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Sawdust From The Kerf
Volume 1
Issue 4
December 2002
LOMBARD HISTORY
By Tom Hawkins

Lombard claimed in its ads to be, “The oldest name in chain saws” because the company dates back to 1894. The company name Lombard Governor Corporation first appears in 1902. They made hydraulic water wheel governors. Lombard Governor Corporation began building chain saws at its factory in Ashland, Massachusetts in 1943. The owner of the company at that time was Mr. Henry Warren.

At first there were three models. The electric chain saw (Model: ES) the pneumatic chain saw (Model: PS) and the gasoline chain saw (Model: GS).

The same 24” (61 cm) bar, chain and tailstock were used on all saws made from 1943 to 1948. Longer bar and chain combinations were offered for the gas and electric powered units.

Lombard sold approximately 500 of the gasoline chain saws between 1943 and 1946. These units were powered by a Homelite model 24X1 six horsepower engine originally designed for use on water pumps and electric generators.

During 1946 the engine powering the GS saw was switched to the Homelite model 24X2 engine. This is the same engine that was used by Poulan on its first chain saw the model 2400.

By 1948 the Homelite 24X2 engine was re-rated to seven horsepower, and Lombard designated all previous and future GS models to be referred to as the model 6. They then started marketing the Model 7 (7hp) which had an automatic clutch and a chain oiler.

Lombard introduced its first one man saw, the (Model OMS) in 1949. This saw used a Homelite model 20X1 engine. This was the last model Lombard built using a Homelite engine. With the introduction of the “Woodlot Wizard” in 1951 they switched to using Power Products engines.

Note: I have not seen any of these earlier Lombards that had model numbers stamped on the nameplates.

They used GS (ser. # ___) for models 6 or 7 and OMS (ser #___) for the models 4 or 42; the number designations were used for sales ads and part references.

The model GS 6 HP was offered with 24 in. (61 cm), 36 in. (91 cm), or 48 in. (122 cm) bar and chain. The GS 7HP was offered with 24 in. (61 cm), 36 in. (91 cm), 48 in. (122 cm), 60 in. (152 cm) and 72 in. (182 cm) bar and chain. The OMS 4 was a one-man configuration that was offered with either 19 in. (48 cm), 26 in. (66 cm) or 34 in. (86 cm) beaver tail bar and chain. The 34 in. bar had a slot at the tip for a snap-on type helper handle. The OMS 42 was a 2-man configuration and was offered with a 30 in. (76 cm) bar and chain with idler type tailstock.

These four models were offered with three different types of saw chain: 1. scratcher type. 2. Cox chipper type. 3. Warren high-speed type. Item 3 was a Lombard exclusive, I think this chain was made by Lombard in it’s own factory. Warren chain was made of hardened steel blocks that are sharpened to an angle and silver-soldered in place.

Near the end of the 1950’s Lombard created a sensation with its Fury models which proved to be the best competition saws in the world at the time; their dominance lasted into the early 1960’s. These models used the Power Products AH-81 engine featuring 7.98 cu. in. (131 cc) displacement.

In the fall of 1962 Lombard Governor Corporation changed it’s name to Lombard Industries Incorporated. This they said was to reflect the wider scope of the company, which now included the production of chain saws, plastic molding machines and contract machining services.

In the spring of 1964, the Lombard Chain Saw Division was acquired by American Lincoln Corporation. Chain saw operations were then moved from Ashland, Massachusetts to Toledo, Ohio. During 1965 American Lincoln Corporation introduced the model AL-42. It was a 4.2 cu. in.
(69 cc) knock off of the very successful Homelite XL-12. This was the first Lombard chain saw with their own engine and was to be the basis of a series of successful Lombard models.

By 1968 American Lincoln Corporation was one of 22 divisions of Scott & Fetzer Company of Lakewood Ohio. In1970 American Lincoln Corporation was split into three divisions. The new Lombard Power Equipment division was based in Cleveland Ohio. Lombard Chain saws were manufactured in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Campbell Hausfeld division of Scott & Fetzer then built a new factory to include chain saw production in Harrison Ohio, this plant opened in early 1973.

Campbell Hausfeld appears to have failed as the managing force behind Lombard. I say this because there seems to have been a complete break down in engineering and design of all future Lombard saws. From 1973 to the final Lombard (about 1983) designs remained the same (just a change of paint and model number) some going as far back as 1966. Also I have found little or no advertising of Lombard from 1973 to 1979, at which time it was sold to a group of private investors. What a waste, for up to the early 1970’s Lombard had a very good product with world-wide sales. It pays to advertise.

In 1979 Lombard re-appears owned by American Power Equipment Company of Harrison Ohio, but by now Lombard has lost its edge and a large number of foreign manufacturers had entered the U.S. market. This combined with declining sales of chain saws in general forced Lombard to stop production by the mid 1980’s. The last know reference for Lombard chain saws dates to 1984 and lists a company by the name of Spray Care Incorporated of Cincinnati, Ohio as a parts source.
 

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