Bowling Green University
Center for Archival Collections
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
seven and one-half linear feet
The F. W. Wakefield Brass Company was incorporated in Vermilion, Ohio, on June 28, 1910, for the purpose of manufacturing gas and incandescent lighting fixtures, household hardware, and metal novelties. The original board of directors included Frederick W. Wakefield, Albert C. Hofruchter, Ernest H. Wakefield, Arthur J. Copeland, and Walter T. Dunmore. The company continued its manufacturing in Vermilion until its sale in 1966. The manuscript collection of the F. W. Wakefield Brass Company documents the business history of the company from its date of incorporation in 1910 to its sale to the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation in 1966. The strengths of the collection are those items dealing with stockholders' meetings, stock certificates, minutes of the board of directors and minutes of the executive committee. In addition there is a separately stored scrapbook dated 1960. The minutes of the board of directors meetings are the most informative of the records. They are complete for the years 1910-1925, 1942-1951, 1960-1966. Of particular interest are the minutes from 1942-1951 where the statements and reports of the company's officers are fully and colorfully reported. This was the period of World War II and its aftermath and the effects, thoughts, problems and beliefs about the war and its shortages and government restrictions are graphically recorded. The return to full peace-time production is also particularly well documented. Other strong points of the collection are the records of the 1960s. Included inthis are the reports and results of the merger in 1961 with the Abrasive and Metal Products Company of Detroit and the discussion and subsequent sale of the company to the International Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1966. Most of the collection is from the late 1940s to 1966. Major weaknesses include the fact that there are no records at all covering the years 1925-1930 adn all the pre-1925 material is contained in only one volume of minutes of the board of directors. No reason has been found for this lack of documentation of these years. Additional material includes minutes of stockholders' meetings for the years 1935, 1943-1945, 1947, 1954-1955, 1958-1965, preferred stock certificates from 1937, 1939-1955, 1957-1958, and 1961, common stock certificates from 1935, 1938, 1940-1941, minutes of the executive committee 1960-1965 and specifications for their lighting fixtures products from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The collection also includes corresondence with stockholders, proxies, correspondence with legal counsel, organization manuals, articles of incorporation and various inter-office memos. The minutes of the stockholders meetings contain little information other than resolutions offered, result of votes and election of officers. No records of discussion were kept. The correspondence with stockholders consists mainly of form letters about upcoming meetings and stockholder requests to buy or sell shares. The correspondence with legal counsel primarily deals with various changes in the articles of incorporation and discussion of subsequent merger and details of the sale in 1966.