Peter Liston Simpson was born 21st December, 1848 in Bo’Ness, Scotland where he served his apprenticeship in Bathgate Foundry, Bathgate, Scotland. At the age of 21 he moved to Toronto, Canada, After working in several foundries in Toronto, he moved to Cleveland in 1875, where he finally became owner of a gray iron foundry. While he was superintendent of Yongslove Massey Co. in Cleveland, he made an engine cylinder which is thought to have been the first steel casting produced west of the Ohio river. In 1881 he moved to Minneapolis, where he was foundry superintendent for the North Star Iron Works. Later he embarked in the clay-working machinery business, inventing a dry press brick machine and in 1884 he was granted a patent from the United States for the world’s first automatic brick press. Until this time all bricks were made by hand. This machine made six bricks a second, each being the same weight and size. Based on this product he founded the Simpson Brick Press Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota the 1880’s. He also designed and built a gear-molding machine which attracted considerable attention among foundrymen. In 1889 he moved the business to Chicago, where he lived until his death. This business was so successful in 1903 it was purchased by the American Clay Machinery Company of Bucyrus and Willoughby, Ohio. In 1912 he founded National Engineering Company (now called Simpson Technologies Corporation) and began to produce the muller type mixer for use in the foundry, ceramic and refractory industries. The success of the mixer led to many other innovations in material handling, a core reducer and a screen separator.
Mr. Simpson was a member of the Chicago Foundrymen’s club and the American Foundrymen’s Association (AFS), and was a recognized an expert in foundry and clay working technology. Peter Simpson died in 1917.
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