The Harvard Company and Weber Dental Manufacturing Company are former dental furniture and equipment manufacturers in Canton, Ohio. It’s factory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


History

The Harvard Company was founded by Frank E. Case, a lawyer, inventor and businessman who designed and patented the first reclining dental chair in Canton. 1 In 1896, Case had designed a purpose-built factory on 13th Street Northeast by Guy Tilden, Canton’s premier architect. The building was elaborate, with Tilden utilizing Romanesque architectural styles throughout. A three-story tower housed a female restroom on the second floor and a document repository on the third floor. The remainder of the factory was one-story.

In 1937, Weber Dental Manufacturing Company acquired the Harvard Company. Weber Dental, founded as a dental furniture factory in 1898 on South Cherry Avenue between 4th and 5th streets. 1 4 The South Cherry facility was sold and Weber Dental moved into the Harvard Company facilities on 13th Street Northeast. Weber Dental comprised the largest dental furniture and X-ray machine factory in the world, with 320 employees by the 1960’s. 4

Stern Metals Corporation acquired Weber Dental for $5 million in 1968, with Weber Dental becoming a subsidiary of Stearn. 4 The company, later known as Stern-Dent, announced that Weber Dental would close in April 1977 after an attempt to sell it failed. 5 It only had 18 employees at the time of closing.

The Weber Dental complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

An arson fire consumed a significant portions of the factory on October 27, 2011. 3 After years of abandonment, the city of Canton and Joseph A. Jeffries Company of Louisville proposed a new 26-acre industrial park on the site of the former Weber Dental and adjoining Ohio Cast Products in June 2013. 1 2 The Canton Community Improvement Corporation (CCIC) acquired 17 parcels that were previously in foreclosure, paying a total of $564.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency conducted the first phrase of a cleanup in mid-2013, followed by biological tests along Nimishillen Creek. 1 The CCIC is attempting to receive money from the Clean Ohio Fund to finish site clean up at Weber Dental.

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