Bullard Machine Tool Company

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A Bullard CNC VTL.
Bullard Mult-Au-Matic, a vertical, multispindle automatic lathe, 1914.[1]
Memorial Day 1942 at Bullard

The Bullard Machine Tool Company was a large American machine tool builder. It specialized in vertical boring mills and was largely responsible for the development of the modern form of that class of machine tools.[2]

The firm was founded in 1894 by Edward Payson Bullard Sr. (born 1841-04-18 in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, USA; died 1906-12-22 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA[3]). He received formative experience at the Colt armory and Pratt & Whitney,[3] which were influential development centers for generations of toolmakers.[4] Bullard Sr is believed to have developed the first small boring machine designed to do the accurate work previously performed on the faceplate of a lathe.[5] Roe (1916) says that "Up to that time boring machines were relied on only for large and rough work."[5]

Bullard Sr.'s son, Edward Payson Bullard Jr. (1872–1953), continued the family machine tool business and brought the turret principle to the vertical boring mill, making it a vertical turret lathe.[6] For a while in America during the 20th century, the name "Bullard" on the shop floor was something of a genericized trademark for vertical turret-head boring mills.[7] E.P. Bullard Jr led the development of the company's multiple-spindle Mult-Au-Matic brand machine that became an important automatic lathe in the mass production of parts for the automotive industry.[1][6] Bullard Jr was president of the company for 40 years, through World War I, the interwar period, and World War II, a period during which the Bullard company was the largest machine tool builder in the U.S.,[6] and vast volumes of military matériel were produced by countless companies running Bullard machines. Bullard is now owned by Bourn& Koch, based in Rockford, Illinois. Bourn & Koch continues to provide OEM parts, service and support for their machines.



  • Burghardt, Henry D.; Axelrod, Aaron; Anderson, James (1959), Machine Tool Operation, 1 (5th ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill, OCLC 964718.
  • American Precision Museum (1982), "Edward P. Bullard (1872-1953)", Machine Tool Hall of Fame, American Precision Museum, retrieved 2016-11-11
  • Day, Lance; McNeil, Ian, eds. (1996), Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-06042-7, LCCN 95026250
  • Roe, Joseph Wickham (1916), English and American Tool Builders, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, LCCN 16011753. Reprinted by McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1926 (LCCN 27-24075); and by Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley, Illinois, (ISBN 978-0-917914-73-7).