We found this biography for Mr. John Beitner Pagin showing that he was with the Sherman-Klove Company during the years 1916-1917. This would indicated that the company formed earlier than their license date referenced below. In addition, advertisements for screw machine operators begin to appear in August, 1918.
1/1/1919 Edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Yearbook lists Mason Sherman as V.P. of The Sherman Klove Company of 4519 W. Harrison St. AND 121 Eighth Avenue, La Grange, Ill. It also appears to list him as a member of the society since 1902. Link
The Society of Automotive Engineers also lists the Sherman-Klove Company (4519 address) as members in their July 1919 Edition.
The Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Illinois lists The Sherman-Klove Company as having $100,000 in capital stock as of their filing date of August 31, 1916. This report covers the time period of 1 January 1914 to 1 January 1916. Roger Klove - President; Mason Sherman - VP; Noah G. Klove - VP and Treasurer - Died 1932 in Mayo Clinic after an operation.
January, 1921, still listed in the Automobile Trade Directory as strictly a Screw Machine Product Company.
A snippet from the 1927 "Iron Age" publication notes that: "The Sherman-Klove Co., Chicago, maker of milled nuts, will build a factory to cover 34,000 sq. ft. at 3531 West Forty-seventh Street." Note that not a single publication up through 1930 lists the company as anything other than a Machine Screw company. I have yet to find a single mention of any wrench, socket, or any other tool.
When reviewing the S-K trademark certificate, the claimed first use in commerce is December of 1932, in reference to sockets, wrenches, etc. 1933 appears to be the first mention I can find of any "tools" by S-K. However, the content / statement leads me to believe they were producing tools prior to this time. Since the snippet notes that "the quotations on wrench sets are advanced somewhat," there most certainly must have been prior price lists. Research continues! Quote from snippet of Hardware Age - 1933 Edition: 1933 - "New price lists on socket wrench sets, steel tool and tackle boxes, effective October 1st, have been issued by the Sherman-Klove Company, Chicago. Quotations on wrench sets are advanced somewhat, but are now figured f.o.b. cars at ..."
A very interesting article in the January 25, 1947 edition of the Washington C. H. Herald notes the donation of land to the city of Defiance, OH by Mr. Schlosser for a city park. The article notes that the donation is reciprocation for citizens of the city contributing to a community chest in the amount of $4320 in September of 1942 which enabled Schlosser to purchase the original factory for Lectrolite.
Hinsdale / S-K
While it has been reported that the Hinsdale company folded around 1929, and that Sherman-Klove bought out their inventory, I am finding Hinsdale advertisements for all kinds of tools throughout 1930 and 1931, and into March, 1932 so far. (Popular Science Magazine predominately). Ok, I'm still seeing Hinsdale advertisements well into the middle 1930's for "Bobcat" socket sets, "Super Bobcat" ratchets, etc. I think we can pretty much debunk the "S-K bought out Hinsdale's inventory" theory. I have found advertisements on a consistent basis throughout the 1930's with no apparent breaks within that range.
Milwaukee Tool and Forge, Lectrolite, S-K and Symington Wayne.
TRU-FIT - It looks like the TRU-FIT name was trademarked by Milwaukee Tool and Forge , filed 8/19/1929 and claiming first and continuous use as of January, 1921. Lectrolite then trademarks TRU-FIT in 1952, claiming first use in January of 1932. The trademark specifically mentions that Lectrolite also owns the Milwaukee Tool and Forge trademark previous TRU-FIT trademark, under another registration number. The late '20s and early 30s timeframe is just about when the Milwaukee Tool and Forge ceases to show up in searches. Milwaukee Tool and Forge used the TRU-FIT trademark in a snippet from the 1931 Pilots Handbook, under an unknown catagory (probably files) Tru-Fit in a list containing other tool manufacturers such as Mayhew, Millers Falls, Plomb, Truth, Vlchek and Whitaker "Triple Diamond" (Triple Diamond refers to Whitaker files). There do exist socket tools and wrenches from the 1920's with the TRU-FIT label. Lectrolite continued to produce tools under the TRU-FIT moniker at least up into 1953.
Lectrolite - In an article published in a 1932 edition of Hardware Age, the "recent formation" of Lectrolite Corp. is announced. The article explains the formation of the company resulted from a merger of Milwaukee Tool & Forge Co., Saturn Electric Water Heater Corp., Defiance Stamping Co., and Pressed Products Co.
- Pressed Products Co. - Began operations on February 1, 1931 producing electrical appliances and hardware. Employees numbered 26 when operations began and the Operations Manager was R. E. Dalton of Parkersburg, WV.
- Defiance Stamping Co. - Established in 1926 with $12,500 investment by C. V. Shepfer, Arnold Havilan, and L. Seelie
Officers of the newly formed Lectrolite Corp. were:
- President & General Manager - Harold L. Schlosser (Incoming as President of Pressed Products Co.) (another article from Automotive Industries identifies Schlosser resigning his post as the "General Manager of the Napoleon Stamping division of the Monroe Auto Equipment Co.) Monroe Auto Equipment Co. is the same company we know today for Monroe Shocks. Monroe was taken over by Tenneco in 1976. Tenneco also owned Walker (jacks) at the time.
- Vice-President & Treasurer - J. C. Markey
- Prior involvement with formation of the Elliott-Markey Co. in 1915 (Defiance, OH) along with H. L. Elliot, R. E. Markey, and B. R. Emery - Horseless Age Link
- At the time of the formation of Lectrolite, J. C. Markey is referenced repeatedly as the President of the Aro Equipment Corp. This Hardware Age article also seems to tie Saturn to Aro. From what we can gather, Aro was principally involved in petroleum product dispensing machines.
