In 1947, the Oregon Saw Chain Manufacturing Corporation was founded with four employees and one product. Today, the Oregon brand is part of Oregon Tool, Inc, a corporation with more than 3,000 employees and thousands of products. Here are some of the people, products and events that have marked the history of the world's number-one name in saw chain, guide bars, sprockets, forestry accessories, and outdoor equipment parts - Oregon.
A Better Way of Woodcutting
Logger/inventor Joseph Buford Cox was chopping firewood one chilly autumn day in 1946 when he paused for a moment to examine curious activity in a tree stump. A timber-beetle larva, the size of a man's forefinger, was easily chewing its way through sound timber, going both across and with the wood grain at will. Joe was an experienced operator of the gas-powered saws used in those days, but the cutting chain was a problem. It required a lot of filing and maintenance time. "I spent several months looking for nature's answer to the problem," Joe recalled. "I found it in the larva of the timber beetle.
Joe knew if he could duplicate the larva's alternating C-shaped jaws in steel, it just might catch on.
He went to work in the basement shop of his Portland, Oregon home and came up with a revolutionary new saw chain. The first Cox Chipper Chain was produced and sold in November, 1947.
The basic design of Joe's original chain is still widely used today and represents one of the biggest influences in the history of timber harvesting. (Source: Oregon Historical Society)