Fairmount Tool and Forging Co
Information found at homeshopmachinist.net Fairmount Tool & Forge began operations in 1917. The operation started in a blacksmith shop on Cleveland’s east side. The first products produced were the utility wrench and several hammers and dollies for “horseless carriage” repair. These products were produced over the next few years and were sold direct to automobile companies. In 1925, independent demand for these tools, and more like them, resulted in the installation of the first forging hammers at Fairmount. The product line was expanded to cover more specialized tools for auto body repair and additional assorted wrenches. As the country began to recover from the great depression, Fairmount added additional forging equipment in the late 1930's to produce commercial forgings for the auto industry. In the early years of the 1940’s, the World War II requirements had Fairmount running three shifts producing forgings for tanks. The demand for special tools increased and became the nucleus of the Fairmount product line. In the late 1940’s, with the war effort behind them, Fairmount returned to the automotive market. The body and fender repair tool product line was expanded to include over forty items. A “how to manual” was published and was used nationwide in training returning servicemen for the civilian work force. During the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, Fairmount continued to expand it’s tool line focusing on the special and heavy duty industrial tool market with a distribution network of over 1,300 Industrial distributors nationwide. Fairmount also provided commercial forgings for machine tool O.E.M.’s and the trucking industry. In 1953, Fairmount went from private ownership to a division of Frontier Industries. In 1956, Houdaille Hershey purchased Frontier Industries. In early 1983, Fairmount moved it’s entire operation to Fort Worth, Texas. Fairmount remained a division of Houdaille Industries until July of 1984 when Martin Sprocket & Gear acquired Fairmount and Fort Worth Steel and Machinery from Houdaille Industries. Information found at homeshopmachinist.net
The September 27, 1917 edition of The Evening Review of East Liverpool, Ohio announces the formation of the Fairmount Tool & Forging Company. Albert H. Homans is listed as the principal with $100,000 capital.
The November, 1917 edition of Hardware Age announces the formation of Fairmount Tool & Forging Company. Principals are noted as:
- J. Wentworth Smith - President (Also named as an officer in the York H. Smith Co. of Cleveland in the Cincinatti Inquirer June 25, 1925; the Quinn-Wood Realty Company announced in the same newspaper on June 29, 1929; death reported in newspaper on 7 April, 1949 and mentioned he retired from Fairmount in "the 30s")
- Burdette. G. Gilmore - Vice President & Sales Manager
- Chas W. Yarham - Secretary & Treasurer
- H. O. Gibson - Board Member
- Albert H. Homans - Board Member
The article also notes the address as 10585-10611 Quincy Ave. Cleveland, OH. The article also notes that the men making up company management have been involved with tool production, particularly those comprising kits sold with automobiles, for at least 10 years. The State of Ohio Annual Report lists the date of filing for incorporation of Fairmount as 9/25/1917.
The December issue of Industrial Management announces the formation of Fairmount, and specifically states the purpose as "to manufacture hand and drop forged tools."
By 1918, automotive publications are listing Fairmount as manufacturers of the following products: Chisels, Hammers, Tool Kits, Punches, Valve Tools. On June 21, 1918, Fairmount was awarded contract to provide vehicle tool kits to the U. S. Army.
The Zanesville Times Signal reported that on October 12, 1924, the Fairmount plant suffered extensive damage from a large fire. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
Iron Age Volume 162 of 1948 reports the acquisition of Fairmount Tool & Forge by Frontier Industries in 1948.
A 1951 edition of Autobody and the Reconditioned Car reports Arthur E. Keating as the VP & General Manager.
The first rumblings of an acquisition of Frontier Industries, including Fairmount, by Houdaille-Hershey are reported in June of 1955 in Automotive Industries.
In 1985, Petroleum Engineer International reports the purchase of Fairmount by Martin Sprocket & Gear.
Fairmount Tool & Forging (Cleveland, OH)
Contract Production for:
Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- FTF Inside Triangle (All Tools) (First Use 2/1923)
- LAWSON (Wrenches) (First Use by predecessors 1/1/1926)
Key Tool Stamping Terms:
- Chrome Molybdenum
- Chrome Alloy
Although they manufactured an extensive line of all types of wrenches they did not make their own ratchets, breaker bars, speed wrenches or sockets. The socket tools were contracted to New Britain Machine and Wright Tool. It is not known what time frames were assigned to either manufacturer. They were also noted for making numerous variations of wrench styles. Example see the 5 different combination wrench designs in photo 002-1.