The Hamilton Company was founded in 1880 by James Edward Hamilton, a skilled woodworker whose first product was wood type for the printing industry. The first wood type project completed by J.E. Hamilton was "Grand Ball." Mr. Hamilton operated his foot powered scroll saw and mounted the letters on another block of wood. He then sanded and polished the surface of the wood type.
The business grew and prospered and by 1891 the Hamilton Company employed 200 workers and was doing approximately $500,000 worth of business. In 1896, the company found itself in need of a head bookkeeper. This brought Harry C. Gowran to the Hamilton firm. Gowran along with Dr. E.J. Soik (a local dentist) while working in their spare time, designed a bracket table for use by dentists. The two men sold this cabinet under the American Cabinet Company name but all of the cabinets were manufactured in the Hamilton factory.
Hamilton soon took over the company but continued sales under the name of American Cabinets. By 1901 a line of Dental Furniture was incorporated into the firm.How the Drafting Furniture came to be a successful part of the Hamilton story is really a parallel to the story of 20th Century America.
At the turn of the century the drafting industry was almost nonexistent. The engineering drawing that accompanied an order to the shop was probably the original drawing, done by a draftsperson, on an old board, set up on sawbucks.
World War I came along and items had to be produced in a hurry. Mass production became a reality and tracing paper had to be used for the original drawing so that prints could be made and distributed to many men in the shop so many articles of the same kind or for the same end product could be produced at once. Because of the time and effort put into the original, the Drawings Storage Cabinetry was a natural addition to the company. From Fully Adjustable Tables to Filing Systems, Hamilton products were always in the forefront.