McGraw-Edison

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McGraw-Edison Company
Industry Electrical equipment
Fate Acquired by Cooper Industries
Founded 1957
Defunct 1985
Headquarters United States

McGraw-Edison was an American manufacturer of electrical equipment. It was created in 1957 through a merger of McGraw Electric and Thomas A. Edison, Inc., and was in turn acquired by Cooper Industries in 1985.

Origins[edit]

McGraw Electric was founded by Max McGraw in 1900 as an electrical contractor, in the business of installing electricity in houses. The founder was aged 17 at the time. The company quickly expanded into industrial and commercial buildings.[1] It made several acquisitions over the years, evolving into a manufacturer of electrical products. In 1952 McGraw Electric and the Pennsylvania Transformer Company merged, keeping the name of McGraw Electric.[2] Thomas A. Edison, Inc. was formed in 1910 as a reorganization of the Edison Manufacturing Co., which had its roots in the 19th century. It manufactured phonographs, and later moved into radios.[3] Charles Edison became president of the company in 1927, and ran it until it was sold in 1957, when it merged with the McGraw Electric Company.[1]

History[edit]

McGraw-Edison Co. was created in 1957 when McGraw Electric Company acquired Thomas A. Edison, Inc.[2] Charles Edison became board chairman of the merged company until he retired in 1961. Max McGraw was chief operating executive.[1] In March 1957, McGraw-Edison acquired Griswold Manufacturing. Griswold manufactured cast-iron cookware and some electrical items. Later that year the Griswold brand and housewares division were sold to the Wagner Manufacturing Company of Sidney, Ohio.[4] In 1959 Al Bersted became president of McGraw-Edison with responsibility for day-to-day operations. Max McGraw continued as chairman of the executive committee.[1]

McGraw-Edison took over the power tool businesses of General Electric in 1969 and of G. W. Murphy Industries in 1972.[5] In September 1979 McGraw-Edison purchased Studebaker-Worthington, a company formed from a merger of Studebaker and the Worthington Corporation.[6] The auto-maker Studebaker had founded in 1852 as a blacksmithing and wagon-building company by Clement Studebaker and his brother Henry.[7] Worthington had been founded by Henry Rossiter Worthington, the inventor of the direct acting steam pump.[1] The two companies had merged with Wagner Electric in 1967 to form Studebaker-Worthington.[8] The purchase more than doubled the size of McGraw-Edison.[1]

In June 1980 Bastian-Blessing, soon to merge with Nytronics, Inc., acquired McGraw-Edison's food service equipment division.[9] Around the end of 1981 the company sold its power tool division to Shopsmith, Inc.[5] McGraw-Edison manufactured equipment such as air conditioners, electric space heaters and air humidifiers at their 24 acres (9.7 ha) site in Calhoun County, Michigan between 1958 and 1980.

In the last decade of operations the company spread about 15,000 US gallons (57,000 l; 12,000 imp gal) of oil waste contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) to control dust on the site's dirt roads. In 1980 TCE contamination was found in nearby residential and municipal wells. The State of Michigan and McGraw-Edison Corporation registered a consent decree on 11 June 1984 for clean-up of the contaminated soil and groundwater.[10]

McGraw-Edison was acquired by Cooper Industries of Texas in 1985. At the time of the take-over McGraw-Edison had 21,000 employees working in 118 facilities in the United States and other countries.[1] Cooper took over responsibility for the Calhoun County site clean-up and as of 2004 the remedies were functioning well.[10]

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