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George Ober and his brother John moved to Chagrin Falls from Newbury in 1873. They established a lumber mill over a small stream near the corner of Bell and Cleveland Sts. John was interested in the manufacture of wood products, while George was interested in inventing and producing lathes. In 1881 they dissolved their partnership and George started Ober Mfg. Co.

By the mid-1880s orders for products were so plentiful that the company was running 10-hour shifts. Eventually, the Ober Mfg. Co. was divided into 4 separate departments: wood making, machine shop, general sad-irons, and foundry.

George Ober died in 1903, but the company continued to prosper under the guidance of his son Archie and then later grandson Gale. When the plant opened in 1874 it employed five. By 1925, it employed over 70 people and exported products throughout the world. Two of the original company buildings still stand on Bell St.

Photo for Ober Mfg. Co.
Duplicating lathe made by Ober Manufacturing Co.
Photo for Ober Mfg. Co.
Catalog for the Ober Manufacturing Company showing sad irons.
Photo for Ober Mfg. Co.
Ober Manufacturing Co. yard. It was located east of Philomethian Street between E. Washington St. and Bell St. Two of the buildings on Bell St. are still in use today.
Photo for Ober Mfg. Co.
Catalog for the Ober Manufacturing Company showing stands which were used under sad irons, tea pots, etc. These items were sold in bulk to stores throughout the country.

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