Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-226
Location: LH-226

(Description ID: 594510)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Crescent Manufacturing Co.


Agency History
Scope and Content

The Crescent Manufacturing Company records were donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1987 by a resident of Fremont, Ohio. Among the papers, at the time of the acquisition, were records of the Improved Order of the Red Men. These were probably preserved by Nagle and Grett. For better access they have been cataloged and indexed individually.

Agency History
Originally known as the Fremont Metal & Manufacturing Co., Frank Nagle and Cyrus Grett, two Fremont, Ohio entrepreneurs, established the business in 1898. The company began in a 5,000 square foot building on Ohio Avenue, but is presently located in an 80,000 square foot facility on Majestic Drive in Fremont's Riverview Industrial Park. During the 1930s, Crescent employed about 50 workers, but with expanded operations, which commenced during the decade of the 1980s, the workforce now numbers around 230. Now a U.S. leader in the production of carbon and stainless steel blades, Crescent Manufacturing's original product line basically featured a variety of items such as razor blades, household utensils, including knives, hospital carts and cots, and tools distributed under the names of "Witch", "Wizard", and "Magic". The decades of the 1930s through the 1950s saw the company expand its lien of bladed knives as well as contend with the unionization movement, culminating in the recognition of the United Auto Workers Union. By the 1970's sales had surpassed the one million mark with millions of blades being produced under such names as Surgical Edge, Mystery Edge, and Extra Duty. Crescent dropped its shaving razor lines in the late 70's and early 80's in favor of increased emphasis on industrial and surgical blades. It also was during this period that the company began to expand its facilities from its plant at 335 Ohio Avenue to its present operations in the industrial park. Since 1979, Crescent Manufacturing Co. has experienced several changes in ownership. The Squib Corporation in 1979 purchased the company, later selling the business to Dubin Clark & Co., a private investment firm in Chappaqua, New York.

Scope and Content
The bulk of the collection includes records from the first two decades of the company's existence (1899-1934) as well as several items pertaining to the Improved Order of Red Men, a local fraternal organization of which both Nagle and Grett were members. Additional scattered records exist through the year 1985. Nearly all of the records preserved deal with the company's sales and finances. A 1909 safety-razor patent letter by Philip H. Unsinger of Fremont also is included in the collection. Unsinger and his brother Pete operated the Unsinger Razor Blade Co., which was located across the street from the Crescent factory on Ohio Avenue. Supposedly, the Unsingers leased their building from Nagle and Grett.

2½ linear ft.
Ac. 4942

Box 1 - Crescent Manufacturing Co.
Payroll Register, August 13, 1934 - November 23, 1940 (unbound)
Vendor Ledger #1, 1899-1916 (1 volume)
Vendor Ledger #2, 1900-1906 (1 volume)
Vendor Ledger #3, March 1903-July 1914 (1 volume)
General Ledger (Trial Balance #1), 1899-1904 (1 volume)
General Ledger (Trial Balance #2), February 1, 1904-December 6, 1906 (1 volume)
Cash Book, April 1899-June 1906 (1 volume)

Box 2 - Crescent Manufacturing Co.
Sales Book, September 1909-December 1916 (1 volume)
Sales Book #1, September 1899-February 1903 (1 volume)
Sales Book #2, February 1903-March 1905 (1 volume)
Sales Book #3, March 1905-October 1907 (1 volume)
Sales Book #4, October 1907-September 1909 (1 volume)
Bills Receivable & Payable Register, July 1, 1934-May 21, 1938 (1 volume)
Cash Book (Receipts & Disbursements), 1910-March 1922 (1 volume)
Accounts Payable, 1899-1900 (1 volume)
Accounts Receivable ("Bill Book"), April 4, 1906-December 1913 (1 volume)
Vendor Ledger, 1917-1928 (1 volume)
Inventory Register (with money amounts), October 1913-June 1924 (1 volume)
Pay Rolls, January-December 1930 (unbound, folder 1)

Miscellaneous (folder 2):
Special Purchase Audit Forms, 1923-1937
Historical Perspectives, September 26, 1985
Sun Life Assurance Co. Policy #919-G, June 9, 1928
Philip H. Unsinger Safety-Razor Patent Letter, August 31, 1909
Improved Order of Red Men (Onoko Tribe, No. 140, Fremont, OH) material
Cash Book (Hall & Benefits), August 14, 1896-April 25, 1918 (1 volume)
Receipt Book, August 16, 1917-March 1, 1922

On shelf:
Cash Book (General Ledger), June 1906-December 1916 (1 volume)