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HILL ACME CO.

The HILL ACME CO. was one of Cleveland's oldest firms engaged in the heavy manufacturing business. Jacob Perkins and Harry Hill founded and incorporated the firm in 1886 as the Hill Clutch Co., with a plant located near present-day Edgewater Park. In 1906 Perkins established a foundry for Hill Clutch on W. 65th St. It changed its name to the Hill Clutch Machine & Foundry Co. in 1920 and began to produce transmissions and various types of machine tools. In 1931 it purchased the Cleveland Knife & Forge Co. (founded 1891) on W. 113th St. Four years later, it acquired the Canton Foundry & Machine Co., a manufacturer of shears and cranes. In 1940 Hill merged with another pioneer firm in heavy manufacturing, the Acme Machinery Co., which had been started in 1884 at the corner of Hamilton and Beiden (E. 45th) streets. The merged firm was incorporated as the Hill Acme Co. and made an expanded line of products, including special machinery and shears for the automotive, aviation, and steel industries. In 1952 Hill Acme moved its headquarters to 1201 W. 65th St., opening a $250,000 research center adjacent to the plant in 1958 and broadening its product line of machine tools by introducing material-handling equipment. Hill Acme had 250 employees with $25-30 million in annual business in 1978. It had opened a plant in Gorham, ME, in 1975; however, and it moved its Cleveland plant and headquarters there between 1982-85. Only a small sales office remained in Chesterland in 1995.