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DODD CO.

 

The DODD CO. is Cleveland's oldest and largest supplier of photographic and art equipment. Frederick W. McBroom founded the firm in 1891 as an artists' supply store, with 3 employees, on Bond (E. 6th) St. After several operational changes, Robt. C. Dodd, a salesman for McBroom & Co., gained ownership of the store in 1902. Four years later, Dodd joined with J. Eugene Rogers to run the store as the Dodd-Rogers Co. The store was incorporated as the Dodd Co. in 1914, with Dodd and his 2 brothers, Edwin and Clarence, as owners. In 1920, the Dodds moved the store to Huron Rd, and though they did broaden their line of goods, Dodd Co. was foremost an arts-supply store. It was Louis C. Grenier, who became general manager in 1910, who convinced the Dodd brothers to move into camera and photographic supplies. By the early 1930s, photographic materials became the leading sales item of the company and by the 1950s, it was one of Ohio's largest suppliers of such equipment, with over 50 employees. In 1946, the Dodd brothers sold the firm to Louis Grenier and his son, Richard. Under Richard Grenier, who became president in 1956, Dodd expanded with the growth of the photographic industry. Until the late 1950s, the company consisted of only one store on Huron Rd. In 1960, Dodd Co. opened its first branch store, in Parma, which was soon followed by several additional locations. In 1962, Dodd established a new warehouse and demonstration center on Carnegie Ave. as it expanded its photographic, art, and audio-visual supplies and services. During the 1960s, the company also began to acquire several other photographic and arts supply companies and in 1974, Dodd's annual sales reached $3.5 million. By 2003, Dodd offered a full-line of digital and traditional photography equipment and accessories at 11 stores in the Greater Cleveland area.