Glover Machine Works Collection

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James B. Glover Jr.
James Bolan Glover II
(1866 – 1897) purchased the Phoenix Foundry and Machine Shop in 1892 and renamed it to Glover Machine Works.

Glover Machine Works Business Records


James Bolan Glover IV donated these records in 2001
(Accession MS.2001.001)

Single photocopies are available for research purposes only for a nominal fee. A list of applicable fees can be found here.

Sallie E. Loy and Dick Hillman processed these papers in 2001-2003.

Size: 100 linear feet (200 document cases).

Organizational History of the Glover Machine Works 1895-1995

The history of the Glover Machine Works can be traced to the early 1890s when James Bolan Glover II, “Bolie” bought an existing company, the Phoenix Foundry and Machine Shop near downtown Marietta, Georgia in 1892. The name of the company was changed to the Glover Machine Works in early 1895. A Lehigh University educated engineer, Bolan Glover took advantage of the needs of the various emerging industries in the south by manufacturing various types of industrial equipment. In the 1890s the Glover Machine Works operated during a period of immense growth in the industrial output of America’s factories, forests, and mines. With the increase in production came an increase in the demand for industrial machinery and by the late 19th century the Glover Machine Works was manufacturing a full line of equipment as well as a full catalogs of steam-powered machinery and hoisting engines advertised for “all classes of industrial work.”

One of their earliest and most popular products was a steam-powered log skidder. Built for use in the South’s pine and cypress forests, the log skidder was nothing more than a steam-powered winch with a vertical boiler. Such a machine was vital to the success of the lumber industry by allowing the logging crews to drag logs out of otherwise inaccessible pine forests and cypress swamps. Glover made equipment could also be found in the South’s developing mining and quarry industries. Marble polishing machines, quarry cranes, pulverizing machines, brick machines and machine molded gearing all bearing the Glover name could be found throughout the southeast.

John Wilder Glover
John Wilder Glover
(1875 – 1942) took over as proprietor of the Glover Machine Works in 1897 and guided the company toward the manufacture of steam locomotives.

Bolie’s tenure as owner of the Glover Machine Works was short lived. He died in 1897 at the age of 30. Upon Bolie’s death his brother John Wilder Glover became president of the Glover Machine Works. Under Wilder Glover’s direction, the Glover Machine Works developed into one of the premier builder of steam locomotives in the South. Even prior to Bolan Glover’s death, the company advertised on a national scale touting their ability to manufacture or repair virtually any part or piece of a steam locomotive. Consequently, company records indicate that as early as 1894 the Glover Machine Works was doing repair work on locomotives made by other North American locomotive companies such as Vulcan, Davenport, Baldwin and Porter. In addition, the Glover shops were building a variety of railroad related equipment such as push cars, lever cars and inspection cars. Company records reveal that the Glover Machine Works was manufacturing everything from brake wheels to grate bars and virtually everything in between.

It was this repair work that pushed them into the full-scale production of locomotives. Established during a time of tremendous industrial growth in the United States, the Glover Machine Works saw opportunities in an expanding market for light steam locomotives primarily built to serve the many industrial uses at the turn of the 20th century. Already involved in industrial manufacturing with all of the requisite physical plant typical of the era; consisting of an iron foundry, machine shop, fabrication and pattern shops; and already building steam hoisting engines and steam driven logging skidders, by the early 20th century the Glover Machine Shop was perfectly positioned to begin manufacturing light steam locomotives. Between 1902 and 1930 the Glover Machine Works manufactured over 200 locomotives and their name became known throughout the United States.

By the 1930s the era of steam locomotive production at the Glover facility had passed. The company continued operating, with the bulk of their business coming through the production of high-pressure pipeline components at their plant in Cordele, Georgia. After the last steam locomotive was shipped the Glover Machine Works continued to repair and manufacture replacement parts for their engines through the 1950s. With the population explosion of Cobb County in the 1980’s and 1990’s the land on which the Glover complex sat became a desired commodity. With the sale of the land to Cobb County in the early 1990’s historians and concerned citizens aware of the importance of the materials become concerned about would what happen with the historically significant archives and artifacts. With the support of the Glover family, and just as demolition began on the complex, work commenced to remove and preserve the wood patterns, company archives, machinery, and 3 Glover locomotives still within the buildings on the complex grounds.

At the present time, the Glover Machine Works Collection is categorized into ten series of archival information.

Series 1 Glover Machine Works Builder's Files
Series 2 Glover Machine Works Locomotive Specifications
Series 3 Glover Machine Works Photographs/Postcards/Builder's Illustrations/Advertising Photograph's/Designers-Engravers-Printers-Proofs/Glover Machine Works Shop and Foundry Photographs
Series 4, 5 & 6 Glover Machine Works Time Books/Payroll Journals/Cash Books/Accounting Journals/Ledger for Glover Steel Company, dated 1887-1937
Series 7, 8 & 9 Glover Machine Steel Company Daily Time Records, dated 1897-1935
Series 10 Glover Machine Works Alpha Invoice, insurance, and Miscellaneous Files, Superior Invoices, and Customer Orders

Builder's Files and Specifications
Naval Fox Brothers  
Company Records
Riverside Chattahoochee Brick Timebook
Payroll Georgia Marble  
Glover Catalogs
Glover Machine Works Tansportation Department Catalog Locomotive Catalog E
Photographs/Photo Cards
Ideal Locomotive Russian Locomotive West Bay Locomotive
Trade Catalogs
Electric Grinders and Buffers Lower Foundry Costs Toledo Cranes



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