Register :: Login
Manufacturers Index - James E. Austin & Co.
Last Modified: Jan 3 2018 1:25PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

In the late 1860s and early '70s, James E. Austin & Co. manufactured a patent shingle machine. By later in 1873 the machine was being manufactured and sold by Vulcan Iron Work Co. of Oswego. It seems that in 1873, Austin moved to Ionia, Michigan and established Ionia Shingle-Machine Manufacturing Co.

Information Sources

  • The 1873 book, The Artizans' Guide and Everybody's Assistant, by Richard Moore, in an article on shingle machines.
    I would also mention James E. Austin and Co., of Oswego N.Y., as a firm who have expended a great deal of money an much ingenuity in the invention and manufacture of shingle machines, and have brought them to a point of perfection which leaves little more to be desired. Although the machine is quite complicated, it can be speeded up to cut '' rapidly. One gentleman in Oswego informed me that he had cut as high as 33,000 shingles per day. I should say that that was an extra day's work, but it must be borne in mind that the machine carries two blocks at one time, cutting a shingle from each block alternately. This machine also requires a smart careful operator; any negligence on his part will undoubtedly be rewarded with a shower of dangerous projectiles, flying 'fast and furious,” not at all careful who or where they strike. The price of this machine is $600. I have seen only one shingle machine that could compete with Austin's. This was in Chicago previous to the great fire, and it could cut about 8000 shingles per hour. I was informed that it was made in Wisconsin, and cost $1400.