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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

AJAX MANUFACTURING CO. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The AJAX MANUFACTURING CO. was incorporated in 1875 by John Rollin Blakeslee (1843-1906). Blakeslee had earlier operated the Blakeslee Manufacturing Co., also in Cleveland, which manufactured nuts, bolts, rivets, and pins. Ajax Manufacturing Co., operating at 3830 Lakeside, discontinued headed products to concentrate on forging equipment and cold drawing equipment for the cold-heading industry. By 1910 the company had constructed a 7" forging machine, the largest of its kind, and incorporated steel forging into its crankshaft, a feature Ajax had developed earlier.

The forging machine industry in the early 20th century was buoyed by expanding requirements of the railroad, agricultural, and automotive industries. Ajax developed innovations in machinery and, in 1932, introduced the first direct air-operated friction clutch, allowing forging machines to produce harder alloys using hotter stock, resulting in significantly increased production. Higher speed forging presses were continually improved and Ajax presses, forging rolls, and forging machines were sold and used worldwide. The company declined in output and sales after World War II. Family-run for many years, the company was purchased in 1987 by the Crawford Group, a privately held company. In 1996, Ajax was purchased again, this time by Park-Ohio Industries. Two years later-still under the Park-Ohio banner-Ajax joined with Forging Developments International, Inc., to form Ajax Technologies.

Since 1925, the company has been located at 1441 Chardon Rd. in EUCLID. Its present line of forging equipment includes some of the most advanced types of forging presses, forging machines, forging rolls, auxiliary forging equipment and cold drawing equipment for the cold heading industry.

Ajax Manufacturing Co. Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 04 May 2003 12:40:49 PM

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