Edwin R. Fellows founded the Fellows Gear Shaper Company in 1896 in Springfield, Vermont. While working for Jones and Lamson Machine Company, Fellows became interested in gear-cutting problems and went on to invent the Gear Shaper and the Gear Shaper Cutter. The coming of the automobile was fortuitous for the machine tool industry. In 1900, Fellows developed a rack shaper, and in 1902 he developed the 24-inch gear shaper, which was principally developed to cut automobile gears. The fortunes of the company came to be interwoven with the automobile industry. For the Fellows Gear Shaper Company, the 1920s was a time of growth and product development and the early 1940s heralded the design and production of nine new kinds of machines. In 1977 Fellows introduced its new series of Hydrostroke machines and in the early 1980s introduced its computer numerical control (CNC) machines. In 1970, the company changed its name to Fellows Corporation. Four years later, Fellows was acquired by the Emhart Corporation. In 1987 Fellows was acquired by Goldman Industrial Group. Goldman filled for bankruptcy in February 2002. In July 2002, Bourn & Koch, Inc., and Star-SU, Inc., acquired the gear shaper machine tool manufacturing assets and the gear shaper cutting tool manufacturing assets respectively. Fellows was a leader and dominant figure in the manufacturing of precision gear production, gear cutting tools, and optical inspection machines. Their contribution to the industry enabled the manufacture of gears for textile, automobiles, factory machinery, and other industries.
The business records of Fellows Gear Shaper Company, including administrative records, financial records, journals, minute books, annual reports, topographic maps, architectural drawings, employee records, and photographs of company veterans' dinners and the construction of the 1969 North Springfield plant. Includes two volumes regarding Emhart Corporation's acquisition of Fellows in 1974, a 1953 industry defense study, and legal documents regarding a contract dispute with Colt Manufacturing Company.
Fellows Gear Shaper Records, 1896-1970s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
2004.3004 (NMAH Acc.)
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves