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Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Co

Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Co., 1550 Grand Boulevard, was welcomed to Hamilton with a 100-gun salute during groundbreaking ceremonies Sept. 1, 1896. The firm was a consolidation of Hall's Safe & Lock Co., Cincinnati; Marvin Safe Co., New York City; and Farrel & Co. and Meyers & Smith, Philadelphia, according to Stephen D. Cone in A Concise History of Hamilton, published in 1901. Cone said the Hamilton plant "has a floor space of 100,000 square feet in the main factory building, exclusive of the boiler and engine room. The main building is 300 by 352 feet in dimensions, fronting on Grand Boulevard."

The company was persuaded to relocate to Hamilton by the Hamilton Improvement Syndicate, headed by Lazard Kahn, Oakey V. Parrish and Moses Mosler. The company prospered and expanded in Hamilton. During both world wars, Herring-Hall-Marvin produced equipment for the armed services. During World War II, it built gun mounts for the U. S. Navy and was engaged in projects related to the atomic bomb. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said "during the 1940s this company machined uranium slugs under subcontract with a prime Department of Energy contractor. The uranium slugs were machined from uranium billets." Ohio EPA said "the radiological cleanup was initiated in December 1994 and completed in February 1995," at a cost of about $1 million.

The assets of H-H-M were purchased by Diebold Inc., based in Canton, Ohio, in September 1959. The sale was challenged as a violation of anti-trust laws in a suit brought by the U. S. Department of Justice, but a federal court in Cincinnati cleared the sale in March 1961. Three years later, employment at the Hamilton plant totaled 350 people. In October 1990, Diebold announced it would be begin a phased shutdown of the 200,000 square foot Hamilton plant in January 1991. Diebold came back to Hamilton in October 2001 when it purchased the closed Mosler facility at 8309 Berk Blvd. Diebold in 2003 activated a service and sales operation in the building that Mosler. Aug. 3, 2001, Mosler Inc. closed its Hamilton offices and service center on Berk Boulevard as it began liquidating the corporation. Aug. 6, 2001, Mosler Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection. April 2, 1996, production had ended at Mosler's 104-year-old Grand Boulevard plant in Hamilton. "Safe Capital of the World" was a City of Hamilton slogan for several decades. The combination of Mosler and Herring-Hall-Marvin "gives Hamilton nearly 50 percent of the world's safe and vault production," noted They Built a City: 150 Years of Industrial Cincinnati by the Federal Writer's Project of the Works Progress Administration, published in 1938. (See Mosler Safe Co. and Macneale & Urban Co.)


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