During the 1900s, the Grinnell Corporation maintained two manufacturing plants, with their operations primarily in North Carolina and Ohio. This exhibit presents several photographs of the Warren plants' employees, whether they're at work, attending several company events, or on strike. In addition, the exhibit presents newspaper articles and company letters, detailing several aspects of Grinnell's history in Warren.
In 1886, the Neracher Sprinkler Company was founded in Warren, Ohio. In 1890, the company acquired the Hill, Clapp and Barnes sprinkler and dry-pipe valve patents.
With this acquisition, the company added internal revenue and changed their name to the Neracher and Hill Sprinkler Company. The name would be short lived.
After additional consolidation with other companies, they eventually became the General Fire Extinguisher Company.
In 1920, the Grinnell Company acted as the sales intermediate for products manufactured by the General Fire Extinguisher Co.
In 1944, the GFE Co. changed their name to the Grinnell Corporation. Their plant offices were located in both Warren, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to Grinnell Corporation material donated to the Trumbull County Historical Society, the Warren plants employed nearly 800 employees, in both the shop and office.
The company, including the Warren plant, often hosted parties and events for its employees and their families.
The plants in Warren combined to form nearly 445,000 square feet, devoted to manufacturing.
In 1969, the Grinnell Corporation shareholders agreed to a merger deal with the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp.
At one point during their plant operations in Warren, employees went on strike to demand union goals including higher wages.
The Tribune Chronicle (1969) reported the United States Justice Department attempted to file suit. Their injunction halted merger talks between the two companies.
A letter written by Grinnell plant manager R.A. Dionne (1971) indicated the company intended to terminate pipe fabrication operations in Warren, on or around March 12, 1971. The unit moved to North Carolina.
In October 1969, a U.S. federal judge ruled ITT was allowed to continue steps toward the country’s largest merger. The Tribune (1969) reported the merger was the largest in US history at $6 billion.
In 1972, the Grinnell Corporation was renamed “ITT Grinnell Corporation.”
Grinnell is now called Grinnell Mechanical Products, a brand of Tyco International after a series of changes. Their headquarters are located in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
All photos and research
courtesy of the Trumbull County Historical Society.