Join Us Like Us Follow Us
Wilson Bohannan Lock Company
American Made Padlocks

Wilson Bohannan Locks - What Can We Build For You?

About Wilson Bohannan

WB Padlocks In the News

Wilson Bohannan Lock Company honored on its 160th anniversary with Milestone Award from Conway Center for Family Business

Wilson Bohannan President Howard Smith

Wilson Bohannan Lock Company, a family-owned padlock and commercial locking systems manufacturer in Ohio, has been named a Milestone Award honoree by the Conway Center for Family Business. The award is in recognition of Wilson Bohannan Lock Company's 160th anniversary. The company was founded by Wilson Bohannan in April 1860 in Brooklyn, N.Y. It moved to Marion, Ohio, in 1927, where the company’s 72 employees still engineer, fabricate and manufacture all of its products at its 42,000-square-foot facility.

The Conway Center's Milestone Award is given annually to family businesses that have reached some significant milestone during the year. This year's honorees were recognized in a virtual ceremony at noon on Nov. 18.

Read Full Press Release

Conway Center for Family Business

Wilson Bohannan Heads to the White House

Wilson Bohannan Locks

Only one company chosen to participate per state; 160-year-old, family-owned company based in Marion, Ohio, representing the Buckeye State

Representatives from the Wilson Bohannan Lock Company, a 160-year-old, family-owned padlock and commercial locking systems manufacturer in Ohio, headed to Washington, D.C., to display their 100-percent U.S.-made brass padlocks at the Made in America Product Showcase, which took place on Oct. 5 at the White House. Read More

An American Success Story

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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

News Links

Hillsdale College Honors Wilson Bohannan CEO, Howard Smith


PODCAST: Machining a Successful Product for 160 Years, with Howard Smith - Oct. 08, 2020 by Noah Graff


Wilson Bohannan Represents Ohio Business at the White House


Family fuels the engine at Marion's Wilson Bohannan Lock Company


IHeart Radio Interview with WMRN 1490: CEO's You Should Know - Howard Smith


GreenCrest Marketing “Ignite Your Business” Podcast with Kelly Borth Interview of Howard Smith Episode #37
Source: igniteyourbusinesspodcast.libsyn.com Published on 2019-07-08


Conway Family Business Awards & Expo: Winner of 21st Annual Lifetime Achievement Award: Howard Smith


Made in Marion
Manufacturing Expo (Video)

"Students were given an opportunity to talk with local business in this National Manufacturing Day event in Marion County, Ohio. This event serves as a catalyst to amplify our workforce in advanced manufacturing, design, engineering and the skilled trades."


MarionMade Article

The Wealth of Work

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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. Read More

A Lock on the American Market

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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

Wilson Bohannan Locks

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