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Stetson-Ross Machine Company. NWDA



Biographical History

Stetson-Ross Machine Company, founded by George Stetson, was a prominent Northwest manufacturer of lumber industry equipment.

Stetson’s business began in the 1870s as the Stetson-Post lumber mill in Seattle. In the early 1900s, Stetson met Harry Ross of Berlin Machine Works and the two founded Stetson-Ross Machine Works in 1907, for the sole purpose of building planer-matchers designed by Stetson. Although the company manufactured other types of woodworking equipment during its existence, it was best-known for its planers, which accounted for most of its business. The company name changed to the Stetson Machine Works after Ross left the company to pursue his invention of a new lumber carrier. However, after the death of Stetson and his son around 1921, General Manager Wilmot Pritchard got Harry Ross’s permission to return the company name to the well-known Stetson-Ross.

Under Pritchard, the Stetson-Ross company business flourished, even weathering the Great Depression. During the 1960s and 1970s, the company expanded its scope by purchasing established machine lines in the woodworking industry. After Wilmot Pritchard died in 1952, there were a series of ownership changes, culminating in the 1985 sale of the planer line to Kimwood Corp in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Adapted from Planers, Matches & Molders in America by Chandler W. Jones

From the finding aid for Stetson-Ross Machine Co. Collection circa 1920-1985 bulk 1950-1980 (Museum of History & Industry Sophie Frye Bass Library)

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