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

ToolArchives Research:

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

Key Tool Stamping Terms:

  • Chrome Molybdenum
  • Chrome Alloy
  • Fairalloy

Fairmount Patents

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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. Image 002-1

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Comments

Chopper1's picture

As I mentioned earlier, Fairmount did not make their own drive tools. For the most part they were made by New Britain Machine and to a lesser degree Wright and also Thorsen. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there were others but nothing I can find right now. I’ll start the drive tools with the ¼ drive. 6 pt shallow sockets go from 7/16 [NM614] to 3/16 [NM606]; 8 pt are 5/16 [NM810 & 3/8 [NM812]; Sliding T is NM206; Breaker/flex head is NM42; 6” extension is NM115 and ratchet NMF-51 are all made by New Britain Machine. The NM51 ratchet in the front I believe is made by Thorsen. I have no idea who made the flexible driver.

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The one rat looks alot like an older Husky I once had (first pic, third from the top). Don't know how that fits. And I want to say I had a Mustang rat that looked like this, too, but can't find the pic at the moment.
And the Thorsen connection is plainly seen in the second pic.

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Todd Werts's picture

Bonneyman, I have the Mustang Rat that looks like that Husky. Will hopefully post pics tomorrow.

Chopper1's picture

I once had a Husky in half inch drive of that same design.

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Chopper1's picture

Angle wrenches from 11/32 [3710A] to 1” [3720]. I believe that these and their ignition wrenches were the only ones that were made with the “V” style open end throat. Also, they may have supplied these for Mac as well as other tool companies.
The ignition wrenches [shown] go from 7/32 to 3/8”

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Chopper1's picture

Set of flare wrenches from 3/8 [4112] to 1-3/16 [4136]
2nd Picture is an example of different style flare wrenches made by Fairmount
Then an example of some larger flare combo’s 1-1/8 No 36, 1-1/16 No 34 & ¾ No 24

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Chopper1's picture

A set of Industrial finished combinations. 3/8 [1160] to 3/4 [1166]

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Chopper1's picture

Two examples of Fairmount's auto wrenches. Top 11" then a 9"

also a 6" adjustable open end wrench with an industrial finish

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1/2in. and 9/16in. 6 point socket ends on a 1/2in. square shaft, overall lenth 8 1/4in.

It is used by turning square shaft with a 1/2in. wrench.

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The wrench at the top is marked Snap on AO 1818 with a 1956 date code.

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Todd Werts's picture

Sure looks like it to me Jake.  Looks aweful close to the Corny's too.

Chopper1's picture

 The design is too close not to be Fairmount.

any tools with an AO prefix inthe auto catalogs. I wonder if its aircraft related.