Yates-American Machine Company

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Our History


Yates-American was created by the 1925 merger of P. B. Yates Machine Co. and American Wood Working Machine Co. At that time, they had factories in Beloit, WI; Hamilton, ON; and Rochester, NY. As is traditional for the largest American company in any field, Yates-American proclaimed itself the largest woodworking machinery maker in the world. In 1933 they introduced the A20 planer-matcher, which proved to be one of the most successful such machines ever. It could produce as much as 100,000 board feet of dimensional lumber per shift. Yates-American also dominated the hardwood planer-matcher market, where flooring is produced with boards as short as 12 inches, and special provisions are required to avoid chewing up the shortest pieces.

In the early 1930s Yates-American introduced the J-Line (“Junior-Line”) of machines aimed at the vocational education market, where shrinking school budgets had triggered a move to smaller machines. Over 1936 and 1937, Yates-American introduced the W-Line. Over the ensuing decades the J-Line marketing was shifted to focus on hobbyists.

Yates-American became the exclusive distributor of Whitney shapers. Y-A also distributed Whitney’s line of vocational machinery.

In 1961 we purchased the S.A. Woods machine Company, and moved just across the state border to Roscoe, IL. In 1981 they moved back to Beloit. By this time, we were specializing in large planer-matchers. This is been our main focus since then and we continue improve our design quality, technology and machine output.



Since 1883, we have been proud to present the finest woodworking machinery available. We offer planer-matchers, double rough-surfacers, end matchers, rip saws, grinders, tooling, heads, milled-to-pattern bits, planer knives, and other specialized woodworking tools. In addition to our equipment, we also have highly trained technicians available to visit your mill.

Yates-American offers unparalleled quality in its products, and also a solid commitment to handle your total needs with both superior design and outstanding service. Thank you for visiting, and we look forward to doing business with you!

Yates AM History Timeline