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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

LINDSAY WIRE WEAVING CO.

LINDSAY WIRE WEAVING CO.

The LINDSAY WIRE WEAVING CO. became one of the country's leading manufacturers of papermill wire cloth. It was established when Hamilton L. Lindsay, a mechanic at the W. S. Tyler Co., invented an automatic power loom for weaving metal. Realizing the potential for his machine to revolutionize the papermaking process, Lindsay quickly secured a patent. With the financial backing of ALEXANDER WINTON and others, he organized the Lindsay Wire Weaving Co. in 1903. Starting with only 6 employees at a plant at Aspinwall Ave. and E. 140th St., the company sold $50,000 worth of wire cloth in its first year. Much of Lindsay's success was based on constantly improving the wiremaking looms to meet the paper industry's needs for quality and efficiency. To meet the demand for improved wire cloth, the company expanded its plant in the 1930s and 1940s. By 1951 it produced record sales of $5 million and employed over 300 people. Its wire cloth was also being used by the machine-tool, electronic, and communication industries. In 1957 the company built a branch plant in Mentor, and 5 years later a new research laboratory in Cleveland. However, during this period papermaking technology changed, as plastic cloth gradually replaced metal cloth. Lindsay opened a plant in Mississippi in the early 1970s to adapt to this change. Since the Cleveland plant made only wire cloth, the company started to phase out its production. Finally, in 1978 the declining business was sold to SW Industries, Inc., of Rhode Island.