Ebenezer G. Lamson (1814-1891)
In his early twenties, Ebenezer Lamson set up a cutlery business with his brother and an uncle in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. That firm, Lamson & Goodnow Co., prospered and continues into the 21st Century. When he became interested in the machinery that made cutlery, Ebenezer Lamson joined with another partner, B. Buchanan Yale, and in 1858 purchased the assets of a private armory called Robbins & Lawrence Company in Windsor, Vermont, the factory that is now the site of the American Precision Museum. In 1868, Russell Jones, a textile manufacturer, agreed to move his equipment to the Windsor area, and the company was reorganized as Jones, Lamson & Company. The owners soon discovered that cotton textile manufacturing and machine building were not compatible businesses. In 1876, the machinery manufacturing branch of the business was separately incorporated as Jones & Lamson Machine Company. In the mid 1880s the business fell on hard times, and Lamson began to look for tax concessions and sources of funding. This need became known in Springfield, Vermont, 20 miles south. Springfield offered the manufacturing company the financial support it required, and in 1888 the business and machines moved there. Aided in no small measure by lathe inventor (and Hall of Fame member) James Hartness, the Jones & Lamson business prospered in Springfield and became one of the world’s most significant machine tool manufacturers.