- Secretary - J. W. Davies - Unresolved history.
- From an article dated 18 September, 1932 in the Cincinnati Inquirer, also mentions Mr. J. A. Otis (VP of Alemite Corp. and Stewart Warner), Mr. W. D. Kyle (President of Milwaukee Tool & Forge), and "C. J." (note J. C. above) Markey (President of Arc Equipment Co.)
In an article in the October 7, 1932 edition of the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, the move of Milwaukee Tool & Forge to Defiance, OH is announced, citing "the uncertainty of the tax situation and the high taxes now in effect" as the reason for the move. The Treasurer, identified as Miss Elizabeth M. Siemer, stated current taxes on a wood building in Wisconsin are $1200/yr where taxes in OH on a brick facility are $88/yr. The article also notes that 75-100 men were employed at the time and manufacturing operations were to be shut down for the move on October 11.
The May 27, 1936 edition of The Sandusky Register reports on a strike of the entire workforce of 40 men and identifies Harold L. Schlosser as plant superintendent.
S-K Lectrolite - The trademark for S-K Lectrolite was filed on 11/23/1953, claiming first use in commerce since June of 1953. The trademark was filed by Lectrolite Corporation and awarded on 11/22/1955. This would place tools marked the S-K Lectrolite as being produced between June, 1953 and September / October of 1961, when Symington Wayne acquired Lectrolite. **NEW NOTE** See our entry just below announcing the Symington-Wayne acquisition of Lectrolite in or about September of 1961, and Sherman-Klove in April of 1961.
The 1967 edition of MACraes Bluebook lists the Lectrolite Corporation as a subsidiary of Symington Wayne. The formality of the relationship between S-K and Lectrolite was strictly a "joint agreement / partnership."
The January 24, 1958 edition of The Evening Independent announces the merger of the Symington-Gould Corp with the Wayne Pump Co. creating the Symington Wayne Corp. Another article we've found names "Martin & Schwartz" as the predecessor to Wayne Pump. This article from the April 25, 1958 edition of The Daily Times reports on the first board meeting of the new Symington Wayne Corp. Officers are noted as:
- William H. Bateman III - President (8/'39 - Pres - Martin & Schwartz, Inc.)
- Hynes Sparks - Chairman of the Board (9/'50 - Pres - Symington-Gould Corp.)
The May 1, 1958 edition of the same paper notes the following further officers:
- Charles Godshall - VP
- Bruce A. Dean - VP
- Coates F. Bateman - VP
- William Thornton - VP
- N. L. Harms - VP
The September 25, 1961 edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette reports that the Symington-Wayne Company will purchase the Lectrolite Corporation for $3,000,000.
The April 27, 1961 edition of The Daily Times reports that the acquisition of Sherman-Klove by Symington Wayne occurred on April 3, 1961.
This article from the September 22, 1961 edition of The Daily Times confirms that the Lectrolite acquisition will "compliment the products of their subsidiary, The Sherman-Klove Company" in the hand tool business. Therefore, we can now conclude that there was never an S-K / Lectrolite merger, but simply an operating partnership.
It is interesting to note that we continue to find advertisements for job openings for the Lectrolite Corporation up to April of 1965. We can assume that for at least that period of time, they continued to operate as Lectrolite.
In the recently acquired 1964 SK-Wayne Catalog, this notice appears inside the rear cover. It is somewhat vague but definitely states that Symington Wayne purchased SK-Lectrolite. What is unclear is whether prior to the acqusition, SK and Lectrolite were one in the same company / entity or still operating as a partnership.
The S-K trademark trail shows the transfer to Symington being requested on 3/23/1964. The S-K Wayne brand trademark was filed on 4/7/1965, trademarked on 1/24/67 and claimed a first use in commerce date of 5/14/1964.
This brief article in the July 7, 1967 edition of the Bridgeport Post notes the jump in price of Symington Wayne (SW) stock after Dresser Industries makes a tender offer to purchase. In the subsequent days, the newspapers are ablaze with "jumps in stock price" and news of SW declining the offer, and filing injunctions against Dresser to block a hostile takeover. The Dresser activity appears to be a move to block a planned merger with the Universal American Corp. of New York. Here is another article detailing the injunction from The Daily Times. The planned merger with Universal American Corp. was announced as terminated in October 10, 1967 newspapers. On April 24, 1968, shareholders from Dresser and SW approved the merger of the two companies.
The December 14, 1967 edition of The Daily Times reports the acquisition of the P. A. Sturtevant Co. (torque wrenches).
The S-K Wayne Trademark was transferred to Dresser Insustries effective August 1 of 1968; SK-Wayne is referred to as a subsidiary of Dresser Industries. See this 9/1968 Advertisement from Popular Science.
By May of 1970, the "Wayne" portion of the name had disappeared and been relaced by "S-K Tools."
On October 26, 1983 Corcoran Partners, Ltd. bought S-K Hand Tool Corp. from Dresser Industries.
On January 1 of 1985, Facom purchased the S-K Hand Tool Corp. from Corcoran Partners, Ltd.
In 2005 after Stanley acquired Facom, S-K became independent through a management buyout.
In the 1937 edition of The Economist, the "Brazil Stamping Division" of the Sherman-Klove Company are located at 5151 W. (8 or 6)5th street, Clearing Industrial District.