Berlin Machine Works


At the south end of Albemarle Street, on the other side of the train tracks, is the former site of one of Hamilton’s first large-machine manufacturers. Berlin Machine Works of Beloit, Wisconsin, opened the plant in 1908. At the time, the company was the largest manufacturer of woodworking machinery in the world. The building’s elaborate brickwork resembles that of earlier industrial buildings in the city, but important elements of modern plant design can also be seen, including steel construction and a saw-tooth roof.

In 1917, the P.B. Yates Machine Company bought the Berlin Machine Works plant. In 1930, a portion of the plant was sold to A.H. Tallman and Brothers Bronze Company. This long-standing Hamilton company moved to Burlington in the early 1960s, where it continued to operate as the Tallman Bronze Company. P.B. Yates sold another portion of the plant to Reid Press in 1937. This well-known printing and lithographing firm operated in the city until 1984.

"During the Great Depression my father and many other people had garden plots on P.B. Yates's property. Those lots kept people fed."
Ken O'Neil, retired steelworker

You can still see a number of the original white terra cotta logos of the Berlin Machine Works on these buildings. They consist of a Berlin “B” set inside a cog wheel. When the Reid Press moved in, it converted the “B” to an “R” by chiseling out the bottom of each logo.