By David W. Babcock
The following is a brief history of The Sandusky Tool Company (STC) compiled from several sources. Every attempt has been made as to insure the accuracy of the content. This is a work in progress and I welcome any corrections or additions.
- The Beginning:
The company known as the Allen, Dorsey & Tenney Co. operated a general woodworking plant manufacturing wood planes and tool handles. In 1869 Sandusky Tool Company was incorporated and succeed in taking over Allen, Dorsey & Tenney Co. At this time the founding company officers were: President, George Barney; Superintendent, Stephen W. Dorsey and Secretary/Treasurer, L.H. Tenney. (It would appear that Dorsey and Tenney were officers in both companies.
- Later Officers
At the publishing of the 1877 catalog the company officers were: H.C. Post, President/Treasurer; J.A. Montgomery, Superintendent and J.P. Knight, Secretary.
About this same time (1874), a young man named Mozart Gallup was hired as an Office Boy and Bookkeeper. In 1880 he would become a Director, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary. Mr. Gallup was named President and General Manager in 1886. He held the position of President until his death in 1923 and was General Manager until 1917.
From 1917-1922, Frank M. Gallup (son of Mozart Gallup) served as General Manager. He was followed by Otto C. Holzaepfel in 1922. In 1924, William L. Allendorf (President of Commercial Banking and Trust Co.) was named President of Sandusky Tool Company.
On June 28th 1924 a devastating tornado struck Sandusky. Among that devastation was the destruction of the Sandusky Tool Co. factory. As a part of the rebuilding process, the company leadership would change. George A. Schwer was named President; William F. Seitz, Vice President; Wilbert G. Schwer, Secretary and Allen Seitz, Treasurer. In addition to these named individuals, Earl V. Seitz and Wilford Seitz were names as Directors.
- The Final Years
In March of 1926 Sandusky Tool Co. was purchased by one of their leading competitors, The American Fork & Hoe Company (now True Temper, Inc.) and was a wholly owned subsidiary of that company. The company was renamed The Sandusky Tool Corporation and continued until about 1929.
- Patents used by Sandusky Tool Co.
Joseph A. Montgomery came to The Sandusky Tool Company from The Ohio Tool Company in about 1872 as a the Manufacturing Supervisor, however, he was also a designer of machines used in the production of tools. The following is a list of his patents:
- 62355 Improved Machine for Sharpening Fence Pickets
- 431380 Machine for Scooping Wedges
- 431381 Machine for Dressing Plane Throats
- 431382 Machine for Sawing the Mouths of Molding Planes
- 431383 Machine for Beveling the Wedge Grips of Wooden Planes
Ellis H. Morris of Salem, OH
- 109037 Plane with Intersecting Ridges on Sole
- 113949 Combination Plane
Albert Schwer of Sandusky OH
- 216224 Improved German Hoe
Cyrus Kinney of Windsor, Ont. Canada
- 228766 Bench Plane Gauge
- 229258 Marking and Slitting Gauge
William F. Achenbach of Reading, PA
- 310163 Mouthpiece for Planes with Wood Sole
Wilbert G. Schwer of Sandusky, OH, Grandson of Albert Schwer above and Secretary of the company.
- 1696584 Plane Cutter Adjustment
Ogontz was a “house” brand of Sandusky Tool Co. It appear the name came from an Ottowa Indian Chief that lived in the Sandusky area in the early years of the 1800’s and was very helpful to the settlers during the War of 1812.
Acording to Wilbert G. Schwer, by 1905 Sandusky Tool Co. produced 75% of all the wood body plane blades sold in America.
In the end, Sandusky Tool Co. failed for several reasons. They failed to keep up with increased demand for metallic planes, their Semi Steel Plane was not introduced until 1925. There was a substantial market in the late 1800’s for a premium hoe, however, by the early 1900’s agriculture was becoming mechanized. Finally the cost of rebuilding after the tornado was simply too great given slumping sales.
- Patent Information: datamp.org
- The Sandusky Tool Company Catalog of 1877
- The Sandusky Tool Company Catalog No. 25, September 1st, 1925
- The Sandusky Tool Company Story by Wilbert G. Schwer, February 1967
- (The above is found in the reference section of the Sandusky Library, Sandusky, OH)