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Manufacturers Index - Coates Clipper Mfg. Co.
Last Modified: Sep 10 2019 12:27PM by Mark Stansbury
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This firm began in 1876, making clippers and grinding machines for sharpening them. Their product line expanded by 1909 to flexible shafting for industrial power transmission, flexible shaft drills, drill multipliers, and flexible shaft sanders and varnish rubbing outfits for the furniture industry.

Information Sources

  • Worcester Magazine by the Worcesters Board of Trade, Jan 1909 pg 98.

    The Coates Clipper Mfg. Co. was started in a very small way by Mr. George H. Coates in Worcester in 1876. Mr. Coates was graduated from Windsor Academy and served his apprenticeship there in the manufacture of firearms. Upon coming to Worcester, he was employed as assistant superintendent of the Ethan Allen Co. and was in their employ until the panic of 1875 made business conditions in that line so uncertain that he decided to that up a specialty of his own. At that time very few clippers were used in the United States, and what few were used were imported from England. These of course were very expensive and the cost of repair parts and re-sharpening prohibitive. Seeing a future for this industry Mr. Coates started in by designing special machinery for sharpening these foreign-made clippers. The same ideas are involved in the company's grinding machines to-day. His venture met with such success that he designed several improvements on clippers and started shortly to manufacture them.

    A human hair measures one-thousandth of an inch and a pair of plates must be subjected to at least 30 pounds pressure to resist the hair; the plate being very thin makes the question of grinding vital.

    In 1880 Mr. Coates built a small shop on Chandler Street and has added to it from time to time, as seen by the chimneys in the cut, until to-day he has over an acre of floor space and employs nearly 100 men. The Coates clippers are today made in nearly a hundred styles for human or animal hair, covered by sixty patents, and are sold all over the world. Few people think when glancing at woolen garments that the wool is removed from the sheep almost universally today by sheep shearers. This is but one of the manifold uses to which they’re output is devoted.

    Last year this company milled 12,000,000 teeth for hair cutting. In the manufacture of horse clipping and sheep shearing machinery a flexible shaft is necessary, and this being an exclusive patent of Mr. Coates' he decided about four years ago to specialize on flexible transmission, with the result that today the company makes this shafting in sizes transmitting from one-tenth horse power in speedometer and dental engines to one hundred and fifty horse power used for heavy unit transmission work. They also make flexible shaft specialties, such as massage machines, electric drills, multipliers, varnish rubbing outfits, etc. Associated with Mr. G. H. Coates, president and treasurer the company, is his son, B. Austin Coates, as general manager.

  • The Massachusetts corporate registry database lists this company's first registration as 1894-01-16.