Register :: Login
Manufacturers Index - Lektro Manufacturing Co.; Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co.

Lektro Manufacturing Co.; Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co.
Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Nov 25 2019 7:55PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

In the 1890s Edward F. Smith was a partner in the Cincinnati firm Star Electric Co., makers of electroplating equipment and dynamos. We lose sight of Mr. Smith for several years but then in 1907 he appears to have founded Lektro Manufacturing Co., working out of 44 Walnut Street in Cincinnati, making portable universal grinders and handheld electric drills, both of them of Smith's design.

From 1907-03-07 The Iron Trade Review

By August of 1908 Smith was pursuing the commercialization of a new invention and had co-founded the Fay Equilibrium Power Company which was operating out of the shop of the Lektro Mfg. Co. In May of 1909 the Lektro business was formally incorporated Warner-Smith Lektro Products Co., with an address in the Neave office building at Fourth and Race Streets; James D. Warner was president and treasurer, and Edward F. Smith was vice-president and general manager. We can find no mentions of the Warner-Smith Lektro Products Company after early 1910 and it appears that that company never got going.

By 1914 the Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co. was in business; a 1916 patent assignments suggests that our Edward F. Smith was the titular Smith of that firm. Like Lektro before it, Neil & Smith made grinding machines and handheld electric drills and so we suspect that Neil & Smith was a direct successor to Lektro. That firm survived in a low-key way until the business failed in 1928. The following year Lee Schauer organized Schauer Machine Co., acquired the Neil & Smith assets, and resumed production of their grinding machinery.

Information Sources

  • 1892 Williams' Cincinnati Directory lists "Star Electric Co. (The). (Harry C. Tallmadge & Edward F. Smith) dynamo manufs. 24 E. 9th".
  • 1894 Johnston's Electrical and Street Railway Directory lists "Star Electric Co., 24 E. Ninth, Cincinnati, Ohio" as makers of electroplating apparatus. Between 1890 and 1910 there were at least a couple of dozen companies with "Star Electric" in their name, which complicates attempts to find information on Star Electric Co. of Cincinnati.
  • 1907-03-07 The Iron Trade Review has an article on the Lektro portable drill, "for which Fitch & Batchellor, 107 Liberty St., are the eastern agents. This drill is a portable electric tool, especially designed for working close and parallel to any surface, or in a corner. Its ability to drill close to a surface is limited only by the diameter of the chuck..."
  • January 1908 Machinery has a two-page article on the Lektro portable universal grinder. "This machine is manufactured by the 'Lektro' Mfg. Co., 44 Walnut St., Cincinnati, O."
  • 1908-08-25 The Iron Age. "The Fay Equilibrium Power Company will be incorporated to manufacture an apparatus for increasing power by Alpheus Fay, the inventor; Edward F. Smith, a local inventor and electric experimenter; Peter J. Yung, Robert Glier and C. J. Stace. Temporary quarters are now utilized in the building at 44 Walnut street, the shop of the Lektro Mfg. Company, of which Mr. Smith is general manager. The company will within the course of a few weeks equip an Ohio River boat and conduct a series of demonstrations. The invention will be put out on a royalty basis only."
  • 1909 Williams' Cincinnati Business Directory lists "Lektro Manuf Co tools 44 Walnut". Listed at the same address was Star Produce Co.
  • 1909 Williams' Cincinnati Directory lists "Smith Edward F v pres and gen mgr The Warner-Smith Lektro Products Co 44 Walnut h 813 W 7th". Also listed is "Warner Jas D pres and treas The Warner-Smith Lektro Products Co 44 Walnut h 517 Grand Av".
  • 1909-05-06 The National Corporation Reporter lists "The Warner-Smith Electro Products Company. Cincinnati; $250,000; electric motors, etc.; J. O. and H. J. Warner, Edward F. Smith, H. M. Loomis and Edward P. Woodward.
  • 1909-11-15 Annual Report of the Secretary of State, to the Governor of the State of Ohio lists newly incorporated companies including "Warner-Smith Lektro Products Company" of Cincinnati, makers of Electric, gas and steam motors, articles of incorporation filed 1909-05-17 with $50,000 capital stock.
  • January 1910 Motor Cycle, Motor Boat & Automobile Trade Directory lists "Warner-Smith Lektro Products Co., The, Room 500 Neave Bldg., Cincinnati, Ohio" as making "Lektro" universal grinderrs, portable grinders & drills & circular saws.
  • A 1916 patent for a center grinder was granted to Edward F. Smith and assigned to the Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co. of Cincinnati.
  • The September 1914 edition of Machinery has an article on Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co.'s electric lathe-center grinder.
  • The June 1916 edition of Machinists' Monthly Journal lists the machinists at Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co. as currently being on strike.
  • The April 1921 Automobile Trade Directory lists Neil & Smith Electric Tool Co., 813-15 Broadway, Cincinnati, O., as a maker under the category of "Drills, grinders and polishers, electric portable".
  • 1929-02-07 Cincinnati Enquirer.
    TOOL BUSINESS SOLD. Purchaser Organized $100,000 Corporation To Operate Property.
    L. Lee Schauer, well known in the machine tool industry, has organized the Schauer Machine Company, a $100,000 corporation, of which he is President. The new company has purchased the assets of the Neil & Smith Electric Tool Company, an Ohio corporation organized 20 years ago. Mr. Schauer, is a son pf the late Sherman C. Schauer, one of the pioneers of the machine tool industry. For the past two years Mr. Schauer has been connected with the Lodge & Shipley Machine Tool Company and previously for 18 years with the Cincinnati Bickford Tool Company. He was one of the first students to enter the mechanical engineering cooperative course in the University of Cincinnati.