Heavy Industry

Though I understand that the brand-name still exists, the company for which my father worked as a machine-tool builder for many years no longer does. The Lees Bradner Company manufactured gear-hobbing (cutting) machines and thread milling machines, primarily for export.

Alex Paris was for a number of years the shop steward for Mechanics Educational Society of America (MESA), Local 19. He stayed with the firm until the bitter end, when new owner White Consolidated Industries decided to close the factory at West 121st and Elmwood and move the operation to Dexter, Maine to its Fayscott Division in 1975. My father and most of his colleagues decided not to make the move—which was just as well as White sold off the division eleven years later.

Cleveland used to be a major center for the machine tool building industry. No more. In fact, most of that industry is now in China.

You can still find lots of used Lees Bradner machines for sale. Apparently, they had a pretty good reputation.