Milwaukee Tool and Forge, Lectrolite, S-K and Symington Wayne.
TRU-FIT - 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 filed 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.
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.
The 5/11/1941 edition of The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the Lectrolite plant is adding an additional 17,000 sq. ft. of floor space in order to "manufacture defense materials."
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.
The April 27, 1961 edition of The Daily Times reports that the acquisition of Sherman-Klove by Symington Wayne occurred on April 3, 1961.
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.
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.
Lectrolite Corp. (Defiance, OH)
Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- True-Fit (Closed End Wrenches, Open End Wrenches, Tappet Wrenches & Pliers) (First Use March, 1921 by predecessor, Milwaukee Tool & Forge)
- True-Fit with Outside Caliper (Wrenches, pliers, pry bars, etc.) (First use by predecessor in January, 1917)
- S-K - Lectrolite (Most tools)
- Lectromium (Wrench)
- Lectrolite script inside diamond (Wrenches, Pliers, Valve Lifters) (First Use 2/1951)
- Lectrolite script inside oval (Wrenches) (First Use 1/1932)