Palmgren Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Founded in 1919 by Clarence Palmgren, the company is now owned by CH Hanson. 


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Clarence Palmgren

Clarence Palmgren founded the company in 1919.

Palmgren marks its 100th anniversary as a manufacturer of products for the metalworking industry. Its founder, Clarence Palmgren, is credited with the design and manufacture of some of the first machine vises, cross slides and rotary tables. 

Originally named Chicago Tool & Engineering Co., the company’s first product was the angle machine vise followed by traditional drill press vises and a lineup of machine and milling vises. In the early 1950s, the company designed its rotary tables and cross-slide tables, which were capable of transferring workpieces from one machine position to another without losing squareness or alignment. 

About 20 years after the company was founded, it was renamed Palmgren. During World War II, Palmgren supplied machine vises and aircraft propellor service equipment as well as underwater cutting and welding equipment for the navy. Palmgren remained family owned until 1997. In 2013, the company was acquired by CH Hanson.


  • Holding Small Parts for Effective Machining on a CNC Router

    A non-woven porous material with a special coating enables vacuum chucks and tables to hold sheets of metal and other materials more effectively on CNC routing machines. The material, called Vilmill, is used as a substrate between the sheet or plate material to be machined and a suitable vacuum table or vacuum chuck where it is held securely in place by the vacuum.

  • Workholding With A Vacuum Chuck

    An aerospace machine shop meets a special need by using a vacuum chuck.

  • Making The Most of Modular Fixturing

    Modular fixturing makes sense for this manufacturer, whether it's machining one- or two-of-a-kind parts for its custom machine tools or larger quantities for its contract machining business.