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Prentice Brothers Co. / Reed-Prentice Co.

Prentice Brothers Co. and Reed-Prentice Co. timeline:

  • 1872 - A.F. Prentice & Co. (Albert F. Prentice)
  • 1877 - A.F. Prentice and V.F. Prentice (Vernon F. Prentice) joined to make Prentice Brothers Co.
  • 1877 - "lathefan" on Practical Machinist indicates that F.E. Reed bought Prentice Brothers Co. (in 1877), but I question this. Don't think that Reed was involved until closer to the 1912 merger. Looking for details on this.
  • 1882 - Vernon F. Prentice filed for a patent on "Design for an upright drilling machine." See patent 12,839 on patents.google.com.
  • 1912 - F.E. Reed retired and the companies merged to form Reed-Prentice Co.
  • 1915 - Reed-Prentice was sold to new interests. (What does this mean? It seems that Reed-Prentice was quite active for many years to follow.)

Various bits of information collected regarding Reed-Prentice Co. If you have additional information to share, please let us know!

The company goes back to 1872 when it was A.F. Prentice & Co. F.E. Reed bought the company in 1877, the same year A.F. Prentice joined two other brothers to form Prentice Brothers Co. F.E. Reed retired in 1912 and the two companies merged to form Reed-Prentice Co.

From Practical Machinst forum, 2004-01-20 .. post #3 - lathefan

Beginning in about 1890, business took off and the F.E. Reed Co. lathe became the world standard.

"In 1877 the company employed 6 men and produced about 150 machines a year, in 1912 he owned 8 buildings, employed a thousand men and produced two thousand machines a year. Mr. Reed retired in 1912 and the Reed-Prentice Co. was formed which took over management of the Prentice Bros Co., The F. E. Reed Co., the Reed Foundry Co., and The Reed-Curtis Machine Screw Co. This corp had a capitalization of $2,000,000. Mr. Reed remained as director. He died in 1917."

In April 1912, the F.E. Reed Company and the closely interwoven Prentice Brothers Company merged, and became the Reed-Prentice Company, and in 1915 the company was sold to new interests.

From Wikipedia .. Francis Reed (inventor)

$2,500,000 Merger.
Big Business Combine in Worcester
Uniting Plants for Manufacture of
Lathes and Drills.

WORCESTER, April 1--The biggest business merger that has been accomplished in Worcester in many years was completed today when the F. E. Reed Company, Prentice Bros Company, Reed Foundry Company, Reed and Curtis Machine Screw Company and the Crompton Associates were consolidated into the Reed-Prentice Company with capital stock of $2,500,000, for the manufacture of plain and automatic lathes and upright and radial drills from the pig iron to the completed machine.

Of the capital stock, $1,2500,000 is 7 percent preferred and $1,2500,000 is common. The sale of the preferred stock is already made to a Boston banking house. A part of the common will he held by the former Worcester interests involved and the remainder will be taken by those now going in to take control.

George F. Fuller, who is now general manager of the Wyman & Gordon Co, is president of the new corporation, F. E. Reed and Vernon F. Prentice are vice presidents, George Crompton secretary and treasurer. Dr Homer Gage, George F. Fuller, Frank A. Drury, Lucius J Knowles, Charles M. Thayer. John F. Kyes. Albert E. Newton, Harry V. Prentice, George Crompton. F. E. Reed, Vernon F. Prentice and Harry W. Smith directors.

Negotiations for the merger have been under way since 1908, but with such secrecy that the details did not become known outside those directly interested until today.

From "The Boston Globe," Boston, Massachusetts, Tue, Apr 2, 1912, Page 11 .. www.newspapers.com

Suffolk County, England, and Providence, R.I., Branch

Capt. Thomas Prentice, of Suffolk Co., England, was pressed into the naval service in England, but made his escape on board of a vessel bound to America, and came to Providence, R.I., and m. there Elizabeth Field, of Providence. He was a captain of a merchant vessel from Providence to the West Indies, and d. in 1831 or 1832.


  1. John Prentice, m. Sally Snow. Children: John, William K., George W., Thomas W., Frank, Harriet N., Mary D.
  2. Richard Prentice
  3. Benjamin Prentice; went to Worcester, Mass., and there m. ____ _____, and yet, resides there in 1882. Children:
    1. Benjamin; in business in Worcester.
    2. Vernon; in business in Worcester.
    3. Albert F.; in business in Worcester.
  4. Daniel T. Prentice; m. Mary Bogman, of Providence, R.I., where they resided in 1882. Children: Daniel, Benjamin, Louis, May E., Josephine, Cornelia, Ann, Emma, Eugene.

From "Prentice or Prentiss Family in New England," by C.J.F. Binney, 1883, p.353

Check out the Reed-Prentice advertisement at the Prentice Museum.

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