What Is a Frick Sawmill?


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A Frick sawmill is a sawmill design conceived of and manufactured by Frick and Co. in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The company differentiated their mills from those of their competitors by introducing steam engine mills that were small enough for farm use but less unwieldy than horse-powered models. Similar models were sold by other companies in Pennsylvania, particularly Farquhar, Hench and Dromgold, and throughout Georgia and Missouri. The portable and relatively cheap mills were common in small communities.

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Frick sawmills require a team of at least four men to operate and are often between 40 and 50 feet in length and weigh 3,000 to 3,500 pounds. Several Frick sawmill models have survived to the present day, and as of 2015, the "00", "0", "01C", "01C-HD" and "TD-36" models still exist in private collections.

Frick and Co. was founded by Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, resident George Frick in 1873. The company was originally called Bowman and Frick, but Bowman was bought out in 1885, and Frick and Co. shifted its attention to the agricultural sector. The company manufactured portable sawmills, steam engines, boilers and other machinery until its disappearance during the Great Depression. Carthage Machine Co. and Albright Saw Co. owned the blueprints, copyrights and patents for Frick's machinery at various points in the 20th century.

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