In the "History
of the City of Trenton, New Jersey", published in 1871, John O. Raum writes:
"The American Saw Company was organized under the laws of New
York, in January, 1866, with a capital of two hundred and fifty
The manufactory is located at the foot of Broad street, in this
city, with a general office in the city of New York. Its
officers, at the date of its organization, were James C. Wilson,
president; Henry G. Ely, treasurer; Samuel W. Putnam,
secretary — all residents of Brooklyn, New York; and James E.
Emerson, superintendent, of Trenton.
No change in its
officers occurred until January, 1869, when Mr. James E. Emerson
resigned the position of superintendent, and was succeeded by
William E. Brooke, who still holds the office.
The company was organized for the purpose of manufacturing
movable tooth circular saws, an invention of Mr. Emerson while
in California, in 1860, but greatly improved in the more recent
invention of September, 1865, and under which patent the company
summer of 1867, other improvements and inventions were made in
the manufacture of saws, the principal one being the perforated
patent. This invention being applicable to saws of all
descriptions, extends largely into the productions of the
company state in the Union, and orders are received from many
This has become
one of the important branches of industry of our city, employing
one hundred men, at an annual pay roll expenditure of sixty
thousand dollars. It is worthy of note, that at this
manufactory was made the largest saw the world has produced, it
measuring seven feet four inches in diameter, the plate for
which was rolled expressly for the purpose, in Sheffield,
England. This saw was manufactured for the Universal
Exposition in Paris, in the year 1867."
Just a few months after production of saws begun, on August 20,
1866 the Trenton Daily State
The American Saw Company’s Works
"The company was organized under the laws of the State of New
York in January last, with capital stock of $250,000, some of
which is owned in this city, but the large portion in the hands
of capitalists in New York. The works are located east of the
canal on the White Horse road and adjoining the wire rope works
of Mr. Roebling, on the premises formerly occupied by Messrs.
Emerson & Silver, for the manufacture of swords, bayonets and
specialty of these works is the manufacture of circular saws
with movable or independent teeth, the patent for which,
together with the peculiar manner of affixing them to the plate
was obtained by Mr. J. Emerson, a gentlemen well known in our
community as possessing a vast amount of ingenuity and knowledge
in the scientific arts, and to whom is entrusted responsible
position of Superintendent of the establishment.
The works comprise some six to seven rooms, all on the ground
floor. The plates used are of the best quality of imported
steel, and are the production of Jessop & Sons of Sheffield,
England. The plates manufactured in this country have not yet
been wrought with such perfection as those made in England;
neither are they made of a diameter sufficiently large to meet
steel disc, running from one eight to one-quarter of an inch in
diameter if first taken to the cutting room, where massive
machine makes an incision at regular intervals in the plate, for
the insertion of the teeth. By changing the dies the teeth are
also stamped out by the same machine, its power being something
A piece of iron nearly an inch thick was shown us which
the ponderous lever had cur through with as much ease as we
might clip a piece of cardboard with ordinary scissors.
The next process is the beveling of the edges of that part of
the plate where the incision has been made for the teeth, so as
to fit the corresponding groove in the back of the tooth. This
is done by ingeniously contrived machinery, and requires much
nicety and attention by the workman.
The cutting of the groove
in the convex part of the teeth is also performed by similar
machinery in the same room, after which the teeth are finished
of on the grindstone.