The Briggs-Shaffner Company was founded in Salem NC in 1897 by William Cyrus Briggs and William Francis Shaffner to begin manufacture of rolling machines. The Briggs machine automatically fed in tobacco and paper in continuous rolls, pasting and cutting the long white tubes to proper length. Production capacity was 100,000 per at day at the start and quickly progressed to 300,000 per day.
Briggs-Shaffner Company continued to produce high quality castings of iron, brass and aluminum and produced many specialty machines. Around 1915, textile machinery was produced, including corduroy brushers, bar printing machines, calendars for dyeing, and various textile finishing equipment.
During the years from 1923 to 1970, the company continued to manufacture parts and machines for the tobacco and textile industry as well as various other products. The Briggs-Shaffner foundry has a reputation for making high quality iron and brass castings. One of the Foundry Foreman during this period, molded and poured the bronze tablet that marks the grave of David Livingston in Africa. The company also made automated machines for the bagging of potato chips and other related foods.
During the late 1920’s the company entered the textile beam product line, manufacturing wooden loom beams, with cast iron flanges , for the textile industry. The company also manufactured cast iron laundry stoves, the Tise well fixture and centrifugal water pumps. These were sold under the name of “SHAFCO”.
During World War II, most of the effort at Briggs-Shaffner was devoted to defense production. The company made bazookas, mortar shell fins, high altitude bomb fuses, tank parts, land mine relay housings, and other vital defense products.
In 1949, the company began making warp and tricot beams and shipped its first beams in 1950. Also in that year the company greatly increased its production of aluminum castings, largely due to the textile beams they had begun to manufacture. During the early 1950’s, Biggs-Shaffner Company phased out the production of iron castings, and concentrated on aluminum.
In 1960, the company began to make anodized household furniture. The main furniture products were various types of tables. In 1968, the company was sold to a corporation in Jackson Michigan, and produced products for the automotive industry and was a major producer of aluminum warper beams for the textile industry. Production of the beams was eventually moved Winston-Salem NC and combined into the Briggs-Shaffner line of beams.
During the 1970’s Briggs-Shaffner continued to expand its products and services, with two plants in Winston-Salem and one plant in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
In the early 1980’s, with the impact of the automotive recession, the company focused on the textile industry. The primary products were loom beams, with steel barrels and aluminum flanges. Briggs-Shaffner redesigned the loom beam product line to improve quality and performance, and added loom beam production to the Winston-Salem production of section and tricot beams. In 1984 Briggs-Shaffner added focus to international marketing of the textile beam product line.
In 1990, the Briggs-Shaffner Acquisition Company, d.b.a Briggs-Shaffner Company was formed by Emmitte E. Winslow, the company initiated actions to focus the two plant operation for international marketing of textile beams and domestic focus for foundry casting of aluminum products in sand mold and permanent mold, general machining, textile beam repair, and steel fabrication of handling carts and racks. In 1996, the company opened an additional beam repair plant in Spartanburg , South Carolina and administrative offices in Yadkinville, North Carolina. During this time, Mr. Kyle M. Winslow was named Vice-President of Textile Products, Mr. Brent E. Winslow was named Vice-President of Finance and Administration and Mr. Van Winslow was named Vice –President of Operations.
Today, the Briggs-Shaffner Company continues with the same spirit and entrepreneur drive to build a company that has evolved into a diverse manufacturing, fabrication, project management, recycling, rigging, crane operations, facility and maintenance services organization. In upholding our high standards of services, excellence and innovation, BSC is committed to providing excellent services that anticipate and exceed our customers’ expectations.