Ferriot Inc.: A Story of American Ingenuity
From the gritty manufacturing of nearly a century ago, to the clean, advanced processes of today, Ferriot Inc. molds and manufactures products that the American consumer sees and touches every day.
The history of Ferriot Inc. spans that of American manufacturing itself. Through macro-level economic shifts, Ferriot keeps adapting, so that its role endures as a trusted, value-added partner to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Ferriot’s rich past touches the Court of England’s Queen Victoria, the early tires of B.F. Goodrich, the rubber dolls of Walt Disney, all the way to the Apple Macintosh of Steve Jobs.
Remarkably, the company remains under descendants of the master artisans who engraved the Great Seal and emblems for Queen Victoria.
Today, Ferriot’s core services include contract manufacturing, custom and injection molding and finishing assembly.
The timeline below offers a snapshot of Ferriot’s evolution through revolutionary changes in processes and technologies. The constants throughout Ferriot’s history include: innovative design, reliability and exceptional quality.
Ferriot Inc. Timeline:
|1837||Queen Victoria assumes the throne of England and seeks out the finest engravers to carve her Great Seal and other Royal emblems. Finding no suitable talent in Great Britain, the queen dispatches agents to scour Europe. In France, they discover three brothers who leave their homeland to become artisans of the court of Queen Victoria. The French brothers train their offspring to work for the queen as well.|
|1850||The jewelry company Tiffany’s of New York discovers the talent pool within the queen’s court. Tiffany’s lures the descendants of the French brothers to New York to make dies for ornate medallions and other jewels. One is Frederick E. Herrington.|
|1860||Herrington leaves Tiffany’s and moves to Chicago to start the Art Die Sinking Company. Other family members join him.|
|Late 1800s||Dr. Benjamin Goodrich, of the B.F. Goodrich Company, searches out master engravers to produce dies and molds for ornate designs on the sides of solid rubber tires. He discovers the exceptional work of the Art Die Sinking Company, and he convinces Frederick Herrington to close his business in Chicago and move to Akron to work for Goodrich.|
|Turn of the century||Herrington reestablishes the Art Die and Sinking Machine Company on Bartges Street in Akron along with his son, Ernest, and his son-in-law, Victor Ferriot.|
|1920s||Following their father’s death, two of Victor’s sons, Gene and Glenn, become apprentices at the Mechanical Mold & Machine Co. in Akron.|
|1929||Gene leaves to start his own business in the garage of his home on Storer Avenue. Brother Glenn, a master machinist, joins him, as does brother Albert, a master lens grinder. Later, brother Joseph joins the company, while Albert goes to Hollywood to make camera lenses for the movie industry.|
|1934||By now well established, Ferriot Brothers Inc. patents a unique process that uses beryllium copper — a product of the same beryl ore that produces emeralds — to produce castings of microscopic detail and dimension, yet with the hardness of finely tooled steel.|
|1940||Ferriot Brothers Inc. becomes a pioneer of thermoplastic injection molds for the just-emerging plastics industry. The beryllium copper process allows the company to scale to new heights. Ferriot becomes the number one producer of molds for gas masks for the Allied Forces in World War II as well as the number one producer of small bullet-casing molds.|
|1946||Ferriot Brothers Inc. establishes an injection molding division — actually producing parts, in addition to molds, mainly for the toy industry. Ferriot makes dolls, model planes, ships, cars and other novelties for toy makers Mattel, Kenner and Marx.|
|1950s||Ferriot becomes a major supplier of highly detailed plastic components for furniture, including cabinetry, chair backs and ornate legs.|
|1959||Joseph Ferriot, then president of the company, receives the award of Life Fellowship in the Royal Society of Arts of London, one of the highest international honors for creative arts. A sculptor, etcher and painter, he created the plaster models that served as impressions for dolls and other products. His models shaped both rubber and plastic molds.|
|1963||The Ohio Edisonian, a publication of the Ohio Edison Company, reports that Ferriot Brothers Inc. “has become the largest producer of toy molds in the world.” Counted among its customers was The Walt Disney Company, which turned to Ferriot for the first rubber molds for Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.|
|1965||Ferriot establishes a finishing assembly division.|
|Late 1960s and early 1970s||Ferriot designs and carves wooden models, which then undergo a casting process to produce injection molds for the “front doors” of 21-inch wooden television cabinets. Ferriot produces and paints these intricate front sections for RCA, Zenith and Admiral. In 1971, RCA thanks the company for 121 truckloads of front panels without a single reject.|
|1978||IBM engages Ferriot to produce injection molds, tooling and decorative paint finishes for its original personal computers. The relationship with IBM launches Ferriot into the computer and business-machine industry. Later, the company paints the original Apple Macintosh. Ferriot remains a leading supplier in this sector.|
|1994||Ferriot adds a rapid services division.|
|2008||Ferriot introduces a proprietary injection molding product, American Originals Shake & Scallop Siding: injection-molded architectural shake-shingle siding for the construction industry. The company sells the siding under its wholly owned subsidiary, American Original Building Products LLC.|