Vintage Spanners & Wrenches in Australia
|Vintage Spanners Home|
Cooper, Sunbeam, Chicago Flexible Drive Co
| All images on this website are copyright. Should you feel
the need to use any of them - do the right thing and make contact on the
link below and make you request.
Table of Contents
From Sheep Dip To Shearing Machines
Cooper Sunbeam Shearing Grinder Spanners.© Ozwrenches
Shearing handpiece back cog tool , also a variation with only two main holes © Ozwrenches
Spanner supplied with Type RV and PT petrol engines, both designated M2117 in parts lists © Ozwrenches
The 1915 Cooper plate was used from 1909 to around 1919, this one is on vertical type “YB”
|The Wm Cooper & Nephews plate is from 1917 on 4hp horizontal type “T”|
Type “W” 3hp @ 500 rpm, S/N 139760 Sold to the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co on August 16, 1920
|Type “K” 2hp @ 550 rpm, S/N KA163378. December 1924. This is most likely one of the last engines with the type shown separately from the serial number. Note the type is also in front of the serial number as with later plates.|
Type “TB” is in front of serial number, this type plate was used until 1948/50 when the last TB’s were sold. The Stover factory closed in early 1942, this type of engine were manufactured by Cooper’s from 1929 although some Stover built engines were imported up to 1936. S/N TB37356 is rated at 2 – 2?hp, they are normally rated at 2 – 2½hp.
TIME LINE HISTORY
1813 - William Cooper born and at age of 20 in 1833 he was farming and practicing as a Farrier like his father and grandfather. In those days a farrier did not mean a shoe smith, but one who practiced has a horse doctor, a castrator and general practitioner in animal ailments. He was in fact, the forerunner of the veterinary surgeon of today.
1843 - Wm Cooper first produced his sheep dip following successful trails in 1841.
1844 - A Royal Charter granted to the College of Veterinary Surgeons and from 1847 Wm Cooper studied there as well as making his sheep dip, he became qualified in 1849.
1848 - Richard Powell Cooper born, his father Henry (b 1820) was the young brother of Wm Cooper. The latter arranged for Richard and his older brother William to go to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and they qualified in 1868 and 1865 respectively.
1865 - William Farmer Cooper’s joins the company that became Wm Cooper & Nephews.
1870/1887 - John K. Stewart and Thomas J. Clark were born in New Hampshire in 1870, it is said that they first worked for J. K. Priest in Nashua, New Hampshire, the maker of horse clipping machinery. They then went to the Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co of Providence, Rhode Island and received the best mechanical training available at that time.
1870 - Samuel R. Timson joins Wm Cooper’s & Nephews as a clerk at the age of 15
1874 - Charles Timson aged 14; younger bother of Samuel joins the firm. Both of them each worked for the firm for over 50 years respectively and attained high managerial office.
1879 - Henry Harrowell joins Wm Cooper & Nephews as the first “Traveler” (salesman) he and his two Son’s Roland and Shirley were to play an important part in the development of Cooper’s in Australia and New Zealand.
1882 - William Farmer Cooper’s died at the age of 37; Richard Powell Cooper starts his involvement with the firm.
1888/89 - Stewart & Clark took Horace Greeley’s advice to “Go West, young man”. Their first known factory was set up was in South State Street, Chicago and one of the first items they produced were horse clippers.
1890 - John Stewart and Thomas Clark entered a formal company partnership, they produced with aid of two employees barbers hair clippers, fetlock clippers, two hand clippers for horses, bicycle handle bars, and flexible shafts for machine shop use. They had moved to a loft on Canal Street, Chicago. Charles Timson of Wm Cooper and Nephews opens the companies American branch in Galveston, Texas.
1891 – Stewart & Clark’s original company name is unknown, at this time the company name was changed to the Chicago Flexible Shaft Company. They made flexible shafts for industry.
1892 - Henry Harrowell opens the Australian branch of Wm Cooper and Nephews in Sydney, Australia.
1894 - Henry Harrowell opens the New Zealand branch of Wm Cooper and Nephews. 1895 The Chicago Flexible Shaft Company was incorporated in the state of Illinois in April
1895. City smoke regulations caused problems in the manufacture of a special coal for the “Clark Foot Warmer”. Stewart & Clark found a factory in Aberdeen about 25 miles west of Chicago where they could manufacture the coal. In 1894 the CFS Co were compelled to find new and larger quarters. They were now located in a new fire proof, six story and basement steel constructed building at ? 142-144 Ontario St., where, with greatly increased floor space and modern facilities we are in a much better position to serve their customers than ever before. Wm Cooper & Nephews became the American agents for Wolseley shearing machinery, demonstrations lead to the first sale of this equipment in the USA to a Mr. G. W. Gordon of Soda Springs, Idaho. This was in the autumn of 1895.
