Forged Steel Products
The Steel and Metal Digest, April, 1920 carries the notice of incorporation for Forged Steel Products Co. in Newark, N.J. Capital stock is reported at $200,000 and the principals are John H. Gibson, Horace C. Oliver, and Lionel L. Meyers. Their business purpose is stated as the manufacture of steel forgings and similar products. An article in The American Cutler in July of 1920 seems to conflict with the previous article, in terms of the principals of the company. In the cutler article, it names E. W. Meyers (P), Harry D. Neff (VP), and George Z. Premont (GM/Treas) as the principals. This article also notes that these men come from one of the oldest plier manufacturers in the country, hinting that Kraeuter may have provided these men. This article from the June edition of Iron Age confirms that these gentlemen indeed came from Kraeuter with Mr. Premont having served as Superintendent. The latter 2 articles both place the new firm at 141-144 Frelinghuysen Ave. in Newark, NJ.
In June of 1921, Earl W. Myers begins soliciting for start-up funds in the local newspapers of Lebanon, PA. He had started the company in Newark, NJ in 1920 and was looking to move to PA. By 1923, he has raised enough capital to form the company on a $35,000 investment. In the 18 May, 1923 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph, an article appears noting the Forged Steel Products Company will move from Newark, NJ where it will occupy the recently purchased Romberger Hosiery Mill on fifth street, Newport, PA. Directors were noted as Gilbert H. Frank, T. H. Butturf and H. W. Wertz. By November of 1923, the local papers report a competitive effort has been kicked off to raise another $70,000 to expand production and manufacturing facilities. The executive committee for this fund raising effort consisted of Mssrs Butturf and Wertz, E. W. Myers, G. P. Taylor and Hon. J. G. H. Rippman.
The 7/30/1926 edition of The News of Newport, PA notes the election of the Board of directors for Forged Steel Products. They are: E. W. Meyers, W. H. Kissinger, H. D. Neff, G. H. Frank, A. L. Gelnett, H. W. Wretz(Probably Wertz), C. Nelson Wright of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, G. P. & W. H. Taylor of Mont Clair, NJ. NOTE: C. Nelson Wright would found Wright Tool & Forge a year later.
Despite the depression, the company appeared to thrive during the 1930's, doubling it's workforce and paying yearly stockholder dividends and employee bonuses. The 6 October, 1937 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph announces the incorporation of the company in PA. Interestingly, on the same day, The Perry County Democrat announces that Forged Steel Products will merge with Snap-On Tools, Inc. of Kenosha, WI.
On 15 August 1938, the board elects the following officers: President - E. W. Myers; VP - H. G. Kell; Sec/Treas - Miss Irene N. Howanstine. Directors are: E. W. Myers, H. G. Kell, Miss Howanstine, R. E. Myers and F. C. Dannenberg. E. W. Myers passes away in 1939, at which point Joseph Johnson (Snap-On) takes over as President. In August of 1940, the officers of the company are as follows: Joseph Johnson - President; Mrs. E. W. Myers - VP; Miss Irene Howanstine - Sec/Treas. Besides the officers, directors include: J. B. Aucher and Roy Myers. At this point (end of 1940), the plant employed 168 people.
On June 6, 1945, the formal merger of Snap-On and Forged Steel Products is announced in the Harrisburg Telegraph. This article appearing in the 29 April, 1946 edition of the same paper notes that the formal acquisition date of Forged Steel Products was June 30, 1945.
The 8 September, 1955 edition of The Plain Speaker (Hazelton, PA) published an article noting that Snap-On had announced the impending closure of the Forged Steel Products plant but had donated the facility back to the city so that it might entice another company to move in.
Forged Steel Products Co. (Newport, PA)
Contract Production for:
- Snap-on (Pliers)
- Gamble's Auto Stores
Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- Tiger Tools
- Vacuum Grip (Pliers) (First Use from Snap-On TM Renewal says June, 1932(See Snap-On Page); First Use from Original Forged Steel Products TM says 6/1/1920)
Interestingly, this article from 1940 notes that Forged Steel Products makes pliers, wrenches, chisels, punches, screwdrivers and specialty tools.