Acklin Stamping Company Timeline

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1911- The Acklin Stamping Company is founded by Grafton M. Acklin, former president of the Toledo Machine and Toledo Machine and Tool Company, with his sons - James M. William C. and Donald R.

1925 - The plant is moved from the 1600 block of Dorr Street to 1925 Nebraska Avenue. The new 90,000 square foot facility is among the largest in the country, employing roughly 500 people.

1926 - Grafton Acklin passes away, James M. Acklin assumes control of the company.

1931 - Donald R. Acklin dies from carbon-monoxide poisoning while working in his garage. Although the death is ruled an accident, several signs point to suicide.

1934 - Following the violent Auto-lite strike, James Acklin offers his employees a retirement plan and disability benefits. Acklin is one of the first companies in the area to do so.

1936 - James Acklin passes away in a car accident, his brother William C. Acklin takes control of the company.

1937 - Acklin joins the U.A.W. Local 12 by a 96% vote. Lewis Mattox is named Acklin's first Union committee chairman. He would remain involved in the Union at Acklin for the next 40 years.

1939 - William Acklin, long suffering from injuries sustained in combat during the First World War, dies. Frank Graper assumes the company's presidency.

1940-1944 - Acklin produces stampings for the war effort including 75mm shell casings and parts that were included in the atomic bomb.

1944 - Following a short illness Frank Graper passes away. Cyril Greenhill, who started by sweeping the floors at Acklin Stamping in 1913, assumes the presidency.

1947 - The Acklin Press, a monthly plant newsletter, begins publication.

1940s-1950s - With the return of American veterans and the following prosperity, Acklin begins producing large numbers of compressor housings for Tecumseh, Michigan based Tecumseh Products. These housings are used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

1952 - Tecumseh Products purchases Acklin Stamping.

1954 - Acklin Stamping becomes a division of Tecumseh Products, Greenhill is made chairman of the Board of Directors, Alvin Seeman is named General Manager of the Acklin Division.

1955 - Cyril Greenhill retires after 42 years with the company.

Early 1960s - Tecumseh is America's largest producer of compressors, making 70% of those used in air-conditioners and 30% of refrigerator compressors.

1965 - Alvin Seeman steps down, remaining on Tecumseh's board of directors. Phil Wood, an Acklin engineer takes over.

Late 1960s - Production of air conditioner housings pushes Acklin to some of its highest employment levels - 600+.

1970 - Occupations Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is formed.

April 1973 - Raymond Herrick, Tecumseh's founder and guiding presence passes away. Company is transferred to his son Kenneth and his grandson, Tim.

December 1973 - Lewis Mattox, longtime Union leader at Acklin retires after 40 years.

Mid-1970s - As business declines, older employees retire and are replaced by increasingly automated machinery.

1978 - Verson 1200 ton press is installed. This press received rolled steel on one end and performed every operation necessary to produce 1200 finished housings per hour at the other end.

1980 - Acklin employees walk out of contract negotiations with Tecumseh management. The strike lasts ten weeks. Following compromises on both sides, employees return to work.

Early 1980s - Employment slips below 100 individuals for the first time in 50 years.

1982 - Phil Wood is promoted into Tecumseh's corporate management. Harold Krueger, 37 year Acklin employee take over.

1984 - The Acklin Press ends its 47 year run due to budget constraints.

1986 - Acklin employees strike for 2 weeks. Following threats of plant closure during a national recession Acklin returns to work, accepting the same contract initially refused.

Late 1980s - Ray Cox is named Acklin's plant manager.

Early 1990s - Bob Housch, named Plant Manager, begins efforts to improve relations between the employees and the management.

Fall 1998 - Tecumseh asks Acklin employees to take a $3.75 per hour pay cut or face the closure of the plant. In a 106-3 vote Acklin employees turn down the contract. Plans are made to close the plant.

Winter 1998-1999 - Howard Ice, entrepreneur and Lloyd Mahaffey, Regional Co-ordinator of the UAW work together to find a way to keep Acklin open

Spring 1999 - Having raised $2.9 million dollars Howard Ice and his business partners, working with a variety of regional development teams, purchase Acklin Stamping.

June 1999 - Acklin Stamping re-opens, continuing to stamp compressor housings for Tecumseh Products. Acklin's sales department vigorously pursues new contracts with measured success. A new spirit of co-operation and hope for the future is felt at Acklin.

 


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Last Updated: 1/3/12