". The same correspondent reports that Kurt Vonnegut's grandfather, Clemens, started Vonnegut Hardware.