Charles B. DeVlieg designed the Jig mill in 1943, which was his most significant contribution to the machine tool industry. But this invention followed a difficult career hindered by events out of DeVIieg's control, notably the Depression.
DeVIieg began as a journeyman macninist but grew impatient with the work and became a tool designer for Ford. Later he switched to Dodge Brothers as an assistant master mechanic and then went to Kearney & Trecker as a works manager. In the mid 1920s, DeVIieg developed a bed-type milling machine on his own, but, lacking production resources, sold the design to Sundstrand. Then in 1929, DeVIieg's attempt to start his own company was diverted by the Depression. Finally, in 1939 DeVIieg Machine Co. got off the ground with a machine that could make aircraft supercharger blades in a fraction of the time. With back orders on hand and impatient to wait 18 months for two boring machines to be delivered, DeVIieg built his own, the design of which he later improved to become the Jig mill.