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George H. Bishop & Co. - Lawrenceburg, IN


 

Historical Overview

 

In the "Hand-saw Makers of North America" Erwin L. Schafer lists George H. Bishop as located in Cincinnati, OH during 1882 - 1899 and in Lawrenceburg, IN during 1899 - 1920.

In the "Cincinnati - the Queen City, 1788 - 1912" by Rev. Charles Frederic Goss, 1912, there is a short bio of Charles R. Bishop, brother of George H. Bishop.

"Charles R. Bishop, who is now the head of the George H. Bishop Company, which is the third largest saw and butcher-supply manufacturing company in the United States, their plant being situated at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, was for more than thirty-four years connected with railroad work. He is a native resident of Cincinnati, his birth having occurred October 1, 1840. He is the son of John and Mary Ann (Ryder) Bishop, who died when the subject of this sketch was only a young child. The father and mother both came from England in 1835, the father from County Kent, and the mother from Northamptonshire.

Charles R. Bishop obtained his early education in the public schools of this city, and later was a student in the high school at Dillsboro, Indiana. After leaving his school he took up the blacksmith trade, which he followed for four years. He then entered the employ of the old Ohio and Mississippi Railroad Company, which is now the Baltimore and Ohio, and was a freight conductor for thirteen years and afterward passenger conductor for twenty-one years.

In 1893 he entered into partnership with his brother, George H. Bishop, in his present business of manufacturing saws and butcher supplies, under the firm name of the George H. Bishop Company, but still continued in railroad work. From 1901 to 1903 he was division superintendent of a western railroad.

The partnership was continued until the death of George H. Bishop, April 14, 1911.

Since that time Charles R. Bishop, together with Mr. Louis Duhme, who was also a member of the firm, has operated the establishment under the firm name of George H. Bishop Company. Their factory is located at Lawrenceburg. Indiana, and gives steady employment to two hundred and forty men."

The National Builder magazine for May, 1911 published the following announcement:

"The many friend of Geo. H. Bishop were shocked to hear of his sudden death on April 14th, at French Lick Springs, where he had gone to recuperate after extensive Western trip.

Mr. Bishop was president of Geo. H. Bishop & Co., of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and made friends, and retained them through his genial disposition and kindly manner, which endeared him to all his acquaintances.

While of the most kindly spirit, Mr. Bishop was at all times an exceedingly aggressive man. At early age he left his home in Southern Indiana and made his way to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his first business experience was gained in the jewelry establishment of Duhme & Company. Later in the '80s he became connected with the National Saw Company, representing them on the Pacific Coast and in Canada and British Columbia, until their absorption by another manufacturer.

Mr. Bishop then purchased a factory in Lawrenceburg, Ind., the present location of the Bishop Saw Works.  He was 32nd degree Mason, Knight Templar and Shriner.

The funeral services were conducted by Trinity Commander No. 44 of Cincinnati, in the Scottish Rites Cathedral."

In 1919 the George H. Bishop & Co. merged with James Ohlen & Sons.  The following announcement was published in October 1919 by The Packages, a monthly magazine for Wooden Package and Package Stock Industries:

"The James Ohlen & Sons Saw Mfg. Co., Columbus, O., and George H. Bishop & Co., Lawrenceburg, Ind., have merged and will continue under the name of the Ohlen-Bishop Mfg. Co.

The Ohlen plant at Columbus, and the Bishop plant at Lawrenceburg will each be immediately enlarged to meet the greatly increased foreign and domestic demand for Ohlen saws, Greyhound saws, Bishop saws and tools and Cincinnati trowels, while every effort will be made to provide the world-wide patrons of both companies with service of exceptional character.

More than 66 years' continuous manufacturing experience on the part of the Ohlen company—plus 30 years successful history on the part of the Bishop company will be devoted to the production of a line of Master saws. The concern will operate plants at Columbus, O., and Lawrenceburg, Ind. Branch offices will be maintained at New York City, Atlanta, Ga., Cleveland, O., Chicago, 111., St. Louis, Mo., Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, Calif."

Production of handsaws continued in Lawrenceburg, IN without visible changes until Bishop's stock was exhausted.

In 1920 Frederick J. Wuest, aged 73, has resigned as general superintendent of the George H. Bishop Saw & Edge Tool Mfg. Co., Lawrenceburg, Ind., after being an employee of the company for more than 50 years. He was the inventor of many saws and tools made by the company as well as machinery used for their production. His inventions and management contributed greatly to the wealth of the company. The Iron Age magazine from April 1, 1920 reported that the reason for resignation and retirement was "failing health."

W. H. Tuthill, Columbus, became the new superintendent.

New production, under auspices of Ohlen-Bishop Mfg. Co. introduced small changes.  The saws still used Bishop's Greyhound trade mark and his signature but new numbering convention was used for models description.


New numbering convention from 1937 catalog.

Over time the Greyhound trademark also disappeared and only Bishop's name and signature were used.  I the example below is a saw from late 40s:

 

The etch doesn't include Greyhound in usual place (left) and new numbering system example can be seen in the picture on the right.


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