Sunday, August 18, 2013

Morse Chain

Above, from a 1980 catalogue.

In 1880, Everett Fleet Morse founded the Morse Equalizing Spring Company in Trumansburg, New York.  The company manufactured dog carts (horse-drawn carts) and buggy springs, and patented the rocker joint.  In 1892, the company name was changed to the Morse Manufacturing Company, and the bicycle chain evolved from the rocker chain.  It's success led to the incorporation of the Morse Chain Company six years later.  In 1906, they began to manufacture automobile chain in a new plant in Ithica, New York, and in 1908 developed the automotive timing chain.  The Thomas-Morse airplane division was created in 1917, which built the Thomas-Morse Scout for the U.S. Army.  A year later, they designed the first real U.S. fighter plane, the MB-3.

In 1919, they branched out into adding machines with the Peters-Morse Adding Machine Company.  Over the next decade, products included battery-operated electric clocks, typewriters, and in 1929 the company joined the newly-formed Bog-Warner Corporation, whose founding companies include Borg & Beck, Marvel-Schebler, Warner Gear and Mechanics Universal Joint.  The airplane contracts and designs were sold to Consolidated Aircraft, which later evolved into the Convair Division of General Dynamics.  Roller chain was developed in 1935, and in 1937 they began to produce the Gray Arithmometer, a pocket-sized calculator.  In 1954, the plant in Simcoe, Ontario was opened.  Today, much of their manufacturing takes place in China.

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