The company finds its origins with Gerhard Hartwigs who was born in 1937 in Hamburg, Germany. After completing his formal education in Germany, he moved to the United States and applied at J.E. Caldwell, one of the finest jewelers in Philadelphia. They were not at the time taking any apprentices for the jewelry trade but they were for the clock trade, and he was to be their last apprentice. He worked alongside both Mr. Krofage and Clementine Winterhalder, the last remaining members of the two greatest clock families in Germany. The Krofage firm fell prey to the depression caused by WWI, and the Winterhalder firm went out of business after WWII. After completing his apprenticeship he went to work for an engraving firm, Kurts and Roth, where he learned engraving and also made coining dies etc.
Eventually, he set up shop on Lake Wallenpaupack in the 3200 square foot basement of his home in Pennsylvania. In that basement he had everything from punch presses to lathes and mills and continued to produce clock movements of good quality. In the 1980’s he produced the clocks in the Colonial Williamsburg collection for Kittenger Furniture, and in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s he made clocks for Stickley furniture as well. In 1990 David Lindow, Gerhard’s only apprentice, joined him to work on the Stickley contract.
David stayed with Gerhard until 1995 when he took a job in a machine shop. Being a job shop, David got experience on a wide variety of machines and learned to make parts to tight tolerances. The 16 months he spent at Kyden Machine provided invaluable experience, and in November of 1996 David moved back to Pennsylvania where he returned to Hartwigs’s shop; however, Gerhard was only to live another year and died in November of 1997.
David took over the business and moved it to its current location in Gravity, PA. There he purchased a barn and a house where he continued production of tall clocks, banjo/MA shelf clocks, and regulator movements as well as a gear cutting machine. He continued Gerhard’s tradition of continually improving quality, but with the tighter tolerance control he learned at Kyden Machine production. In about 1998 David re-introduced the hand engraved brass and silver dials that had eluded production for many years. Brass dials were made in both the engraved sheet style as well as the composite or appliquéd style. Finishes and silvering techniques were mastered, and a convincing period style movement and dial was once again available to cabinetmakers and collectors.
Wanting to show that he had reached the level of a master clockmaker, David made a tall clock movement for the 2000 NAWCC Crafts Contest at the annual convention and won 1st place for two train clock movements.
On top of continuing production of manufactured goods David continues to restore period clock movements and has become adept at replacing missing alarms, wheel trains, striking cams and even entire musical clock trains with pin barrels and bells. Specializing in period Americana clocks David has the privilege of working on many clocks made by the biggest names in period American clocks including David Rittenhouse, Benjamin and Samuel Bagnall, George and Thomas Crow, as well as many fine European clocks of a diverse nature. This experience adds to his ability to make period style reproductions that look the part.
In 2005 David finished the restoration of a Lienhard Rose Engine that he’d bought some years earlier not knowing exactly what is was or how it worked. By the time the machine was restored he decided that since these beautiful machines had not been built since the 1950’s or 60’s that someone needed to reintroduce them to the market. With that, in 2006 along with Steve White, he introduced a new rose engine and finished his first batch of them in 2007. Since that time Lindow Machine Works has manufactured nearly 100 of these machines. David has since partnered with Mike Stacey of Columbus Machine Works to also produce the MADE Lathe. The manufacture and restoration of engine turning equipment now comprises about 50% of David’s business and given that both the same machines and vendors are used in the manufacturing process his two businesses complement each other perfectly.
Currently, David not only manufactures engine turning equipment, but also teaches classes on the art form in an effort to revive it and keep it alive.