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Acklin Stamping Company Records, 1911-1997

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-139

Scope and Contents

The Acklin Stamping Company Records is divided into six primary series: Administrative Materials, Blueprints and Die Drawings, Ephemera, Finanical Materials, Photographs, Negatives and Videotapes, Printed Materials. A seventh series contains Oversize Materials which includes items from each of the previous series.

The first series, Admistrative Materials contains the following subseries: Assessements, Correspondence, Manuals, Obsolete Tool Dispositions, Production Orders, and Retirement Materials. Assessments consists of studies performed by external organizations in order to determine Acklin's status. Included in this subseries is a Production Study conducted by the U.S. Government determining Acklin's readiness to produce Case Cartridges, as well as an Employee Survey conducted in 1992. The correspondence in the collection is spotty at best, and comes from the years 1970,1992-1993. The manuals include Procedure Manual given to new employees created in 1939, as well as a service manual and a manual recieved at 1950's Leadership Conference. Obsolete Tool Dispostions are the records of parts made for various companies and are arranged alphabetically by company. Production Orders are orders recived from various companies and are also arranged alphabetically by company. Retirement Materials includes correspondence dealing with the Acklin Pension and Retirment Fund, as well as a scrapbook containing photographs and ephemera from retiring employees.

The second series, Blueprints, contains drawings of the layout of the plant. The third series, Ephemera, includes various pieces of memorablilia, including a guest book from the 1997 Open House, C.F. Greenhill's Society of Automotive Engineers Certificate, as well as Mr. Greenhill's scrapbook (with contains a 1918 recipe for Apricot Brandy!).

Financial Materials, documenting the economic health of the company, make up the fourth series. Included in this series are Cash Books, Journals, Ledgers, Purchase Registers, Reports and Stock Certificates.

The extensive amounts of photographs, negatives and videotape contained in this collection are organized under series five. The photographs are divded into four primary categories--Building, Machinery, People, and Products, and two smaller categories--Safety, and World War II production. Within each category the photogrpahs are divided according to size, and separated according to color or black and white. The criteria for selection into each category was importance: If machinery seemed to be the most important thing in the photograph, it was placed in the machinery category, even if there were also people in the photograph. The negatives are divided into the six categories as well, one folder per category. In addition two videotapes are housed in the collection, dating from an open house held in 1997, the first documents the events of the party held at the Open House and shows a tour of the plant's facilites. The second documents a "museum" created at the Open house, including many of the histoical materials now housed in this collection.


  • 1911 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials. Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

In 1911, Grafton Molen Acklin, manager of the Toledo Machine and Tool Company, decided to resign from that postion and go into business with his three sons James M., Donald R. and William Collord. Together they opend the Acklin Stamping Company, a Tool and Die Factory, on the 1600 block of Dorr Street. By 1925 the business had outgrown the facilites on Dorr Street and a new factory was constructed at 1925 Nebraska Avenue. The new factory was considered one of the largest and finest factories in Toledo. During this period the company stamped Automotive Parts, parts for Vending Machines, Fuse Socket Holders, and Lawn Mowers. Grafton Molen Acklin passed away on December 17th, 1926, leaving the company in the hands of his son James.

In 1925 the plant moved from Dorr Street to 1925 Nebraska Avenue. The new plant, with its 90,000 square feet was one of the largest in the country. During the depression the company suffered cutbacks, but was able to remain in business, unlike several of its competitors. James Acklin died tragically in a car accident in 1936, leaving control of the company to his brother William. In 1937 the plant was unionized by 96% majority vote an National Labor Reivew Board election. In 1939 William Acklin passed away and the company was transferred to three Acklin Exectives-- Mr. Greenhill, Mr.Graper, and Mr. Beeman, with Mr. Graper taking over the President's title.

During the late 1930's Acklin began producing depth charges and other munitions for the British and Swedish governments. When America entered World War II, Acklin became an important production facility for 75mm, 40mm, and 20mm shell casings, gun mounts, and even parts for the atomic bomb.

Following the war Aklin's production became increasingly geared to the produciton of the compressor housing for Tecumseh Products, housing used in the booming refrigeration and air conditioning businesses. The cyclic economic difficulties involved in these businesses made things increasingly difficult for Acklin, until in 1952 Acklin was purchased by Tecumseh Products. In 1954, Acklin formally became a Divsion of Tecumseh Products and for the next 44 years would produce the bulk of compressor housing used by Tecumseh Products.

In 1999, Tecumseh Products, following failed contract negiotiations, closed the Acklin Stamping Division. The doors never closed completely though thanks to a young entrepreneur, Howard Ice. Purchasing the company from Tecumseh and retaining roughly 30 employees, Mr. Ice continued to stamp ocmpressor housing for Tecumseh products, but also aggressively pursued other contracts and opportunties, hoping to revive and expand Acklin Stamping for the future. After the purchase, Ice changed the name to Ice Industries and continues to be a successful stamping business today.


12 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Toledo Angola and Western Railroad (MSS-102) and Libbey-Owens-Ford Records (MSS-066)

Acklin Stamping Company Records,1911-1997
Benjamin Grillot, Fall 1999 & Timothy Fritz February 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States