According to Ohio state records, Herbrand filed their articles of incorporation on December 7, 1881. The company thrived in the production of carriage parts and fifth wheels. In the Commercial Directory of the American Republics, published as early as March 1898, Herbrand begins to be noted as a manufacturer of Snips, Pipe Cutters, and Bicycle Wrenches. By 1911, Herbrand had added pliers to their new tool lineup. The Automobile Trade Directory of 1914 adds Herbrand as a manufacturer of screwdrivers in that year, further expanding their tool offerings.
In July of 1915, orders for automotive parts and accessories from Ford and others prompted Herbrand to build an addition to their facilities and adopt a 3 shift work schedule. By 1918, Herbrand had expanded their tool line and was offering complete automotive tool kits to consumers. Throughout the 1920's, we find no less than 4 lawsuits where Herbrand was a defendant, and 1 where they were the plaintiff. It appears all was not smooth sailing during that timeframe. Also during that time, Herbrand was supplying drop forgings of all manner to the military via both direct and sub-contracts.
In 1935, the American Machinist reports the reorganization of The Herbrand Co. as the Herbrand Corporation. The snippet further states that The Herbrand Co. had been in receivership for several months.
The 9/2/1936 edition of The Sandusky Register published an article announcing the planned visitation of Charles M. Schwab to the "facilities of the Herbrand Corp., in which he is heavily interested." The article also notes that Stanley S. Boyer is President of Herbrand.
Another article from a January 1937 edition of The Sandusky Register reports R. O. Mead as the VP of Herbrand.
An article from the January 3, 1945 Sandusky Register reports C. Traub Gottron as Secretary/Treasurer of Herbrand.
On 15 December 1945, The Akron Beacon reports that Mr. Boyer was reelected as President, E. H. Schwab is Chairman of the Board, and R. O. Mead is VP.
The March 3, 1946 edition of The Akron Beacon reports that the controlling interest in the Herbrand Corp. have been sold to William J. Mericka Co. Inc. of Cleveland and Coshia Co. Inc. of Toledo. The March 4th edition of the Cincinatti Inquirer adds the Bingham Stamping Co. of Toledo to the purchaser list and notes the resignation of E. H. Schwab as Chairman. In April of the same year the Cincinatti Inquirer posts a share offer for the Bingham Stamping Co. and notes that they recently acquired 53% of Herbrand Corp.
The July 2, 1947 edition of The Sandusky Register announces the formal merging of Herbrand Corp. and The Bingham Stamping Co. as of 7/1/1947. Louis E. Yunker is President and GM of the new firm. On August 21, 1947, the stockholders voted to formally change the company name to the Bingham-Herbrand Corp.
A 12/23/1948 Bingham-Herbrand Corp. Christmas party announcement notes that R. W. Kerr is VP and GM of the company. Mr. Kerr came from Plomb Tool Co. as EVP. Also in 1948, Mr. Jack G. Allen became VP and general sales manager and also came from Plomb Tool Co., leaving is position as VP. In June of 1954, Allen would move on to the position of President of Artisan Metal Works in Cleveland, OH. In May of 1950, R. W. Kerr would be elected to President and CEO of the Bingham-Herbrand Corp. David R. Feemster became the GM in 1950 as well. By this time, it is reported that the company employed more than 800 people.
In 1951 Bingham-Herbrand expanded even more through a teaming arrangement with the Studebaker Corp. making aircraft jet engine parts. The contract would have netted netted Bingham-Herbrand five hundred more employees but due to an ending of hostilities in Korea, it never got off the ground and was cancelled.
In November of 1952, C. T. Everett was instantiated as VP and assistant GM.
The 9/17/1956 edition of The Sandusky Register reports the intent of Van Norman Industries to acquire Bingham-Herbrand Corp. While we have yet to discover the formal announcement and date, by 1957 Bingham-Herbrand is listed as a subsidiary to Van Norman Industries.
The 7/12/1961 edition of The Sandusky Register reports the sale of the Bingham-Herbrand Corp. plant to the American Brake Shoe Co. of Chicago. This article also notes that while Bingham-Herbrand built a massive facility for their Jet engine contract work, the end of the Korean war wiped out demand and noted that work was never begun. This article specifically states that the hand tool division will be moved to an unknown location but that operations would continue locally. It's important to note that only the plant and equipment were sold, not the company. However, by 7/19, the paper is reporting the sale as "all equipment and the forging operations." It also reports that all equipment is to be moved to Chicago. On 1/23, 1962, the plant is officially closed down. The article in the 1/19/1962 edition of The Logan Daily News, which reported the closure interestingly refers to the purchaser of Bingham-Herbrand as "Amforge" of Chicago. In the 11/28/1961 edition of The Sandusky Register, an article clarifies somewhat the details of the sale. The forging equipment and operations were sold to Amforge, a division of American Brake Shoe Co. of Chicago, while the hand tools division was sold to the Utica Tools Division of Kelsey-Hayes. The tools division was then renamed to the Utica-Herbrand Tools Division of Kelsey-Hayes.
The Herbrand Co. (Fremont, OH)
Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- Herbrand - Underlined Script (Razors) (First Use July, 1894)
- Herbrand - Underlined Script (Wrenches, Pliers, Hammers, Screwdrivers & Chisels) (First Use 11/1/1921)
- Herbrand "Coat of Arms" logo (All Tools) (First Use 4/1936)
- H in Diamond (Wrenches, Screwdrives & Hammers) (First Use 7/1/1908)
- H-Diamond logo for generic contract production
- Multiflex (Wrench Sets) (First Use 11/1933)
- Multigrip (Plier Wrenches) (First Use 4/19/1930)
- Multitype (Wrenches) (First Use 11/1933)
- Multihex (Wrenches) (First Use 8/1931)
- Obstructo (Wrenches) (First Use 8/1931)
- Van-Chrome (Wrenches of all kinds) (First Use 1919)
- Protectogrip - Text (Screwdrivers) (First Use 4/1933)
- Bantam Bully - Text (Pneumatic Air Hammers) (First Use 11/20/1945)
- Chromium Vanadium (contract Production)
Contract Production for
- Montgomery Ward - Riverside
- Truth Tool (Specialty Wrenches)
- Western Auto - ChromeXQuality (Wrenches)
- Western Auto - Western Giant (Wrenches)
- Western Auto - "Obstructo" (Obstruction Wrenches)
- Bethlehem Spark Plug Co. (Ratchets)
- Billings & Spencer (Sockets)
Key Tool Stamping Terms (stamped/forged into tools):
- Chromium Vanadium
- Chrome-Alloy (found on pliers)
W. Bingham Co. Brands, Trade Names & Trademarks
- XLCR with left-pointing arrow through the middle (Files) (First Use 1885)