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1916 Catalog #205 Modern Equipment for Schools of Mechanical Technology (Machinery & Equipment for High Schools & Trade Schools) The Buffalo Forge Co.

Jim Christie

Mar 14, 2007
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
This turned up while I was looking for something else on an Internet Archive search so I thought I'd share the link .
I checked to see if the link had been posted before but don't see that it has .
I did see that Joe Michaels mentioned he had a 1905 edition at one time in Post # 6 of this thread .

You are correct. I do have an original copy of the Buffalo Forge Catalog Number 205, dated 1916. I was about 14 years old when I got that catalog. My father & I had bought a surplus Buffalo forge ( a lightweight model) and had it in our basement, tied into an un-used chimney flue. That was in 1964, so we are going back 60 years. I wrote Buffalo Forge explaining that I had one of their forges, and was a student at Brooklyn Technical HS, wanting to learn more about their forges. Buffalo Forge sent me an original copy of the Number 205 catalog. It is on my shelf, in what may well be "pristine condition". As I write this post, I am realizing 1916 was only 48 years prior to my getting that catalog, and one year before my father was born. In 1964, both Buffalo Forge and their competitor, Champion Blower and Forge, were still in business and still manufacturing some forges and blowers. Buffalo, by 1964, had shifted its main production to large blowers for ventilating commercial and industrial; buildings and for boiler draft blowers. Buffalo was also a major manufacturer of 'ironworkers'- a multipurpose machine for punching, notching and shearing used in structural steel and boiler shops. In addition, Buffalo was making a line of drill presses. They took the time to respond to my letter, and likely knew that Buffalo Forge had outfitted the blacksmith shops at Brooklyn Technical HS back in 1924. By the time I began my studies at Brooklyn Technical HS, the blacksmith shops were gone. I got a good healthy diet of other shopwork and technical courses which started me on my career. Buffalo had cornered the market as far as equipping school forge shops. Champion tried to follow suit with a downdraft type forge looking suspiciously like Buffalo's design . I think Champion went after the working blacksmiths and farmers for their market share. I remember being in Harrisonville, Missouri in about 1980 on a diesel generator job. The town center had a drugstore with a real soda fountain, not a re-creation. On a brick wall of a nearby building was a painted advertisement for local dealer which proclaimed they sold Champion blowers and forges. I wish I'd photo'd that sign. I did photograph a white haired lady in a gray canvas 'dust coat' working the drugstore soda fountain counter.

The Buffalo forge we had in my father's basement was a light duty thing and I sold it many years ago. I've had and used a Canedy-Otto "Western Chief" forge blower. My everyday forge and blower is a Champion, 30" x 40" riveted sheet steel hearth, 12" 'fan', hand cranked. All three of these firms, known once upon a time as "the Big 3" to blacksmiths, are long gone. Absorbed, merged, relocated, and I doubt there is anyone at the current incarnations of these firms who'd know what a forge blower or firepot was. Mechanical ironworkers, such as were made by Buffalo Forge (who touted their "armor plate frames") are not too common, with hydraulic ironworkers taking over that niche. I believe an individual bought the rights to the Buffalo drill presses and has resumed manufacturing them.