Bryant Chucking Grinder (more commonly known as "Bryant Grinder") was founded on March 29, 1909 by William LeRoy Bryant.

William Bryant was an Engineer at the Jones & Lamson Company during the early 1900's when he developed the first grinding machine. It was a chucker model with 3 independent controlled grinding wheels, one for the OD, one for the ID and one for face grinding, thus, allowing all surfaces to be ground in one chucking. James Hartness, President of Jones & Lamson, helped finance the start up and became the first President of Bryant Grinder.

Bryant Grinder -  the Early Plant By 1910, a 20,000 sq ft building was built on the current location across the street from J&L. During the same year, 9 machines were shipped to Ford and Cadillac. By 1912, a single spindle hole grinder was developed, along with two other models and sales doubled. This provided the first annual profit of $59.00.

With the outbreak of World War I the plant doubled in size, by 1917 running 3 shifts a day. Additional space was rented from J&L to help produce artillery shells. The war promotion created two new machine models especially for the aircraft industry. In fact, Bryant earned such a reputation for accuracy and precision, virtually 90% of the grinding done on aircraft engines was performed on Bryant machines up to the advent of the jet engine. During WWI Ford Aircraft Division had 102 Bryant machines busy producing the famous Liberty engine.

Firmly established in the automotive and aircraft sectors, Bryant began producing machines for the bearing industry. By the end of the twenties, sales averaged 142 machines per year. The Great Depression arrived, causing most companies to close. With the start of its first 5-year plan, the Soviet Union became the savior of Bryant Grinder with annual sales of up to 30% coming from the USSR.

In 1931, William LeRoy Bryant died. Bryant was replaced by E.J. Fullam, than Treasurer of the Fellows Company.

With the downturn of the 30's, improvements were made to the machine designs. Some machines were made into semiautomatic, hydraulics replaced air and automatic sizing became available as an option. During this time motorized spindles became a reality.

Bryant Grinder - the Early Shop With WWII on the horizon, business was building rapidly. By 1938, sales had tripled and by 1940, the US Ordnance Department requested that Bryant expand the building to 127,000 square feet. By 1942, the workforce grew to 1350 people with 200 of them being women. Production peaked at 3.5 machines per day. Demand was so high that 750 machines had to be built outside by the Draper Corporation, Hopedale, MA over a two-year period.

Bryant was awarded the Army-Navy E Award in August 1942. With all of the war production in the "Precision Valley", Springfield, VT ranked No. 7 most important bombing target in the country.

As the war raged in Europe, machine production dropped off and Bryant began building radar units for Raytheon and General Electric. In addition, Bryant participated in the workings of the highly secretive Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project. Bryant also worked with Bendix on grinding bores to .000005" for use on fuel pumps for the B-29 bombers. This program lead to the development of the Bryant 1309-W model, designed especially for fuel injection nozzle production. The first 1309-W was shipped to France in 1949, followed by 4 domestic shipments and 11 to Japan, Australia and other European countries. A Bryant grinder was the first American machine tool to enter Japan after the war.

In 1946, Joseph B. Johnson, a long time employee who later became Governor of Vermont, became Vice President and General Manager. Business was again slow in the late 40's. But with the Korean War in the winds, business increased sharply in 1950. This time, production required two outside builders, Dexter Folder of Pearl River, NY joined Draper to keep pace with demand. In keeping with production, the 9" series of machines were introduced along with the very popular "Centalign C". The Centalign design was innovative having both traverse motions of the wheel on one slide and on the same plane as the work centerline. Demand was so great that Bryant started a subsidiary in England in 1956. In addition, Bryant purchased the E.G. Staude Division of Sperry, a manufacturer of printing presses and packaging machinery.

In the middle 1950's, with its expertise in spindles, Bryant designed a computer memory drum, which eventually became a separate division. In 1958, Ex-Cell-O Corporation of Detroit, MI purchased Bryant by an exchange of stock. Business again surged and Bryant found themselves shipping 30% of its product outside the United States. The Computer Products Division grew very rapidly and was eventually moved to Walled Lake, MI and rolled into another Ex-Cell-O division.

Bryant received a very large order from the Soviet Union for Centalign B grinders in 1960. A year later, after a lot of work was done, the US Commerce Department revoked the export license. Bryant had always been known as a leader in machinery export. By 1963, Bryant was awarded the President's "E" Award for Exports.

The Bryant Centa-Form OD grinding machine was introduced in 1964, solidifying Bryant's position in the external grinding market. Business progressed through the 60's without major interruptions. A mild decline in business in 1967 lead to a recession in 1971, substantially reducing the workforce. Bryant acquired the precision external centerless grinder line from Van Norman in 1972, which further diversified the Bryant line and contributed to overall sales.

During the 1970's, Bryant continued to develop technology by introducing 6 new models. But none compared to the Bryant Lectraline LL3 machine produced in 1979. The LL3 was the first CNC multi-surface grinding machine in the world. It was later introduced and demonstrated at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in 1980. The LL1, LL2 and LL4 size machines were soon to follow, giving Bryant the capacity of grinding internal diameters from .040" ID's to 88" OD's.

In the summer of 1986, Ex-Cell-O and its subsidiaries, including Bryant, were purchased by Textron, Inc.

In May of 1988, Textron Inc. sold Bryant Grinder to a financial investment group with limited experience in the machine tool industry which resulted in some difficult times for the company, it's customers and suppliers. During February of 2002, Bryant Grinder suddenly closed it's doors to business, prompting many to speculate that the company would never do business again.

On July 18, 2002 Vermont Machine Tool, founded in 1983 by Craig B. Barrett, purchased the inventory, work-in-process and all intellectual properties of Bryant Grinder. Mr. Barrett, formerly with Jones and Lampson, brought a vision and drive for excellence to the acquisition as exemplified by seeking out the best qualified Bryant employees and hiring them to form the core of the new Bryant Grinder staff. Together with the experienced crew of Vermont Machine Tool, the new Bryant Grinder team forms a nucleus of forward looking, motivated and innovative people intent upon sharing new, creative successes with their customers.

As corporate America is changing so is Bryant Grinder under the guidance of Vermont Machine Tool. Work forces have become smaller as businesses become leaner. The machine tool industry has changed as foreign competition has become stronger. Many companies have been unable to survive.

Bryant Grinder has managed by producing OD grinders and expanding the CNC versions of the Lectraform LF2. This model quickly became one of the best sellers in the modern history of Bryant Grinder. Now with a full line of Internal and External precision CNC grinding machines, Bryant intends to maintain its position in the world as a leading manufacturer of application driven machine tools.

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