Author: tdean918

“The Very Biggest Manufacturing Plant…in the World”

Front of BuildingIn the book An Odd Couple, author Charles Eisendrath provides the headlines from the February 13, 1907 Tiffin Advertiser, which made the announcement that Towner K. Webster  was moving his company Webster Industries from Chicago to Tiffin, Ohio:

“SECURED for Tiffin is the Very Biggest Manufacturing Plant of its Kind In This Country or in the World.”

Webster expanded the plant and got more headlines soon thereafter, and not much has changed since. The October 18, 2014 headlines in the Advertiser-Tribune read, “Webster expanding, adding local jobs.” Since Webster’s announcement of their $8+ million expansion plans, we thought it would be appropriate to provide a little backstory on this great company.

Their marketing tagline is “American materials, American labor and American pride.” Since 1876, Webster Industries has offered a wide range of products and expertise throughout many different markets. Founded by Towner K. Webster, Webster Industries initially opened in Chicago, Illinois in 1876, bringing to market his Common Sense Elevator Bucket. Webster Industries moved its headquarters to Tiffin, Ohio in 1907, where it still resides today. I find it very interesting that economic development was in full swing even back then. In the book, An Odd Couple, Charles Eisendrath sheds some light on the incentives offered at the time: Webster received an “offer of a free, 30-acre building site” from the “Tiffin Commercial Club,” the precursor to the Seneca Regional Chamber, which was founded in 1914 and led economic development until the creation of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) in 1983.

Since its beginning making and marketing the elevator bucket, Webster Industries has evolved its product offerings since opening its doors, becoming one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered class chains, commercial castings, and vibrating conveyors. Webster Industries’ Tiffin headquarters consists of over 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Webster Industries has also helped to Site Selection Magazine rank Tiffin and Seneca County in the top 10 for large, private economic development projects. Webster Industries provided support for the ranking by providing 76 new jobs to the local area and investment plans of $3,000,000. The most recent expansion is in addition to that, which demonstrates how fast the company is growing.

To give the public a chance to see how their products are actually used, the company sponsored an “Our Chain in Action” contest over the summer. The contest gave Webster customers “a chance to let loose their inner Steven Spielberg” by creating a video that highlighted the many features of Webster’s conveyor and steel chain products. The contest ran from mid-July to mid-August. The top videos can be found on the Webster Industries website and the manufacturer’s YouTube channel. One example of a use is Cedar Point’s Blue Streak roller coaster. The amusement park’s oldest coaster, uses a Webster chain to lift riders up a 78 foot hill, before descending 72 feet and reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour (see video below).

Sabaidee Coffee House opens next to Tiffin University campus

2014-10-14 08.11.00Stopped by the new Sabaidee Coffee House this morning for the first time and enjoyed a great Blood Orange hot tea (she also tells me her blood orange lemonade is also very popular.) Got to meet Delana Ball, the owner, and thought it would be great to share some information on this new gem in Tiffin.

It’s been open almost two months. At the end of August,  the Seneca Regional Chamber cut the ribbon to mark the start of Tiffin’s newest retail venture. Housed in the old Java House across from Tiffin Univeristy, Sabaidee Coffee House is located at 45 South Sandusky Street, providing coffee, chai, tea and other iced and warm beverages to the city of Tiffin. According to  Delana, Sabaidee comes from the Laos language, translating to “Hello. How are you?” in English. Ball spent the last seven years in Laos, a country settled next to Thailand and Vietnam, teaching English as a second language and helping the individuals of the nation.

Delana Ball’s decision to open a coffee house was a time in progress. Having lived internationally for the past several years, Ball returned to the United States feeling changed. She learned a lot while in Laos and knew the transition back was going to interesting. She took some time to think about her newest dream and passion, and it turned out that it was opening a coffee house next to a university. While she initially considered Bowling Green, she ultimately decided on Tiffin. After talking with the previous owners of Java House, her decision was made and the ownership transitioned to Ball. Ball added her own personal touches to the coffee shop. Sabaidee Coffee House offers a variety of coffee beverages and other beverages, including tea and soft drinks, along with offering bagels, muffins, and hummus.

Most of her coffee and tea come from Staufs Coffee Roasters in Columbus, a micro-roaster who sources premium Arabica beans from more than 20 countries worldwide. The coffee house can be enjoyed between 7:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and on Saturday between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. Parking is available in front on Sandusky, behind McCartan’s Grocery or next to Rosie’s Soup & Such on Clay St.

You can read Delana’s interview with the Advertiser-Tribune here.

$9M Tiffin Rehabilitation Center project breaks ground

TRC DozerThe Mercy Tiffin Hospital campus is growing with the addition of a new facility. On September 11, 2014, the Volunteers of America (VOA) invited the public to the official groundbreaking event for the new Tiffin Rehabilitation Center and Sojourn at Seneca. The groundbreaking event was held at 5:00 pm at Mercy Tiffin Hospital, located at 45 St. Lawrence Drive in Tiffin, Ohio. The groundbreaking featured several speakers, including hospital administrators, Mayor Aaron Montz, Mercy Tiffin President & CEO Lynn Detterman, VOA national President Mike King and other people associated with the project. Following the groundbreaking event, a reception was held on the first floor of the McMullen Conference Center. The $9 million project is being funded by the Volunteers of America, who operates Autumnwood Care Center in Tiffin.

