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Milton in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co.

Industries of Milton

 
 
Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 6, 2021
1. Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co. Marker
Inscription.  
Samuel J. Shimer came to Milton in 1871 to assist his brother, George, in operating a lumber mill under the name of Applegate, Shimer & Company.

They built a small machine shop along with the mill, and it was here that Samuel and George Shimer devised the famous "Matcher Head." The revolutionary Matcher Head was used to plane shapes on boards, such as tongue and groove joints and trim moldings. Production was devoted to the Shimer Matcher Head and other appliances for planing mills, as well as specialty products, such as the "Shimer" typewriter.

Although George Shimer retired in 1884, Samuel continued to develop the plant, located on the south side of Race Street between Filbert and Elm Streets. In January 1888, he hired his two sons, Elmer S. Shimer and George S. Shimer, and the firm became Samuel J. Shimer and Sons. Late in the same year, the firm obtained control of Milton Manufacturing Company, and in 1889 the elder Mr. Shimer invented and patented a valuable machine for cutting metal washers. This resulted in significant growth for Milton Manufacturing, then located in lower Milton.

Samuel J. Shimer was active
Marker detail: Samuel J. Shimer image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Samuel J. Shimer
Click or scan to see
this page online
in the direction of both firms until his death in 1901. The sons, both very wealthy by this time, took over the company; Elmer became president while his brother, George, became vice-president and treasurer. Six years later, they separated the two plants. Elmer became president and owner of Samuel J. Shimer and Sons, while George became president and owner of Milton Manufacturing.

Unfortunately, Milton Manufacturing Company experienced financial problems during the Great Depression, and George Shimer was driven deep into bankruptcy. The floundering company, which over the years manufactured washers, nuts and bolts, later converted to manufacture steel reinforcing bars. In later years Milton Manufacturing was owned by numerous corporations including Merritt Chapman & Scott and North Star Steel.

Elmer's business thrived. His sons joined the business and operated it until the 1950's, when it closed under the pressures of mounting competition. The large manufacturing buildings were later sold to Continental Can Company.
 
Erected by Milton Historic Downtown Walking Tour.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1871.
 
Location. 41° 0.953′ N, 76° 51.314′ W. Marker is in
Marker detail: Machine Shop Employees image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Machine Shop Employees
A group photo of machine shop employees at the Shimer plant on Race Street.
Milton, Pennsylvania, in Northumberland County. Marker is on Arch Street (Pennsylvania Route 405) just north of Mahoning Street (Pennsylvania Route 642), on the right when traveling north. Marker is leftmost of four interpretive panels in a small pedestrian plaza along the sidewalk. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Milton PA 17847, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee (here, next to this marker); Milton Car Works / ACF Industries (here, next to this marker); Other Industries of Milton (here, next to this marker); On This Site Stood the Second Stone House in Milton (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rotary Centennial Park (about 500 feet away); The West Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal System (about 500 feet away); The Founding of Milton (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Rotary Centennial Park (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milton.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Milton Historic Downtown Walking Tour
 
Also see . . .
1. Samuel J. Shimer & Sons Machine Shop - Race Street. Here a matcher-head was originated by George and S. J. Shimer, for which they secured letters patent. The establishment was burned in the fire of 1880 and rebuilt as a machine shop, and as such it has since been operated, almost entirely in the manufacture of
Marker detail: Hot Steel Bars image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Hot Steel Bars
Photo of hot steel bars coming through the rolls at Milton Manufacturing Company.
matcher-heads and other specialties. Seventy-five operatives are employed. The matcher-head made here is used in all parts of the United States, in Australia, England, Canada, and elsewhere, and has probably attained a wider circulation than any other of Milton's industrial products. (Submitted on July 29, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Illustrated catalog of the Shimer cutter heads. (Submitted on July 29, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Marker detail: Milton Manufacturing Company Plant image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Milton Manufacturing Company Plant
Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 6, 2021
6. Samuel J. Shimer & Sons / Milton Manufacturing Co. Marker
(leftmost of four interpretive panels at this location)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 29, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jan. 19, 2022