Atwood, AM Manufacturing founder, dead at 84

Sept. 10, 2002

CHICAGO -- Harold Atwood, founder of AM Manufacturing, died of heart failure at his Crete, Ill., home on Sept. 6. He was 84.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago native held patents on inventions that revolutionized the pizza industry, including the Scale-O-Matic Dough Divider. An invention of his that perfected the mass-production of bagels earned him the title of "Bagel King."

Atwood joined the Army at the outset of World War II and was eventually assigned to the Corps of Engineers, where he learned about working in metals. He worked throughout the '50s to perfect his many machines in his parents' garage before opening AM Manufacturing to produce and distribute them in 1961.

"He only looked at the big picture," said Edward Mentz, president of AM Manufacturing. "He always looked around and wondered what could the world use."

During Atwood's years with the company, it also created machines for pizza crusts and tortilla shells.

Atwood never retired and never stopped inventing or tinkering.

"He was never, ever happy with the end product," said his daughter Jean Anderson.

He is also survived by his wife of 36 years, Dawn; two other daughters, Claudia R. Spina and Holly J. Rentner; a son, Thomas; and five grandchildren.

Topics: Dough

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