The Wheeling Hinge Factory has won for itself a very extended reputation abroad, and has done as much as any one concern here to diversify the manufactures and increase Wheeling's wide fame as a producer. The Wheeling Hinge Company was incorporated in June, 1865, by Joseph A. Metcalf, Samuel Laughlin, J.F. McDermot, David Wagener, Alexander G. Robinson, Augustus Campbell, A.W. Campbell and D.E. Donel. The first Board of Directors organized by electing Joseph A. Metcalf President, Samuel Laughlin Secretary, and J.A. Dunning Superintendent. The Company purchased two lots at the corner of Nineteenth and Jacob streets, and erected a one-story frame building on Jacob street 35 by 150 feet, and commenced with one set of machinery to manufacture strap and T. hinges. In the fall of 1866 it was found necessary to increase the facilities for handling the product of the factory, and the large three-story brick building 35 by 100 feet was added. In the spring of 1874 another addition of 35 by 150 feet was added to the factory and additional machinery placed therein. The main building, under one roof, is now 70 by 250 feet, three stories in front and one story in rear. On the same lot are five other buildings, used for various purposes in the manufacture of their product.
The company manufactures and carries in stock a full line of strap and t hinges, screw and strap hinges, wrought butt hinges, steel cold chissels, corner braces and irons, screw eye bolts, hammock hooks, awning hooks, meat hooks, joint hooks, sign hooks, gate hooks, hinge nails, hitching rings, gate latches, wagon body staples, wrought steel staples, hasps and staples, garden rakes, fire shovels, pokers and tongs. They have such a variety of machinery that they can make to advantage any speciality from wrought iron and almost always have some such work under way, often receiving orders from manufacturers of agricultural implements for special parts of their machinery and tools.
As in instance of the capacity of their machinery, the city "lock up" is cited, it having been built by them at a lower price than any one else would do it for, and owing to their superior facilities paying them a fair profit.
In addition to their machinery for manufacturing, they have an improved plant for electroplating in gold, silver, nickel, brass, copper and bronze, which is run as a separate department, doing job work principally for this city and surrounding towns.
The product of the Wheeling Hinge Company goes to the hardware trade all over the United States and Canada. The Board of Directors is C.J. Rawling, President, C.D. Hubbard, John M. Brown, T.H. Logan, C.R. Hubbard and J.C. Brady. There is a vacancy in the Board caused by the recent death of Mr. A.G. Robinson, who was one of the original corporators and an active and earnest member of the board for some twenty years; J.C. Brady is Secretary and George S. Simpson Superintendent.
When running full the company employs about 150 hands and has a capacity for producing $200,000 worth of goods annually. Natural gas will be used after October 1 next.
Service provided by the staff of the Ohio County Public Library in partnership with and partially funded by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.