Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,123 pages of information and 218,936 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Oliver

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James Oliver (1823 1908) was a Scottish-born American inventor and industrialist, best known for his creation of the South Bend Iron Works, which was reincorporated as the Oliver Farm Equipment Company after his death. After buying a South Bend, Indiana foundry with partner Harvey Little in 1855 he began experimenting with improved farm plough designs. He registered 45 patents on improved plough. He established the Oliver Chilled Plow Works in South Bend.

Oliver died on 2 March 1908 in his South Bend mansion. He left the company to his family; his son Joseph D. Oliver had been a manager of the company for several years. He took the company public in 1912. The company went on to develop mechanized farm equipment, and then went through a series of mergers. Today the company is part of the AGCO Allis conglomerate.

The above information is condensed from the Wikipedia entry for James Oliver.

For more detailed biographical information, see The History Museum (South Bend) website[1]

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] The History Museum (South Bend) website: James Oliver