I. Early Days - "To such men as the late Grafton M. Acklin is the city of Toledo indebted for its prominence in the industrial world.." -The Story of the Maumee Valley, 1929.


B. Grafton Acklin, Founder

Grafton Acklin was born on the banks of the Ohio River in Aberdeen, Ohio on the 30th of July, 1851. One of eight children, Grafton attended school in Aberdeen until the age of 15 when he moved, with his family, to Toledo. Mr. Acklin then began work in Toledo as a clerk in a wholesale grocery store, and within several years of hard work he became one of the owners. After some time however this partnership dissolved and Grafton and his partner, Samuel Wood, formed Acklin and Wood, a company supplying grocers with roast coffee and spices for wholesale.

Bythe late 1880s Grafton was considered one of the leaders of Toledo's business community. In 1896, the Toledo Tool and Machine Company, asked Mr. Acklin to take over as the company's president. They hoped that his energy and vision would help the company achieve new levels of success.

The Toledo Machine and Tool company had been founded in 1888 and specialized in the production of heavy metal working equipment -- presses, shears, and formers for the shaping of sheet iron. In 1897, the year following Grafton Acklin's appointment to Toledo Machine and Tool's helm, he expanded the companies business overseas, supplying British bicycle firms with presses. In 1899 Toledo Machine and Tool introduced a special press for the making of gas stoves, and by 1900 had branched out into the making of planers, milling machines, boring mills and cranes. Keeping up with technological innovations and the growing and changing nature of the industry, the company, under Grafton's leadership, continued to grow until it became one of the largest manufacturing and industrial concerns in Toledo.

By1911, however, Grafton saw the emerging potential of the nascent automobile industry. He recognized that as mechanized production would grow there would be an ever increasing demand for stamped metal parts and that the potential for producing these parts would far outstrip the demand for the machines and presses to produce these parts. He was also nearing his 60th birthday and wanted to create a business with his three sons that would survive him.

Page from the Acklin Family Bible, last date recorded is 1932.

Family Record page from the Acklin Family Bible, last entry 1932.

 

 

 

Grafton Acklin, Founder of the Acklin Stamping Company.  Photo c. 1898

Grafton Acklin, founder, c. 1898.


Back to Toledo in 1911, a Backdrop      On to Early Business

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Last Updated: 1/3/12