The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Doehler-Jarvis Company Collection, 1940-1972


Size: 1 linear foot
Provenance: Majority of collection donated by Ernest Weaver. Slides donated by Linda Fishman and the family of Emmet Schreiber. Die shop photographs donated by Thomas J. Hatas III.

Access: Open
Collection Summary: The collection includes publications, newsletters, and slides from the Doehler-Jarvis Company, as well as a written corporate history. Approximately half of the collection is comprised of articles and biographical materials related to Alfred F. Bauer, General Manager of the Toledo branch of Doehler-Jarvis during the 1960s.

Subject(s): Business and Commerce

Related Collections: Inshield Die and Stamping Company Records, MSS-158 and Acklin Stamping Company Records, MSS-139 

Processing Note: Set of slides in Box 1 were donated by Linda Fishman and the family of Emmet Schreiber. All other materials were a gift from Ernest Weaver.

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Lauren White, April 2015. Updated November 2016.

Historical Sketch

At its peak during the mid-20th century, the Doehler-Jarvis Company (1908-1998) was the largest producer of die-cast metal in the world. The Toledo-based manufacturer had factories in Toledo, Ohio; Pottstown, Pennsylvania; and Batavia, New York, and was renowned during the 1950s and 1960s for creating a variety of metal products, including automotive parts like engine bearings and decorative hood ornaments for car manufacturers like Willys-Overland, Packard, Ford, and General Motors.

The company began in 1907 under the name Doehler Die Casting Company, founded by German immigrant Herman Doehler in Brooklyn, New York. Doehler was a pioneer of the die cast metals industry, and in 1912, Doehler met John Willys at an auto show in New York and was persuaded to relocate his business to take advantage of the growing automobile industry in the Toledo area. By 1914, a new factory was constructed in Toledo, and the company continued to expand over the next few decades, primarily focusing on automobile parts. In 1945, the Doehler Company merged with the Jarvis Company of Grand-Rapids, Michigan, to become Doehler-Jarvis, and in 1953, the company became a division within the larger National Lead Company, which changed its name to NL Industries in 1971.

Alfred F. Bauer, a figurehead in the die-cast metals industry, joined Doehler-Jarvis’ research department in 1951 and served as both General Manager of Doehler-Jarvis and Director of NL Industries during his career. Because 60% of its products were related to the automotive industry by the 1970s Bauer stressed the importance of diversifying Doehler-Jarvis’ portfolio of services. After his retirement and death in 1974, however, Doehler-Jarvis faced several financial setbacks.

In 1982, after reducing its number of Toledo employees from around 3,000 to 900, Doehler-Jarvis was bought from NL Industries by Farley Industries of Chicago. By the end of the decade, Doehler-Jarvis was for sale again, due to struggling profits and its parent company’s desire to use the profits from a potential sale to acquire the West Point-Pepperell textile company. Six years later, in 1995, Doehler-Jarvis was sold to Harvard Industries, a Florida-based automotive company, with Harvard absorbing $114 million of Doehler-Jarvis’ debts as part of the terms of the sale. Despite Harvard Industries’ hopes that the acquisition of Doehler-Jarvis could boost manufacture of automotive parts, the company continued to suffer from diminished profits.

In 1997, Harvard Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the acquisition of Doehler-Jarvis as partially to blame for its many debts. A year later, in 1998, Doehler-Jarvis ceased operations in Toledo, its headquarters for 91 years, after two decades of diminishing sales and productivity.

Sources Consulted:
Corporate history in collection
Articles in The New York Times and The Toledo Blade (see collection file for details)

Scope and Content Note

This collection is divided into three series: Artifacts and Slides, Doehler-Jarvis Company Files, and Alfred F. Bauer Files. The collection is not a complete record of the company’s history, although it provides excellent insight into its leadership in the 1950s-1970s, as well as news and press coverage for the company during those decades.

The first series, Artifacts and Slides, contains stereo slides of Doehler-Jarvis from the 1940s and 1950s as well as a service pin for Althea Kaul and two samples of the company’s metal products: a ball keychain and a token in the shape of a feather, stamped with the Doehler-Jarvis logo.

The second series, Doehler-Jarvis Company Files, contains printed material related to the company in general and includes several articles covering the company, like Fortune magazine and trade publications. Two other highlights of the series are the corporate history, which includes timelines of acquisitions and factories, and a memo from Alfred Bauer highlighting potential projects for Doehler-Jarvis, like collaborating with the Dana Corporation on a transmission for bicycles. Also of note are the photographs of the die shop on Smead Avenue which feature Thomas J. Hatas Jr., a die welder, and other employees during the 1960s.

The third series, Alfred F. Bauer Files, relates specifically to Bauer’s career at Doehler-Jarvis. Included are speeches and presentations given by Bauer on the company and the metal industry and drafts of biographies.

Series List



Series 1

Artifacts and Slides

This series contains artifacts and stereo slides.

Series 2

Doehler-Jarvis Company Files

This series holds items related, in general, to the Doehler-Jarvis Company. Materials include memos, magazine articles and press releases, newsletters, and a written corporate history.Also of interest are photographs of the company’s die shop on Smead Avenue in Toledo.

Series 3

Alfred F. Bauer Files

This series contains items related specifically to Alfred F. Bauer, General Manager of Doehler-Jarvis during the 1960s. Items include biographical profiles, speeches, photographs, and articles written by Bauer on the topics of mechanical engineering and Doehler-Jarvis.


Folder List






Series 1: Artifacts and Slides



Set of stereo slides of Doehler-Jarvis factories, circa 1940-1950



Samples of metal casting:

  • Ball keychain
  • Feather token with Doehler-Jarvis logo



National Lead service pin (25 years’ service, Althea Kaul)






Series 2: Doehler-Jarvis Company Files



Doehler-Jarvis corporate history, with timeline (to 1982)



Financial and Production Data, 1978



Memos and Newsletters



Patents (National Lead, 1970s)



Photographs, Die Shop, 1960s



Publications about Doehler-Jarvis, 1950s-1960s



Publications about Doehler-Jarvis, 1970s






Series 3: Alfred F. Bauer Files



Biographical Profiles of Bauer



Autobiography of Bauer, 1961



Honorary Membership for Bauer in International Magnesium Association, 1976



Photographs of Bauer



Speeches by Bauer






Presentations and Articles by Bauer, 1950s



Presentations and Articles by Bauer, 1960s



Presentations and Articles by Bauer, 1970s