MTD PRODUCTS, INC., a national leader in two industries—tool, die, and metal stampings, and garden equipment—began in 1932 when Theodore Moll, Emil Jochum, and Erwin Gerhard founded the Modern Tool & Die Co. with a plant on W. 130th St. in PARMA. A modest business for many years, the company grew rapidly after WORLD WAR II. By 1952, it employed 500 people, with $7 million in business; about one-third of its orders were for tools and dies, and the remainder for metal stampings for the automotive and appliance industries.
In 1954, the company diversified by forming a garden-tool division in which it utilized its machine-tool expertise to manufacture mowers, tractors, snow throwers, and later, recreational vehicles. As the demand for both product lines continued to grow, there were several expansions of the Parma plant, and in the 1960s Modern built 2 additional plants in Medina County and 1 in Williard, OH. In 1968, the company shortened its name to MTD Products, Inc. MTD Products strengthened its garden line in 1981 by acquiring the lawn and garden tractor operation of the Intl. Harvester Corp. and reorganizing it as the Cub Cadet Corp., a subsidiary of MTD. This move greatly expanded the company's market, and by 1982 it had 12 engineering and manufacturing operations in the U.S., Canada, and W. Germany. Throughout the 1990s, MTD continued its expansion in garden equipment and by 1995, the company employed 2,400 people in the Cleveland area alone, while also maintaining sales operations in Australia, France, England, Austria, and Belgium. By 1997, MTD had annual sales of $600 million between its two main divisions and employed nearly 6,000 at its plants worldwide. By 2004, MTD, headquartered in Liverpool Township in Medina County, was a leading manufacturer of residential and commerical power equipment for the lawn and garden industry and sold its products under the Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, Yard-Man, Ryobi, and Yard Machines brands.