Originally named The Standard Mills Company, it has been written that
the business started in the late 1890s, but wasn't incorporated until June,
1911. It has been said that the land was originally a golf course. To supply
water to the engine room a pond in the yard was used. Drinking water, carried
by bucket, came from a spring near the Section Avenue overpass of the B&O
railroad. In 1912, the company was acquired by and made a division of
Sears, Roebuck & Co. At that time, the pond was filled in, since water
was now supplied by Norwood. Also, the name was changed to Norwood Sash and
Door Manufacturing Company. The expanded factory at the southwest corner of
Ross and Section Avenues (3925 Section Avenue) produced windows, doors and trim
for Sears' pre-cut homes, such as their Honor-Bilt Modern Homes brand.
Like many companies in Norwood, they went from peacetime production to war production during both WWI and WWII.
In the summer of 1945, the business was sold to a group of employees headed by plant manager, Charles G. Klekamp, and chief engineer, William Schmale. Mr. Schmale started at the old company in 1926 as an estimator and Mr. Klekamp was a stenographer at the company in 1923. After they bought the business, Schmale became president and Klekamp vice president.
In recent years, the business expanded to a site in Lebanon, Ohio. By the end of 2009, the Norwood plant was closed, and early 2010, the Norwood equipment and the Lebanon equipment and site were auctioned. The Norwood site, which had been sold to a developer, was to be cleared, with the assistance of a state grant of $750,000 for environmental remediation, in early 2011, and two new buildings were to then be constructed.
On Monday, December 27, 2010, around 9:30 pm, a massive fire destroyed the structures. The fire was fought by Norwood, Cincinnati and other fire departments, mainly to prevent the spread of the fire. Until the 50 foot or higher flames could be subdued, a large tower of smoke was visible for miles billowing from the site and ashes from the fire were blown at least as far as East Norwood. By Wednesday evening, puffs of smoke were still coming from the remains. The reason for the fire will be investigated by the State Fire Marshall. The city was still hoping to receive at least some of the state funds to clean up the site.
|This 1916 advertisement for the Norwood Sash & Door Manufacturing Company pointed out the company's fast service, good quality and big savings for building materials.|