Stetson-Ross Machine Co. Collection, circa 1920-1985  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Stetson-Ross Machine Company
Stetson-Ross Machine Co. Collection
circa 1920-1985 (inclusive)
bulk 1950-1980 (bulk)
3 boxes, (2.44 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1994.18 (accession)
Manuals, specifications and photographs related to machinery, particularly planers, designed and manufactured by Stetson-Ross Machine Company
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Stetson-Ross Machine Company, founded by George Stetson, was a prominent Northwest manufacturer of lumber industry equipment.

Stetson’s business began in the 1870s as the Stetson-Post lumber mill in Seattle. In the early 1900s, Stetson met Harry Ross of Berlin Machine Works and the two founded Stetson-Ross Machine Works in 1907, for the sole purpose of building planer-matchers designed by Stetson. Although the company manufactured other types of woodworking equipment during its existence, it was best-known for its planers, which accounted for most of its business. The company name changed to the Stetson Machine Works after Ross left the company to pursue his invention of a new lumber carrier. However, after the death of Stetson and his son around 1921, General Manager Wilmot Pritchard got Harry Ross’s permission to return the company name to the well-known Stetson-Ross.

Under Pritchard, the Stetson-Ross company business flourished, even weathering the Great Depression. During the 1960s and 1970s, the company expanded its scope by purchasing established machine lines in the woodworking industry. After Wilmot Pritchard died in 1952, there were a series of ownership changes, culminating in the 1985 sale of the planer line to Kimwood Corp in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Adapted from Planers, Matches & Molders in America by Chandler W. Jones

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Manuals, specifications and photographs related to machinery, particularly planers, designed and manufactured by the Stetson-Ross Machine Company.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Stetson-Ross Machine Co. collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection


Location of Collection


Acquisition Information

Gift of Bill Hendricks; received in 1994.

Processing Note

Items 1994.18-1994.26 and .35 were deaccessioned in 2010.

Separated Materials

These materials are part of a donation that also included a number of artifacts. These artifacts are cataloged and stored separately by MOHAI’s Collections Department.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Stetson-Ross manuals, circa 1970sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1994.18.28: “Operations, Maintenance and Parts Identification Manual, 6-14-D1 Planer”
circa 1970s
1994.18.29: “Parts Identification 6-12-C1 Planer”
circa 1970s
1994.18.30: “Operating Instructions and Parts Identification 6-10-A1 Planer”
circa 1970s
1994.18.33: Bearings catalogs, including one from Stetson-Ross
circa 1970s
1994.18.34: “Operator’s Manual for XL 110 Ripsaw”
circa 1970s

Photographs, Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1994.18.31: Album
64 photographs on linen backing with detailed captions on verso or separate page. Most images depict machinery and machinery parts manufactured by Stetson-Ross. A few photographs depict the Stimson Mill. Co. in Seattle, showing machinery in use.
1994.18.75-104: Photographs of assorted machinery

Company products binders, Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1994.18.32: Binder: “Stetson-Ross planers”
6” thick binder of materials about Stetson-Ross planers, divided into sections by product. At the beginning is a 5-page history of the company written in 1953. Sections include brochures, instructions, specifications and 8” x 10” photographs about the particular piece of machinery. First section of the binder contains general information about and photographs of the Stetson-Ross facility and operations. Also includes photographs of machinery under construction at the factory, and views of the Stetson-Ross building, exteriors and interiors including the drafting room, general machinery department, pattern shop, machine shop, erecting floor, precision machinery shop, assembly floor and a delivery truck Most of the photographs are by Webster & Stevens.
circa 1946-1976
1994.18.36-72: Binder: other Stetson-Ross equipment
40 folders, possibly from a binder as in 1994.18.32 above. Brochures, instructions and specifications and other information about specific machines or types of machines, or an aspect of operations, with photographs of machines interspersed.
circa 1960-1981

EphemeraReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1994.18.27: Book: Planers, Matchers and Molders in America, 1800-1985 by Chandler W. Jones
Inscribed to Bill Hendricks
1994.18.73: Trademark certificate for “S-R” Stetson –Ross trademark
1994.18.74: Pocket calendar and knife set-up rule, both by Stetson-Ross
1994.18.105: Display board materials
Folder of materials removed from display boards: promotional materials and newspaper clippings about Stetson-Ross and its products

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Lumber industry--Washington (State)
  • Machinery