Oliver Machine Co. history
Oliver lathes were made in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA by the Oliver Machinery Company and, with sales offices in New York, St.Louis, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Slat lake City, Seattle and Manchester, England, very widely distributed.
The Oliver Machinery Co. was founded in 1890. I’m not totally convinced. If it was started in 1890, it was certainly quite late in that year. Most Oliver buffs know that Joseph Oliver started the company, originally known as the American Machinery Co., to sell Universal Trimmers.
Much more about this company is available on WIKI:
Some interesting bit about the company,
Oliver Machinery's introduction of round cutterheads to the U.S. market. The head was first developed in England and later in Germany, where it was patented in 1908. Oliver purchased the German patent the same year.
The May 1910 issue of "The Grand Rapids Furniture Record" states: "The Oliver Machinery Company were the first American makers of machinery to market a cutting cylinder for use in a hand planer (jointer) that would save the operator's fingers and hands from serious mutilation."
Originally, cutterheads were square in cross-section and left large intermittent gaps between the jointer tables while in operation that could catch an unwary user's fingers.
Though the round cutterhead was originally invented to prevent serious accidents, its side benefits were less noise, less vibration, efficient use of power and smoother surfacing.
Grand Rapids is a major centre for the manufacture of wooden furniture and Oliver, who have been in business for many years, are famous for a product line which has spanned everything from electric glue pots to the very highest quality, heavy-duty wood-lathes and many other types of wood-working machines - their massive wood-turning lathes being especially well known.
About Oliver Machinery.
A tradition of excellence
Oliver Machinery can trace its roots all the way back to 1890 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company, founded by Joseph W. Oliver, originally designed and manufactured wood trimmers that reduced labor time from 15 minutes to only a few seconds, winning Oliver a gold medal for merit at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris.
In 1908 Oliver introduced the round cutterhead, a much safer alternative to the standard square cutterhead. The new safety feature was so apparent that many states soon began requiring their installation.
In 1923 Oliver introduced the Straitoplane, a combination planer and jointer that could plane a warped board perfectly flat and straight on both surfaces in one pass. In 1929 Oliver sold over 9000 of these machines. Other woodworking machine companies have since copied the design, testifying to its quality and distinctiveness.
Over the span of the twentieth century, Oliver adapted to the ever-changing American economy, manufacturing bread-slicers during the Depression, saws for cutting aluminum, brass, copper, steel and titanium during World War II, and packaging and printing machinery during the 1950’s and 60’s.
By 1994, Oliver had produced over 150,000 machines, 75,000 of which were still in operation on a daily basis worldwide. And even though the company was over 100 years old, Oliver was still modern enough to proudly supply the saw used to cut the ceramic tiles used on the space shuttle.
Oliver Machinery has a long tradition of innovation. Ever since the turn of the century when Oliver introduced the round cutterhead, they have been consistently improving and modernizing their machines to give the user the best product.
In the spirit of American ingenuity, Oliver machines improve on existing technology by utilizing features such as carbide helical cutterheads, spiral cutterheads, computerized controls and sensors, segmented infeed rollers, and advanced safety features.
One of the newest Olivers, the 5525 Dual Oscillating Drum Sander, is the only oscillating drum sander on the US market today. Its side-to-side action prolongs sandpaper life and reduces streaking and burning associated with most drum sanders.
In addition to their technological determination, Oliver remains true to the traditions of woodworking machinery. This means their machines are consistently more rugged, heavier-duty, and better designed than the competition, which means that your wood comes out straighter, more precise, and better crafted than with any other machine.
Oliver’s machines consistently utilize cutting-edge materials, precision engineering, and innovative features to put them above and beyond the competition. Browse our machines to see what we mean...