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Seiberling Visual History

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The Seiberling Family Story


from the 1968 Norton Sesquicentennial Booklet,
     reprinted with updated changes by Claude Collins, 2003.


www.cityofnorton.org/General%20Info/History/AreaHistory.htm
 

When Nathan Seiberling settled in Norton [Ohio] he brought with him some of the German ability to build something better mechanically. When he started his first saw mill he tried a new kind of saw, which was called a geared muley saw, so designed that it cut much faster than the saws used by other area mill operators. This put Mr. Seiberling in a very favorable competitive position amongst his competitors and he profited accordingly.

Six of Nathan Seiberling's sons grew up on their father's farm near Western Star and showed extraordinary mechanical ability. The oldest of these sons, John F. Seiberling, early turned his mechanical ability to inventing farm machinery. He invented his first reaper, the Excelsior, in 1859. In 1861, he patented the first dropper for a reaper and in 1862, he invented the side brace bar coupling. In 1870, he started a completely new line of mowers and reapers called the Empire. Our surrounding area by the 1880's was fast becoming the farm machinery center of America.

Two of John F. Seiberling's sons, Frank A. and Charles W. were born in the Seiberling home at Western Star and after serving an apprenticeship in their father's various industries, struck out in the industrial world for themselves. In 1898, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was organized with Frank Seiberling as president and Charles W. as treasurer. By this time, Akron was beginning to change from a machinery and cereal manufacturing center to the rubber center of the world. Most of the early major rubber companies were establishing headquarters in Akron. Most of these rubber companies were plagued with financial and patent problems. Competition was fierce but the Seiberlings were to see Goodyear grow to one of the world's largest rubber companies in the next 20 years. After the financial difficulties of the early 1920's the Seiberlings started the Seiberling Rubber Company in Barberton.


 

 


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Graphical items on this site, with few exceptions, were scanned from images in the private collection of the Frank A. Seiberling Jr. family. Some of those items have subsequently been given to the Stan Hywet Hall archives. No images on this site have been downloaded from other locations on the Internet. Most images from SeiberlingVisualHistory.org may be reproduced on request, only if full credit is maintained, including a link to the original page containing the item, and SeiberlingVisualHistory.org has been notified of the item's proposed use.