1896 In early spring the Wolseley shearing machinery was installed at Soda Springs, Idaho with the Wolseley factory in England sending an engineer to install the shearing machinery. I have a copy of an 1896 CFS Co catalogue for clipping machines all testimonials date from 1895. It is stated in the catalogue that the flexible shaft plant is the most complete for this work of any in the world; our coiling- mill situated on the line of the Chicago & Northwestern R. R., 14 miles from the court house, it is 250 ft long- two stories high and equipped with the most modern labor saving- machinery.
1898 - In the January edition of the American Sheep Breeder magazine there is the first advertisement for the New Chicago Sheep Shearing Machine made by the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co. A hand operated shearing machine and Steam driven overhead gear is shown in the ad. CFS Co are now shown at 159-160 Huron street
1899/1900 - Charles Timson goes into partnership with John K Stewart to form the Cooper-Stewart Sheep Shearing Machinery Co; this company markets the Stewart shearing machinery in the USA. Around this time Wm Cooper & Nephews relinquish the US Wolseley agency.
1900 - It was found that there was a need to produce shaper and longer-lasting blades for the barber clippers, horse clippers, and shearing combs. John K. Stewart worked with an Ed Larson to build a very efficient heat-treating furnace to temper blade steel to achieve better quality and longer lasting blades. In August of that year L. H. LaChance the nephew of John K, Stewarts wife joins the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co and is sent to London to open a branch office of the company.
1902 - The Cooper Sheep Shearing Machinery Pty Ltd was set up in setup in Australia in 1902 under the instructions of Wm Cooper & Nephews, Chicago USA. The new company was located in a small store in Viceroy’s Chambers, Pitt Street, Sydney, with the first manager being a Mr. T. W. Sands and Mr. Hughes was the accountant. They sold Stewart shearing equipment under the brand name “Cooper” and were also the NSW & New Zealand agents for Fairbanks Morse engines. The Chicago Flexible Shaft Co erects a building of eight stories and basement on the southwest corner of LaSalle & Ontario Streets.
1903 - L. H. LaChance returns from London and Michael William McArdle joins the company as the advertising man, he was to become a Vice President and then President of the company. They were to play an important role in the development of the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co in the next few years.
1904 - Charles Timson and his son Charles Jnr of Wm Cooper & Nephews (USA) became associated with the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co when a 50% interest in the Company is sold to Wm Cooper & Nephews. The Sterk Mfg Co set up to make automobile accessories and the first accessory made was a siren or a horn.
1905 - The Stewart & Clark Mfg Co is set up and acquired the assets of the Sterk Mfg Co, they moved from Wells Street to a new factory on Diversity Parkway. This was to become the corporate headquarters of the Stewart-Warner Corporation. The Chicago Flexible Shaft Co was said to be the predominant maker of shearing machinery in the USA at this time.
1906 The Stewart & Clark Mfg Co start to manufacture speedometers.
1907 - Thomas J. Clark fatally injured on July 15 when his Packard Automobile over turned, he was demonstrating the Stewart speedometer on the Glidden Tour of that year. The Chicago Flexible Shaft Co erects a new factory along side the existing one, increasing space by 100%. They produce tremendous quantities of flexible shafts to connect Stewart speedometers to the front wheel of cars. The Warner Instrument Co of Beloit, Wisconsin was formed. A 1907 Catalogue shows the Cooper Sheep-Shearing Machine Agency of 24 Swanson Street, Auckland as New Zealand agents, district agents were Donald & Sons of Masterton, T. H. Carverhill of Christchurch and Williams & Kettle Ltd of Napier.
1908 - Shortly after the loss of Mr. Clark, John K. Stewart sold his remaining 50% interest in the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co to the Cooper’s and John K. Stewart devotes his entire time to the growing Stewart & Clark Mfg Co. At this time L. H. LaChance was elected President of the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co and M. W. McArdle general manager. The Cooper Sheep Shearing Machinery Co move to 16 Young St, Circular Quay and Hughes succeeded Sands as manager.
1909 - In August of that year The Cooper Sheep Shearing Machinery Proprietary Ltd of 16 Young St, Sydney wound up by Wm Cooper & Nephews. Then at the beginning of September Richard Powell Cooper and his eldest son Richard Ashmole Cooper register the Cooper Engineering Co at the same address. After some years of experimentation with die casting an eight-story building was built on Wells Street, Chicago. The Stewart Manufacturing Co is formed to make and sell die-castings and their principal customer was the Stewart & Clark Mfg Co who required die-castings for speedometers.
