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Atkins Backsaw


E. C. Atkins & Co., Inc. - Indianapolis, IN


History Overview

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E. C. ATKINS & CO. - Manufacturers of Saws and Dealers in Mill Supplies.

The foundation of this flourishing industry dates back to 1857, the founder having been Mr. Elias C. Atkins, who selected Indianapolis as a site for a saw manufactory because of the abundant timber surrounding it.

His beginning was most modest and unpretending, as became a man with a capital of only $300 in money. At the outset fortune appeared to be against him, for twice was his little establishment destroyed by fire; but he early established a reputation for furnishing a thoroughly reliable article at a fair price and his business began to prosper, so that in 1866, needing an increased capital, he associated with himself Messrs. Knippenberg & Kappes.


In 1872 Mr. Atkins visited England, in order to obtain better stock than was obtainable at that time in this country, and succeeding, on his return began the manufacture of the now widely known Silver Steel Diamond Cross Cut Saws, of which the firm is the sole makers. These saws are recognized by the trade generally as being the best in the market.

In January, 1881, the firm was reorganized, Messrs. George W. Atkins, Walter L. Gallup and Merritt A. Potter being admitted to partnership by Mr. Elias C. Atkins. The works have occupied the same grounds since 1860, and the plant has grown with the growth of the trade, until now it is one of the largest and best equipped industrial establishments in the country.

Here one hundred and thirty-five workmen are employed under the personal supervision of members of the firm. The equipment of machinery, much of it the invention of the senior partner, is the very best made, the patents for which are owned by the firm. The methods used in tempering, straightening and grinding saws are the latest and most improved and are the outgrowth of Mr. Atkins' long experience and constant study. Only the finest grade of saw steel is used and every saw is tested and warranted perfect in every respect.

The buildings occupied, are substantial and conveniently arranged brick structures. The annual business now reaches $400,000, and is increasing from year to year. To supply the wants of customers they carry a full stock of files, gummers, emery wheels, belting, saw mandrels, swages and every description of mill supplies. Mr. E. C. Atkins was born in Bristol, Conn., in 1833, and learned his trade with his father, who was one of the first saw manufacturers in this country.

The above text is from Manufacturing and Mercantile Resources of Indianapolis, 1883

E. C. Atkins & Company (incorporated), manufacturers of saws and saw tools, is one of the very oldest industrial establishments of this city.  The beginning of this important business was laid by Elias C. Atkins in 1856, when he began it single-handed in a little wooden building about 16 X 20 feet in dimensions.

Today it is recognized as the largest and foremost concern engaged in the manufacturing of saws in the country.  The firm manufactures solid and insert tooth saws, shingle, heading, metal, grooving, band, hand, cross-cut, butcher, kitchen, compass, hack and wood saws; in fact, every style and kind of saw known to the trade, as well as tools for the care of saws.

The superiority of the Atkins saws has been evidenced by the gold medals which have been awarded them at the World's Fair, Chicago, the Paris Exposition and the Pan-American Exposition, also many other important industrial expositions held in this country during the last quarter of a century.

Trade extends throughout every state and territory of the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia, Japan, etc.  The works cover over three acres, with substantial and compactly built buildings ranging from two to five stories in height, and equipped throughout with the latest and most improved special machinery, much of which is of Mr. Atkins' invention and covered by patents.

The company has a capital of $650,000 and does a business of over $2,000,000 annually.  Extensive branches are operated at Memphis, Tenn., New York City, Atlanta, Ca., Minneapolis, Minn., and Portland, Ore.  The present officers are: H. C. Atkins, president and superintendent; N. A. Gladding, vice-president and secretary; M. A. Potter, treasurer; A. D. Gates, assistant treasurer, and F. C. Gardner, cashier.

The Journal, Handbook of Indianapolis - an Outline History
Max R. Human, Editor, 1902

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