Akron Selle Co. - 1903-2001 - Selle Gear Co. 1888-1903 - Akron, Ohio
On Selle St in Akron
The oldest timber-frame, red-brick building dates to 1888, when the gabled, four-story factory was used by the Selle Gear Co. to make wagon gears, suspensions and parts for horse-drawn carriages. The company grew and evolved over the years, adding buildings and additions as times changed.
Akron Selle Co. got into metal stampings before World War I, and for a time built truck bodies. During World War II, workers made military parts. Akron Selle (pronounced ``Sell-e'') Co. produced parts for cars, trucks and planes -- and even gasoline gauges for dirigibles.
The company moved toBartges Street in the mid-1990s, and the Selle Street complex was put up for sale.
Akron Selle continued to make sheet metal stampings for the auto industry until they closed their doors for good in 2001.
The Akron Selle Co. was bought in 1903 by Akron's Hower family, and succeeding generations ran it for nearly a century before it closed in March 2001.
Akron Selle's last president, Otis A. Hower, 67, said the complex had been listed by a real estate agent for about nine years, and ``an awful lot of people went through it... but nobody seemed to come to the table.''
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