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Estate Stove Company

Estate Stove Company -- which operated in Hamilton for 77 years -- originated in 1842 in Hanging Rock, Ohio. It was known as Martin, Henderson and Company when acquired Feb. 21, 1881, by the Kahn brothers, Lazard, Felix and Saul.

After a disastrous Ohio River flood in 1884, the Kahn brothers began moving operations to Hamilton, and renamed the firm F. & L. Kahn and Brothers.

Production started in a new factory on East Avenue in Hamilton Feb. 23, 1885.

By 1891, it was a five-story factory on a five-acre site, employing 200 workers who produced 2,400 tons of coal, wood and gas stoves that were sold in Great Britain, France, Spain, Japan and China as well as across the United States. Employment reached 500 by 1901 and Dec. 31, 1905, the business was incorporated as the Estate Stove Co., reflecting the popular name of its stoves. Expansion continued through the 1920s with its Hamilton facilities covering 12 acres. Its products included coal, wood, gas and electric Estate stoves and coal, oil and electric Heatrola heaters for domestic and commercial customers and specially designed stoves for railroad cabooses.

From the Spanish-American War of 1898 through two world wars and the Korean War, Estate manufactured stoves and heaters for a variety of military uses.

During World War II, the Hamilton plant's military products included shell and cartridge containers, anti-tank mines and parts for tanks and airplanes.

Dec. 28, 1945, Estate was purchased by the Noma Electric Co. Sept. 22, 1952, the company was sold to RCA. July 18, 1955, the RCA Estate Appliance Corp. of Hamilton was merged with Seeger Refrigeration Co., St. Paul, Minn.; Sears Roebuck and Co. and the Whirlpool Corp., St. Joseph, Mich., with the new firm known as the Whirlpool-Seeger Corp.

Feb. 21, 1961, Whirlpool announced it would end production at the Hamilton plant by the end of June, 1961. At the time of the closure announcement, 750 people were employed in Hamilton, down from the 804 working there a year earlier. As of 2000, Whirlpool continued to market gas and electric ranges with the Estate name.

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