Biography of Edward A. Jones


Jones, Edward A., Tonawanda, was born in Birmingham. England, in 1854, son of George and Ann (Baxter) Jones. At the early age of ten he began to serve his apprenticeship as a machinist, and while yet a boy had mastered his trade. Mr. Jones remained in England until 1881, when he came to this country and settled in Buffalo. Here he continued to ply his trade for six years, dnring the last year of which, however, his inventive brain conceived the idea of an improved process for manufacturing steel balls. He immediately began experimenting on models and after working persistently for three months on the ideas to which he had already given a year's thought, he perfected his process and secured patents in this and other countries. He was now the inventor and patentee of an improved process for manufacturing steel balls, by which the cost of production was greatly lowered and the product itself greatly improved. In 1887 he formed a copartnership with David Roughead and under the name of the Excelsior Machine Company secured a small tract of land north of the city line in the town of Tonawanda, erected a small shop and began the manufacture of steel balls. At this time the Excelsior Machine Company was the first to make steel balls under the new process and the second manufacturer in this line in the United States. Under the careful and practical management of Messrs. Jones and Roughead the business of the Excelsior Machine Company has increased in ten years from a small shop with two men and a yearly capacity of 1,000,000 balls to a large plant employing 150 men with a yearly output of 150,000,000. making this company the largest manufacturers of this line in the world, as well as the only concern in the United States manufacturing steel balls exclusively. One hundred million of their annual product is used in the United States, the balance is sold in England and Germany, where there is always a demand for the Excelsior ball on account of its superior quality. In fact the wonderful success of the Excelsior Machine Company is due very largely to the fact that the Excelsior ball is the best in the world. During the first few years of its existence balls for bicycles only were manufactured by this company; now, however, all sizes are made for all kinds of machinery. Mr. Jones was married before coming to this country to Mercy M. Hartrick, who with their three children comprise the family of the subject of this sketch.

Our Countty and it's people
a descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Trumen C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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