Edgar C. Guthard Co. - Billings, Montana
(Reference: The Ronan Pioneer Newspaper, Ronnan, MT 11/30/1917) - In 1914, 19 - year old Edgar C. Guthard started an automobile accessory business in Billings, MT known as the Northwestern Auto Supply Co.. Edgar was soon in over his head and quickly enlisted the aid of his 19 year old schoolmate Audrey Clapper. Not long after the two started the company, they pitched their enterprise to Edgar's father C. H. Guthard and secured a sorely need investment of $10,000. For his investment, C. H. Guthard took over as President "in-name-only" of the company, but the boys continued to run and manage all operations.
By late 1917, they had $300,000 capital paid in with no stock for sale and were doing an annual business of $1.5M with offices in Billings and Great Falls Montana, and Pocatello Idaho.
In early 1919, Edgar obtained the patent rights to a novel Angular Socket wrench. Articles of incorporation were formally filed for the Edgar C. Guthard Co. on 3/29/1919 by Edgar C. and Charles H. Guthard, and Rockwood Brown. The company was incorporated to manufacture and distribute patented automobile tools, to be referred to as "Billmont" out of a new large factory in Chicago. The plant manager in Chicago is O. M. Mortenson. By late 1919, the new wrench company had offices in Brussels, Paris, Peking, London, Sydney, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York. Edgar was also finalizing plans for a new factory in Canada to support foreign distribution.
At some point in the mid-1920s, Edgar acquired the rights to the Lincoln Shock Absorber and disposed of his right to the wrench and automobile accessory businesses.
Edgar passed away on 3/21/1952.