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In the News
An American Success Story
For 155 years, Wilson Bohannan has manufactured padlocks. It survives by innovation and continuous technological investments.
Like many American entrepreneur success stories,
this one also began in a garage. The year was 1860,
and this particular garage belonged to a man named
Wilson Bohannan. After working in several manufacturing
facilities, Mr. Bohannan was struck by the entrepreneurial
spirit, so he decided to start his own padlock company with his
14-year-old son, Wilson Todd Bohannan, in the garage behind
their Brooklyn, New York, home. After being granted their first
patent on April 17, 1860, they were on their way. Read More
The Wealth of Work
Meet the Wilson Bohannan Company
Very few family owned businesses pass to the second or third generation. The reasons are many: lack of interest by the next generation; need or opportunity to sell; punitive tax policy; etc. In this issue of Harvest Magazine it is our privilege to introduce you to the Wilson Bohannan Company - a seventh generation family-owned business - by dear friends and clients, Howie and Pam Smith. Enjoy learning about a remarkable business whose incredible longevity reflects a legacy of commitment to employees, customers, family and the values that family holds dear. Read More
Wilson Bohannan Padlock Company
A Company with a 150-year Lock on Success
The Wilson Bohannan Padlock Company of Marion, Ohio is 150 years old and the oldest family-owned padlock company still manufacturing product in the United States. The company motto is, "Locks SInce Lincoln". WB began modestly in a garage behind the Bohannan home in Brooklyn, New York in 1860. That was also the year Bohannan's first lock patent was granted and the year Abraham Lincoln was elected to his first term in office. Ultimately, Wilson Bohannan held twenty lock related patents.
A Lock on the American Market
Wilson Bohannan Padlock Company of Marion, Ohio, founded in 1860, still produces all its components on-site.
The story of Wilson Bohannan Padlock Company, whose slogan is "Locks Since Lincoln," parallels the westward expansion of the U.S. The company began in Brooklyn in 1860 prior to the first transcontinental railway. Locks for the railroad industry were the company's mainstay. Founder Wilson Bohannan held 20 lock-related patents. Today the 65-employee company is owned by the fifth and sixth generations— the founder's great-greatgranddaughter Pam Smith and her daughters, Patricia and Sarah. Pam's husband, Howard, has worked at Wilson Bohannan since 1973 and has been its president since 1995. Read More
Making Locks Since Lincoln
For 150 years, padlock manufacturer Wilson Bohannan has done one thing and done it well.
In 1860, Wilson Bohannan and his son started a padlock business in a Brooklyn, New York, garage. Since then, with a location change to Marion, Ohio, in 1927, this seventh-generation, family owned and operated business has made the solid brass WB padlock. It found early success supplying all-brass padlocks for the growing railroad industry to secure freight cars, track switching gear and other outdoor applications where a rustproof padlock was mandated. By the turn of the 20th century, utilities, gas and electric became a growing market for WB locks for the... Read More
American Profile: Producing Locks Since Lincoln
Using a machine that slices through metal, workers cut long brass bars into lock-shaped pieces at the Wilson Bohannan Padlock Co. factory in Marion, Ohio (pop. 36,494).
As the brass pieces travel through production, they are stamped with the company's "WB" logo, polished, shaped and fitted with the internal mechanisms that turn them into padlocks, which will safeguard truck cargo, security gates and utility sheds around the world. Read More