Machine shops are not a new invention. However, the term “machinist” dates back only to the early 18th century and the growth of the Industrial Revolution. These makers of machines and engines found increased popularity after Englishman, John Wilkinson (1728-1801) constructed a machine capable of boring engine cylinders in 1775 and an American, David Wilkinson (1771-1852), invented the first Lathe capable of mounting and driving a machine’s master screws in 1798. This marked the beginning of the age of the machinist.
In Guelph, blacksmiths and mechanics were sufficient for a time and continued to provide basic services for foundries and early industrial concerns. However, in the early 20th century, machinists increasingly were called upon to provide tools and equipment solutions for Guelph’s industries. Among the growing concerns at that time, is the little-known company operated by Daniel McKenzie and his partner, James Andrew Taylor.