Diving Deep Into the History of USA Mechanics' Toolmakers
Indianapolis Drop Forge Co.
Sun, 12/15/2019 - 16:51
The first mention we can find is a newspaper want ad on January 27, 1896. In May of 1901, Phil. M. Watson is Sec/Treas. and the company is located at Madison Ave. and Downey. A 1902 article indicates Otto Stechhan has an interest in the company.
Other Patents - A 4/26/1902 newspaper article recounts the suit brought by Franklin P. Bates against the company. The suit asserts the he was working as a superintendant for the company at $1,200/yr and invented a wrench. Ferdinand Barnickle (GM) offered him $5,000 in stock and $1,800/yr to sign over the patents (patent is plural in the article). Mr. Bates agreed and signed the patents over. The company then dissolved and reincorporated, thereby claiming his agreement was no longer valid as it was claimed against an insolvent entity. Here are Mr. Bates Patents:
Patent #706,513 - 1902 - Machine for making tubular tool shanks - Assigned to Indianapolis Drop Forging Co.
In 1902, the company fell victim to massive strikes in the machinist trade. By January 1904, they were put into receivership in order to straighten out their affairs. In July, certainly a coincidence, the entire factory was destroyed by fire. The company came through the stikes and receivership, and purchased another factory space on Madison Ave.
By May of 1919, Mr. Barnickle is President of the company. On February 1, 1937, Mr. Barnickle passed away. The obutuary notes his coming to Indianapolis by way of Chicago, and Mr. F. M. Bachman was president of Indianapolis Drop Forging Co. Louis M. Fehrenbach succeeded Mr. Barnickle as President & GM.
An article from 1952 identifies Walter Kessler as the first president of the company. This same article notes the company's existence at 1300 Madison Avenue since 1895.
At some point between 1952 and 1962, the company was acquired by the Walco America Corp.
Indianapolis Drop Forging Co (Indianapolis, IN) Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks