Ohio Tool Company

The history of the Ohio Tool Company quickly becomes a story of Peter Haden and prison labor. Ohio Tool was founded in 1851 by George Gere, A Thomas, and C H Clark. Hayden was a director.

Peter Hayden arrived in Ohio from Auburn, New York in 1834. He immediately established the Columbus Iron Works along the Scioto River. He was using prison labor within a year. The Penitentiary was making about 4,000 dollars a month between Haden’s other businesses and Ohio Tool. This with prisoners making forty to sixty cents a day in 1874. And a side note, prisoners who wouldn’t work did just get bread and water. Those who did work got tobacco.

Ohio Tool merged with the Auburn Tool Company in 1893. Both factories continued production. The Ohio factory was destroyed in the great flood of 1913. It was reopened in Charleston, West Virginia the next year. This business closed in 1920.

There were 2 grades of wood planes. The higher being marked Ohio and the second quality marked Scioto.

An article in “The Standard History of Erie County” by Peeke 1916 has Joseph Montgomery working at Ohio Tool from 1847 till 1861. Montgomery became president of Sandusky Tool. This date is four years earlier than the accepted founding of OTC.

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