Wheeler Madden Clemson

Wheeler Madden Clemson (WMC) was an important manufacturer of handsaws.
William Clemson moved to America from England in 1842. He worked for Welch & Griffiths in Cambridge making saws for four years. Then he partnered with Joseph Woodrough about 1848 forming Woodrough & Clemson. Richard W Henshaw joined forming Henshaw, Woodrough & Clemson. The company moved to Woburn in 1852 and Woodrough withdrew in 1853. The name was changed to Henshaw & Clemson.
William invented & patented several machines used to mechanize saw-making. His innovations reduced the time to make a saw by 90%. E P Wheeler and E M Madden recognized Clemson’s talent. They asked him to join their Mohegan Saw Works in Middleton, New York. He did join when Josiah Bakewell died in 1861. Clemson bought Madden’s share when he died. Clemson’s share was turned over to his three sons, George N, Francis, and Richard W, in 1886. After the death of the original three partners, WMC was merged into the National Saw Company with George serving as president.

Elisha P Wheeler, Joseph Lemon, Jonah F France, and Abner Madden began iron casting in 1839 as Wheeler, France & Company. The four liquidated the business in 1842 and moved to Middletown in 1843. Edward Madden replaced Abner with the company name remaining the same. Wheeler sold out his share in 1854 to explore other interests. He would return to become sole owner in 1863.

Wheeler established the Monhagen Saw Works in 1853. This was also called Wheeler, Madden & Bakewell becoming Wheeler, Madden & Clemson in 1860. As steel was replacing cast iron, the Monhagen Steel Works was established. This company was also known as E M Madden & Company. A controlling interest in the Eagle File Works was obtained in 1863 and the Middletown Forged Horse-Nail Works was formed in 1866. Elisha died in 1876.

Francis William Clemson worked in his father’s company (William) until 1876. The three brothers Francis, Richard & George bought Woodbrough & Company in Woburn, Massachusetts forming Clemson & Company. They made saws until selling to Herbert A Woodbrough in 1885. Francis moved to Winchester and began making leather splitting tools. He returned to Woburn in 1891 and joined the Fowle brothers forming Fowle Brothers & Clemson. He returned to Winchester and operated his old business from 1898 to 1902. Francis then returned to Woburn and partnered with William C Bailey as the Clemson-Bailey Company. This was a prosperous business manufacturing saws and leather splitters.

Return to Home Page