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North Bros. Manufacturing Company - Philadelphia, PA


History Overview


North Brothers Manufacturing Company begun its existence as a small business established by Selden Gladwin North, a machinist, in 1878.  Ralph H. North, his brother, joined Selden about two years later.  They operated a business under the name of North Brothers.  They operated iron and brass foundry and a tinning and galvanizing business in Philadelphia.

The firm operated a foundry at 23rd and Race Streets in Philadelphia, but soon moved to larger quarters at Lehigh and American Streets in North Philadelphia.

In 1887 the company was incorporated with a name of North Brothers Manufacturing Company.

Five years later, in 1892, North Bros. purchased American Machine Co. of Philadelphia.  The facilities of this business were located at Lehigh Ave. and American Street.  After the purchase North Brothers Mfg. Co. moved their operation to this new location.

The company soon came to specialize in the manufacture of metal appliances, such as ice cream makers, egg beaters and meat cutters.

John Spring North, the son of Ralph H. North was born on Aug. 13, 1890.  He graduated at Princeton in 1913.  During the World War I he was first lieutenant in the Aviation Service.  Since 1919 he is a secretary of North Bros. Mfg. Co.

On April 30, 1946 the company was sold to The Stanley Works, makers of Stanley tools.


Selden G. North, Vice-president of North Brothers Manufacturing Company, Philadelphia, died at his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, on Monday, April 24th, after a brief illness.

He was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on May 14, 1843. His earlier years during the Civil War were spent in Sharps Rifle Factory, Hartford, Connecticut, where he became a tool maker and expert mechanic.

In 1866 his health not being good he came to Philadelphia and engaged in other than mechanical pursuits. In 1870 he returned to Connecticut to take a position as Secretary of the Higgamun Manufacturing Company, makers of agricultural implements.

In 1877 he came to Philadelphia again and established himself as a manufacturer of small tools for machinists.

In 1880 he was joined by his brother, Ralph H. North, and they started a foundry business. This was finally developed into the present Company, which was incorporated in 1887. Selden G. North had charge of the manufacturing part of the business.

He is survived by a wife and daughter.

Mr. North was one of the oldest and best known men in the hardware specialty and tool manufacturing business and by his many sterling qualities gained a large circle of devoted friends.

The funeral services were held Thursday, April 27th, 2130 P. M., from his late residence on Ashbourne Road in Elkins Park, one of the suburbs of Philadelphia, and were attended by a large number of business and social acquaintances, who thus paid their last tribute to the departed friend.

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