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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Joseph W. Oliver's Carriage

Joseph W. Oliver's Carriage


Around the turn of the century, attempting to do business in England, Oliver used a four-wheel, decorated carriage, with  “American Machinery Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich. U.S.A., Jos. W. Oliver, Prop,” printed on its side to promote his company. In 1908 Oliver had established a branch house in Manchester, England, incorporated under the name Oliver Machinery Co., Ltd. 


Full Details

TitleJoseph W. Oliver's Carriage

Joseph W. Oliver had spent about sixteen years as a machinery salesman, and by 1893 he began to have machines manufactured, placing them on the market. He followed this business for about five years and then began manufacturing machines for himself in Grand Rapids.

In the 1889 city directory, Oliver was the manager of the Grand Rapids Machinery Co. at 100-120 N. Front.

In the 1895 city directory, Oliver is the proprietor of the Grand Rapids Machinery Co., Wood Working Machinery, 36 8th, and the American Machinery Co., manufacturers of machinery, at the same address.

By 1907 the company name became the Oliver Machinery Co., located in newly constructed buildings at the corner of Coldbrook and Clancy, near the tracks of the Grand Trunk Railway Co. The residence of Joseph Oliver was at 169 S College (243 College Ave. SE, after 1912).

CollectionOliver Machinery Coll., Box A, Folders 1 and 17

Reproduction and copyright information regarding this image is available from Grand Rapids History & Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI. 

InstitutionGrand Rapids Public Library
Physical Storage LocationGrand Rapids Public Library, Main Branch

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