1910 - Under the direction of LaChance & McArdle the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co starts to diversify with production of their first household appliance, the Princess Electric Iron. The CFS Co plant was in an area with a large number of small manufacturing plants, near the north side of the Chicago River. From the early 1900’s they made special heat treatment furnaces at the request of these local companies, as the need for furnaces equipment grew the Stewart Industrial Furnace Division was formed in 1910.
1911 - At sometime between 1911 and 1912 the Cooper-Stewart Engineering Co was set up in the UK, they took over from the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co in selling Stewart shearing equipment. They were also the UK agents for Stewart speedometers and possibly making them under licence? 1912 - Charles Timson’s son Charles Eldred Timson takes control of Cooper interests in the USA. In the 1926 Stewart-Warner annual report it is said that in 1912 the Stewart & Clark Speedometer Corporation was constituted as public company to succeed the business started in 1906. In early 1998 Maxima Technologies acquired Stewart-Warner, the early company history states that in 1912 John K. Stewart & Edgar Bassick joined forces to create a new company to manufacture vehicle instruments and horns. Around this time a Mr. Ennson became manager of Cooper Engineering.
1913 - Sir Richard Powell Cooper died in 1913 at the age of 65, with his son Richard Ashmole Cooper inheriting the business from his father. Charles Timson returns to England to become Chief Executive of Wm Cooper & Nephews. In mid 1913 the Stewart & Clark Speedometer Corporation takes over the Warner Instrument Co to form the Stewart-Warner Speedometer Corporation. William George Hodge an English engineer was appointed manager of Cooper Engineering.
1914 - Towards the end of 1913 Horace Caldwell Wright formerly a buyer of the great Chicago hardware firm of Hibbard, Spencer Bartlett & Co was ask to go to Australia and manage the Cooper Engineering Co. At the beginning of 1914 Mr. M. W. McArdle arrived in Australia with Mr. H. C. Wright. William G. Hodge becomes the assistant manager of company. Mr. McArdle stays on in Sydney for a few weeks and an intensive advertising campaign is carried out to increase the sales of machinery. This looks to explain the December 1914 ad in “The Pastoral Review”, see comment under Fairbanks Morse engines, In August of 1914 Roland Harry Harrowell, who was the Livestock editor of the Livestock Australasian Pastoral Review and the son of Henry Harrowell, became the Sydney manager of Wm Cooper & Nephews.
1915 - In June 1915 the Cooper Engineering Co Ltd, Sydney, was registered with 10,000 one pound fully paid shares. The control of the Cooper Engineering Co Ltd, Sydney, was sold to the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co with them acquiring 9.993 shares from Richard Ashmole Cooper. The Directors were H C Wright (managing director), Roland Harry Harrowell and L. H. LaChance. The Cooper Engineering Co sold 1906 models of Friction Pattern Overhead Shearing Machine that proved unacceptable to the Australian shearer’s, so a belt driven overhead gear driven was developed in Australia and named THE COOPER NEW SILENT BELT DRIVEN OVERHEAD GEAR was sold from this time. With the low exchange rates and advancing tariffs, the wheels, brackets and grinders were made in Sydney. Over the years, pumping plants for irrigation, chaff cutters; saw benches and orchard sprayers were added to the lines sold, the reason for this being was to increase the sales of engines. In the Australasian Hardware and Machinery Magazine of April 1915 it is stated that Cooper Engineering Co had set up a Melbourne branch, at 548-90 Elizabeth Street. The manager was a Charles Abraham Cooper; he would seem to be a member of the Cooper family? The branch was set up before only two months before the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co took control. Later in the year the Melbourne branch is shown at 486 Collins St, with Mr. William G. Hodge as the manager. The Cooper Engineering becomes the Australian distributor for products of the Stewart-Warner Speedometer Corporation and then later for the Stewart phonograph made by the Stewart Manufacturing Corporation. These agencies were terminated after several years of operation.
1916 - John K. Stewart died in June 1916 at the age of 46. The Cooper Engineering Co moves to a larger four-story building at 129-131 Sussex Street, Sydney.
1918 - In January edition of In the Australasian Hardware and Machinery states that Horace Caldwell Wright (MD), Roland Harry Harrowell, L. H. LeChance and William George Hodge are the Directors of Cooper Engineering Co Ltd Roland Harry Harrowell becomes the Managing Director of the Australian branch of Wm Cooper & Nephews at this time, a position he was to hold for the next 33 years.