The facility, set to open in the fall of 2015, is expected to employ 55 and will have two separate wings. In one wing, the structure is to house 20 transitional skilled nursing beds. In the other wing, 24 beds are to be available for seniors in need of short-term mental health services. The project estimates at around $22 million. The facility is to be operated by Sally St. Clair, the current Executive Director of the Volunteers of America Autumnwood Care Center, who will administer both Tiffin facilities.

> View Advertiser-Tribune article here.

National Machinery: 140 years of global success

National Machinery, LLC hosted an open house this month to mark the organization’s 140 year anniversary. On Sunday, the global manufacturer opened its doors to the public, hosting a three-hour open house event. During the open house, the public could tour the National Machinery plant, experience product machine demonstrations, view state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, and learn about career opportunities. In addition, the company showcased its facility renovations over the years. Further, National Machinery customers had the opportunity to attend six different technical seminars, while taking a plant tour with machine demonstrations.

The National Machinery Company was founded in 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio by William Anderson. Eight years later, investors, and future owner Meshech Frost, convinced Anderson to move the organization to its current location, Tiffin, Ohio. Since its move, National Machinery quickly grew, becoming a global leader in advanced cold forming machinery, process technology, and customer support products and services. National Machinery products are used in over 130 countries around the globe, and are used in motor vehicle, appliance, bearing, aerospace, and machinery manufacturing industries.

National Machinery’s world headquarters is located on Greenfield Street, in Tiffin, Ohio. The plant is approximately 600,000 square feet in size, and is one of the world’s most flexible and highly integrated machining and fabricating centers. A picture tour of National Machinery’s plant can be found here. National Machinery has locations, including sales offices and services centers, around the world; locations include Germany, Japan, China, and Brazil. National Machinery holds certification in ISO 9001, and firmly holds the position as the “World Leader in Metal Forming Technology.”

An aerial view of National Machinery’s corporate headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio. *Photo courtesy of the National Machinery website

Thousands attend 8th largest festival in Ohio

The Budweiser Clydesdales in the Heritage Festival parade. *Photo courtesy of the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival's Facebook page.

The Budweiser Clydesdales in the Heritage Festival parade.
*Photo courtesy of the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival’s Facebook page.

This month marked the 36th time Tiffin has celebrated the annual Heritage Festival. Friday, September 19th kicked off Ohio’s eighth largest festival with festivalgoers celebrating in the downtown and at Hedges-Boyer park, where people were treated to food vendors and live music throughout the night. On Saturday, September 20th, families gathered for the annual Heritage Festival parade in historical Downtown Tiffin. The parade featured local school bands, dance groups, Heidelberg and Tiffin University international students, Heritage Festival royalty, and a visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales. Following the parade, a short meet and greet with the Clydesdales was conducted in front of The Ritz Theatre.

Following the parade, festival attendees explored the Heritage Festival’s Downtown Area. Downtown featured food vendors, children’s activities, and a kid’s inflatable area in Courthouse Lawn. In addition, Frost Parkway featured a stage of live music and entertainment performers, along with an Arts and Crafts show. Finally, the night was once again filled with live entertainment throughout many Downtown locations.

Along with the Downtown festivities, the Heritage Festival features a living history village in Hedges-Boyer Park. The living history village takes attendees back to the Civil War era, where visitors experienced Civil War encampments, Native American villages, and Pioneer camps. Guests enjoyed open fire food vendors, vintage baseball matches, a kid’s craft area, miniature steam engine rides, and a Civil War military ball. In addition, a Heritage 5K and youth race occurred at the park.

Community remembers 9/11 at All Patriots Memorial

DSC_005913 years following the destruction that occurred on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial held a memorial service to remember the events that occurred on the historic day. The day’s events began with a program held for Tiffin Columbian and Tiffin Calvert freshmen students, where a documentary was watched at Columbian before being bused to the memorial for special remarks.

Later that day, thanks to a grant from The National Machinery Foundation and help from The Ritz Theatre, a second memorial service was held free for the public. People began the program at The Ritz Theatre, where a documentary regarding the 9/11 events was shown. Following the documentary, people proceeded to the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial. During the memorial services, various speakers shared their reflections on the tragic day’s events that occurred thirteen years ago.

The 17.5 foot long steel center column, weighing over 6,000 pounds, was retrieved following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. On August 23, 2011, three Tiffin Firefighters and one retired firefighter traveled to New York City’s JFK Airport to retrieve the steel artifact. The Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial was dedicated in September of 2012. The memorial sits in Tiffin, Ohio, on the corner of North Washington Street and Water Street, along the Sandusky River.