PARK-OHIO INDUSTRIES, INC. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
PARK-OHIO INDUSTRIES, INC., a diversified manufacturer engaged in energy development and the production of forged and machined products, induction heating systems, containers, industrial rubber products, and metal abrasives, was formed in 1967 by the merger of Park Drop Forge Co. and the Ohio Crankshaft Co.
Park Drop Forge was incorporated on May 27, 1907, to make closed die forgings for crankshafts, camshafts, and other parts for trucks, buses, and later diesel locomotives. Dwight Goddard was president of Park Drop Forge and the company's plant was located at 777 E. 79th St. Ohio Crankshaft was incorporated in 1920 by William C. Dunn to manufacture crankshafts and camshafts for diesel engines. In 1922, Ohio Crankshaft moved into facilities at 6600 Clement Ave., and in the 1930s, the company added two additional plants nearby and a fourth facility at 3900 Harvard Ave. Ohio Crankshaft developed a process that used high-frequency electrical current to heat, harden, or melt metals, which the company utilized in the production of the firm's crankshafts and camshafts. By 1967, Ohio Crankshaft had 2,500 employees, $42 million in annual sales, and a net income of $1.8 million. Park Drop Forge also to continued to grow and prior to the merger, the firm already owned 50% of Ohio Crankshaft. Shortly after the merger of the two firms in 1967, Park-Ohio acquired Growth Intl., Inc., which operated Discount Centers., Inc., and the entire organization took the name Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., in May 1972. Over the next two decades, Park-Ohio diversified by adding industrial plastics and rubber manufacturing as well as induction heating systems to its original forge, crankshaft, and camshaft products. These changes, expanded the company's emphasis from auto-parts to products for aerospace and housewares.
The new firm prospered until the recession in the 1980s, when management asked Ohio Crankshaft members of the UNITED AUTO WORKERS to take a cut in pay and fewer holidays. By this time, the division's employment had dropped from 800 workers in 1977 to 480 in 1980 to just 102 in July 1983. The workers refused any further concessions and, instead, walked out on a strike which lasted 9 years; the longest in UAW history. In a five-year period (1987 - 1992) during the strike, Park-Ohio lost nearly $50 million. In 1992 alone, Park-Ohio reported a net loss of nearly $34.5 million and after a struggle with management, Edward F. Crawford (the company's largest investor) gained control of the firm and was appointed chairman of Park Ohio in June 1992. Under Crawford's leadership, the company would return to profitability after the company ended its struggle with striking UAW workers in June 1992; signing a new three-year agreement. The following year, Park-Ohio-which had annual sales of $120 million-purchased the 122-year-old Cleveland City Forge Co. for $1.8 million. The company continued to acquire new, operations and by 1993, Park-Ohio purchased the plastic container division of Cleveland Steel Container, the General Aluminum Manufacturing Co., and Kay Home Products, a maker of barbecue grills, lawn care equipment, and patio furniture. These purchases represented not only a new commitment to diversification through acquisition, but also Crawford's control over the firm for he has previously owned Kay Home Products, the Cleveland Steel Container, Co., and the General Aluminum Manufacturing Co. By 1994, Crawford owned nearly 25% of Park-Ohio. The acquisition of the RB&W Corp.- a leading maker of industrial fasteners- added its annual sales of $162 million to Park-Ohio's total revenues of $348 million in 1996. In 1995, Park-Ohio moved its headquarters in SHAKER HEIGHTS to TRW, INC.'s former headquarters at 23555 EUCLID AVE. in EUCLID. By 1998, Park-Ohio spun off its fastener businesses, which included RB&W and Arden Industrial Products (acquired the previous year). The new company, called Integrated Logistics Solutions, Inc., had annual sales of $350 million. By June of that year, Park-Ohio Industries became a subsidiary of the newly formed Park-Ohio Holdings Corp., which signaled the company's clear commitment to acquire more companies. By 2003, Park-Ohio employed 2,500 nationally and had total annual sales of $624.3 million. Edward Crawford was chairman and CEO of the company, which was headquartered at 23000 Euclid Ave.