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Manufacturers Index - Wm. M. Preston
Last Modified: May 14 2019 12:10PM by Jeff_Joslin
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We have seen a small (9x18) flat-belt metal lathe with "Wm. M. Preston / Galt, Ontario" cast into the headstock. We found some biographical background on William M. Preston, including the fact in 1905 that he co-founded a branch of the Wells Bros. Co., the Canadian Tap & Die Co., to make taps and dies and other small items; in 1919 he co-founded Preston & Schwartz, Ltd., which had a similar product line. We could not find any evidence—except for the lathe with his name cast into it—that he ever manufactured a metal lathe.

Information Sources

  • 1902 The G.C.I. Record lists a member of the Galt Collegiate Institute Class of 1892: "William M. Preston, Cleveland".
  • 1905-09-28 The Iron Trade Review, in a listing of new incorporations. "The Canadian Tap & Die Co., Ltd., head office, Galt, capital, $40,000. Provisional directors: Wm. M. Preston, Franklin E. Snow and Frank O. Wells."
  • 1906-08-23 The Iron Age. "THE CANADIAN TAP & DIE COMPANY, LIMITED, Galt, Ont., manufacturing Little Giant Taps, Dies, Screw Plates, Collets, &c., has just issued its first illustrated catalogue, containing 50 pages. The Company is licensed by the Wells Bros. Company, Greenfield, Mass., to make the goods so long known in American and foreign markets, the interests of the two companies being almost identical. The Officers of the new company are: F. E. Snow, president; F. O. Wells, vice-president; Edward Blake, Jr., treasurer, all of Greenfield, Mass., and Wm. M. Preston, secretary and manager, Galt, Canada. This adds another prominent American manufacturing interest to those already established in Canada for the purpose of advantageously reaching that market, a condition largely the result of the working of the present Canadian customs tariff."
  • January 1909 Canadian Machinery and Manufacturing News has an article by Wm. M. Preston on Practical Hints on Tool Steel. No biographical information is given.
  • 1919-03-06 The Iron Age. "Preston & Schwartz, Ltd., Galt, Ont., has been incorporated with a capital stock of $40,000 by William M. Preston, Israel Schwartz, George W. Webster and others, to manufacture taps, dies, tools, special machinery, etc."
  • 1920-21 Canadian Trade Index lists "Preston & Schwartz, Limited, Galt, Ont." under "DIES, Drawing, Blanking and Forming", "TAPS AND DIES (Thread-cutting, Pipe, etc.)", and "TOOLS, Screw-cutting".
  • 1931 Business Directory of Waterloo County lists, under Galt, "Preston, Wm M, mach, 44 Myrtle av". Also listed is "Preston & Schwartz Limited, mach tool mfrs, s s Huron".