1919 - William G. Hodge resigns a Melbourne manager and is replaced by Mr. W. G. Blackstone.
1919/1920 - The Carbarita works of Wm Cooper & Nephews was built in Hen and Chicken Bay on the Parramatta river, It is interesting that barges were use to carry sulphur and arsenic to the whafe at the factory from cargo ships in Sydney harbour, there is a parallel to Berkhamsted in the use of barges for the same purpose. The Ottery mine was purchased in 1920, it was at Tent Hill, via Deepwater (near Tenterfield), NSW. It was a tin mine, but it could also yield arsenic. The output from the mine was used to supply the new Carbrita factory for the production of sheep dip.
1921 - The Sunbeam Home Appliance division formed by the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co, the “Rain King” series of garden sprinklers added to the range of products. Henry Harrowell dies at the age of 75.
1922 - In that year the Melbourne branch moved to Spencer Street on the corner of Jeffcott Street. Electric hot plates added to the Sunbeam home appliance range. 1923 - The Managing Director Mr. H C Wright returned to Chicago to become firstly, Vice President, then President and finally Chairman of Chicago Flexible Shaft Company. A Mr. G Ferguson who had been with company for twelve years and was assistant manager at the time was appointed the Managing Director.
1924 - Ed Bartlett joins the CFS Co and is sent to South Africa
1925 - Wm Cooper & Nephews in the UK merges with McDougall & Robertson Limited and was now know as Cooper, McDougall & Robertson Limited. In Australia and the USA the subsidiaries still went under the name of Wm Cooper & Nephews. 1926 Ed Bartlett returns to the US as “Sheep Shearing Expert” for CFS Co
1927 - In that year the Melbourne branch moved to Little Bourke Street. The “EB” shearing handpiece is released, “EB” is thought to stand for Ed Bartlett. Ad in New Zealand Farms shows The Cooper Engineering Co (N.Z.) Ltd, I have no information as too when this company replaced the Cooper Sheep-Shearing Machine Agency. Five Cooper (Stover) Type KA have come to light that were shipped to New Zealand between 1926 & 1930, all of them have Wm Cooper & Nephews, Auckland plates. Shirley Harrowell brother of Roland was Managing Director of Wm Cooper & Nephews New Zealand; I have very little information about Cooper’s in N. Z. prior to WW2.
1929 - Coffee makers added to the Sunbeam home appliance range.
1930 - The “Sunbeam Mix Master”, waffle irons, electric clocks added to the Sunbeam home appliance range, Cooper Engineering the agents in Australia.
1931 - An electric razor and fans added to the Sunbeam home appliance range.
1932 - A drop in the value of the Australian pound in relation to the US dollar made it unprofitable to sell machinery that was imported from the Chicago plant. Mr. C. H. Brookes from the Chicago plant was sent to Sydney too assess the situation and it was then decided to establish an Australian manufacturing plant, to achieved this objective a 28,000 square foot building was purchased in Elizabeth Street, Waterloo, Sydney.
1933 Production machinery was sent from Chicago to Sydney in late 1932 and beginning in early 1933 alterations were made to the factory and the production machinery was installed. This was achieved in a period of ninety days and local production of Cooper shearing equipment started.
1934 - Mr. C. H. Brookes who had been production manager at head office, Chicago plant, arrived in Sydney. He came to supervise the setting up of repetition production methods for the manufacture of shearing machinery. He also set up programs that were new to Australia at that time in the use of standard analysis of costs and time studies of the manufacturing operations. Along with this he made very noticeable in improvements the quality of comb’s and cutter’s by altering manufacturing methods. The manufacture and sales of the Cooper “Master Model” Friction overhead Gear was also started at this time. This was to become in a short period of time, one of the company’s best-known and continuous selling lines. Local production of the “EB” handpiece had started in 1933 Wm Cooper & Nephews sell the Ottery mine in 1934 to the Anglo-Malayan Co who reverted it back to a tin mine.
1935 - Mary Brooks comes to Australia with her husband Cyril (C. H. Brookes) and becomes Cooper’s advertising manager. Prior to this she was the advertising manger and personal assistant to Mr. M. W. McArdle, the President of Chicago Flexible Shaft Co. About eighteen months after starting these programs, the number of employees of the company had more than doubled, This was at the time of a world wide depression and the Cooper Engineering Co Ltd was one of the few Australian companies that continued to expand it’s workforce.
