Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Sandusky Wheel Company

After having started in 1860 as a business that made wheel hubs and bent stock, the Sandusky Wheel Company was incorporated in 1867. Eventually it became an important manufacturer of wheels and wheelbarrows, and had over 200 employees. The entire stock and shops were destroyed by fire in 1872, but the company rebuilt and the business was back in operation by the summer of 1873.  

The 1886 Sanborn Map below shows that the Sandusky Wheel Company took up a large portion of an entire city block, along Water Street between Shelby and McDonough Streets.

Besides wheels, the Sandusky Wheel Company made all the wooden components for buggies, carriages, and wagons. A variety of woods, in different qualities, allowed for a full range of pricing for the vehicle companies that sent orders to the Sandusky Wheel Company. 

W. J. Comley and W. D’Eggville wrote in their book Ohio, the Future Great State (Comley Bros, 1875) about the Sandusky Wheel Company: “The unexampled success of this company in the manufacture of carriage woodwork has followed, as the legitimate result of well-digested plans and sound principles of construction. Discarding alike all foreign precedents and crude American examples, the officers of this company, by the application of scientific principles, careful observation, and mature judgment, influenced and corrected by practical experience, have brought to perfection a class of work which in material, design, proportion, and details of construction have not been excelled in this or any other country.”

In 1889, the Sandusky Wheel Company became a branch of the American Wheel Company, which had its headquarters in Chicago. By the mid-1890s, the company was known as the Standard Wheel Company. On the evening of July 7, 1900, the Standard Wheel Company was destroyed by fire, with losses estimated at $100,000. In the 1920s, ruins of the former company were still standing.


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