The Universal Windings Company.

Universal Windings letterhead

Universal Windings Company was formed in the 1893 by Joseph Leeson to manufacture machinery to put yarn onto patented bobbins designed by himself. They moved to Cranston, Rhode Island in 1914, building a large manufacturing facility there. The company trademark was the "Leesona" brand machines and bobbins. Winding machine .jpgInitially concentrating on machinery for the textile industry they adapted their machinery to be able to make electrical windings for such items as radios and electic motors.

(left) The No. 60 Winding Machine is typical of the kinds of products made by Univerasal Windings. This machine was used for doubling multi-end packages of cotton, woollen or worsted yarns.

The machines wound the yarns around patented bobbins called 'Roto-Coners' (right)           Roto-coner .jpg

Customers of Universal "Leesona" brand machines produced yarn spools like this - Spools

During the First World War Universal Windings manufactured a variety of products for the war effort including the hulls forWW1 Grenade pile hand - grenades which were produced in the foundry. These Government contracts continued after the war period and included making items such as radios, aircraft undercarriages, parachutes and weapons parts.

 Piling hand grenade hulls circa 1918.

The heavy engineering and foundry capabilities all to be found on one site, plus experience working for the Ordnance Dept. attracted Johnson Automatics in 1940 to use Universal Windings and their "Cranston Arms" subsidiary as their production facility.

Universal Windings also sub-contracted to Underwood Elliott Fisher Co. to make parts for the M1 Carbine. These parts included Receivers, Bolts, Operating Slides and Hammers. Carbine collectors will recognise the 'W-U' code used by Universal Windings to code their parts.

Page 11 text    Page 11 photo of Underwood M1 carbine

 The above text and photograph from page 10 "Winding - 50 years of Progress" - Universal Windings Co. 1943