1936/37 - This time saw the consolidation of the company with increased sales through the installation of new and more modern machinery and the improvement in manufacturing methods. The increase in the number of employees continued at this time on a steady but firm basis. 1937 - The Cooper family shares in the Chicago Flexible Shaft Co were gradually sold over a period of years to the American Co-president of the company until he had complete control in 1937. Cooper Engineering Co Ltd was now a wholly owned subsidiary of the American owned company. Mr. C. H. Brookes becomes the Managing Director of Cooper Engineering; Mr. G. Ferguson replaces Mr. W. G. Blackstone as Melbourne manager, the latter takes charge of advertising at head office.
1939 - The Waterloo factory was becoming too crowded and land was purchased at Mascot to allow the continued expansion of the company.
1941 - The company produced the first electric powered shearing gear; it was based on the friction cone drive.
1942 - Cooper Engineering moves into the new Mascot plant and the major part of production swung over to war work.
1944 - Mr. F. N. Yardwood dies; he had been chairman of the board of Cooper Engineering since 1922, Mr. R. H. Harrowell appointed chairman of the board. Late in that year experimental work on sheep showers commenced, various types of nozzles, mechanisms and enclosures were tried under actual working conditions on a property in New South Wales.
1946 - The Chicago Flexible Shaft Co decides to change it’s name to the Sunbeam Corporation because it was better known by that time for it’s household products, Cooper Engineering South Australian Branch open in 1946 in Waymouth Street, Adelaide with Mr. F. A. Burrows as manager.
1951 - Mr. R. H. Harrowell dies after a short illness, he his succeeded by Mr. C. H. Brooks the managing director of Cooper Engineering since 1937.
1952 - The Cooper Engineering Co changed its name to the Sunbeam Corporation in December of that year. At this time construction was started of the huge complex at Campsie, New South Wales. Queensland branch opened at 15 Logan Street, South Brisbane with Mr. A. S. Lesley as manager. Cooper Engineering closed in New Zealand, the companies shearing machinery and engines was marketed through the firm of Wright Stephenson & Co of Wellington.
1960 - Cooper, McDougall & Robertson Limited were taken over by Burroughs Wellcome & Company.
1967 - Mr. C. H. Brooks retires and is replaced as managing director by Mr. Merv Doherty.
1970 - Sunbeam purchases VICTA lawn mowers.
1971 - Mr. Merv Doherty becomes Chairman of the board of the Cooper Engineering Co and Mr. Roy Jenkins becomes managing director.
1984 - Victa becomes an integrated part of Sunbeam when the company relocates from Milperra to a new factory at Campsie.
1988 - The Sunbeam Corporation in the USA was taken over by the Reil Corporation. Then towards the end of the year six senior executives bought the Australian company from the Reil Corporation, the new company name was SUNBEAM VICTA
2000 - Cooper’s Animal Heath now owned Shearing Plow, with John Haigh as the manager. He started working for Wm Cooper & Nephews in 1956 and retired in 2002, he was a great help in finding the early history of Wm Cooper & Nephews.
2002 - SUNBEAM VICTA was sold to Trutest of New Zealand.
©Ron Wiley May 2011. Contact information Email; email@example.com
Cooper Engines sold in Australia
Cooper (Stewart) “Little Wonder”
Cooper (Stewart) Little Major.
Cooper (Stewart) 3½hp engine
The following engines were referred too as the “Cooper Engine”; there
was no reference to the Stover Engine & Mfg Co of Freeport, Illinois,
who produced them in any ads.
Stover horizontal engines
Junior Range of open crank horizontal engines
Type “RH” Horizontal open crank engines from 1923
Vertical type VA
Horizontal enclosed crank engines from 1929
Southern Cross vertical petrol engines
Single cylinder verticals
Johnson Iron Horse
Cooper air-cooled engines from 1945 to the mid 1960’s
Post war Cooper Verticals
Guldner air-cooled diesels was made under licence, listed
in 1965 to 1971
Fairbanks Morse These are dated by the engine serial number; no factory records exist for engines made prior to 1911. I have seen one vertical with a date 3/5/3 (March 5, 1903) stamped on the cylinder, engine S/N 49295, this the earliest engine I know of.
Southern Cross petrol and diesel engines
Ronaldson Tippet petrol and diesel engines
Cooper built engines from 1929 to 1936
Cooper built engines from 1937 to 1942
Cooper built engines from 1943 onwards
Please contact me for dating information on other Cooper badged engines.
Contact Information Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Vintage Spanners Home||Contact Us|