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Manufacturers Index - James Neill & Co., Ltd.
Last Modified: Jun 24 2018 12:15AM by Jeff_Joslin
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James Neill & Co. of Sheffield, England, began in 1889 by manufacturing steel, and then machine knives, hacksaw blades and hand tools. During World War I they made magnetos, and afterwards parlayed this manufacturing skill into other magnetic products. In the mid-1930s they developed and patented the first permanent magnet chuck, for use on grinding machines and other machine tools. (O. S. Walker had developed the first electromagnetic chuck in 1896.) James Neill introduced the "Eclipse" line of magnetic chucks, made in the U.K. by James Neill & Co. (Sheffield), Ltd., and in the U.S. under license by Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Co.

In 1941 the company was assigned a patent for a power hacksaw. As far as we can tell they never manufactured this product, however. In 1985 Neill Tools, as they were then known, acquired Spear & Jackson, and then in 1995 changed the parent company name to Spear & Jackson plc The magnetic chucks are made by the Eclipse Magnetics division of Spear & Jackson.

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