Ferry Cap & Set Screw Company

The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, specialized in producing precision fasteners with high strength, created using a cold-heading process.


Leveraging the abundant raw materials from Cleveland’s numerous iron and steel mills, the nut and bolt industry in the city flourished. This growth led to the establishment of several nut and bolt manufacturers situated along the Cuyahoga River valley, catering to both local manufacturers and markets in the western regions. 5

Thomas Ferry, hailing from Cuyahoga Falls, established the Ferry Cap & Set Screw Company. 1 Ferry’s career began with an apprenticeship at the Falls Rivet & Machine Company, followed by a tenure at the National Screw & Tack Company, where he ascended through ranks from a toolmaker to various supervisory roles, including foreman, assistant superintendent, superintendent, and finally, general superintendent.

In 1907, Ferry left National Screw & Tack to start his own venture in Cleveland, the Ferry Cap & Set Screw Company. 1 5 The company’s initial workforce consisted of seven employees, who produced 20 to 30 tons of cap screws, set screws, and sewing machine parts in its first year. Originally, the company was housed in a two-story building measuring 40 feet by 150 feet, located on Scranton Avenue across from one of Cleveland’s largest nut and bolt factories, Lamson & Sessions. 5 Because of growth, a third story was added in 1909.

Between 1914 and 1915, the company expanded with the addition of a three-story, 176 feet by 40 feet, brick mill construction building. 5 By 1916, Ferry Cap & Set Screw had grown to employ 550 workers and was producing 4,000 tons of products each year. 1 Further expansion occurred in 1919 with the completion of two three-story additions, featuring brick construction with wood beams and steel, designed by Ernest McGeorge. 5

As of 1978, Ferry Cap & Set Screw continued to use a range of belt-driven machinery that had been installed between 1907 and 1930. 5 This equipment included eight five-spindle drill presses from Detroit Machine & Tool Company, seven multiple-spindle and six single-spindle drill presses from Chas G. Allen Company, five shaver and slotter machines from Cook Company, five economy shavers, three ⅜-inch Spider feed machines, and two ½-inch drum hopper machines. Additionally, the company utilized two rotary carburizer furnaces from American Gas Company, two spotters from A. P. Schraner Company, two Garvin tappers, a No. 1 Bristol miller, a ¾-inch chain drive trimmer, a single-spindle tapper, and a 1923 horizontal screw-thread rolling machine from Waterburry-Farrel Company.

By June 1998, when it was acquired by FabriSteel Products of Southfield, Michigan, Ferry Cap & Set Screw had grown to include a 160,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and a 78,000-square-foot warehouse. 4 At this point, the company had 320 employees and annual sales reached $52 million.

In March 2006, to augment its manufacturing capabilities, Ferry Cap & Set Screw leased 85,000 square feet of the former Lake Erie Screw factory in Lakewood. 3 This expansion was undertaken while planning to maintain its headquarters and primary factory in Cleveland. Lake Erie Screw had vacated these premises in 2004, relocating most of its manufacturing to Frankfort, Kentucky.

Between July 2007 and September 2008, Ferry Cap & Set Screw made a strategic move to consolidate its operations. 2 The company phased out its Cleveland factory, transferring all operations to the Lakewood location.

In March 2018, Scranton-Averell sold the former site of the Ferry Cap & Set Screw factory for $900,000 to WXZ Development, Inc., based in Fairview Park. 6 7 There were plans to transform the complex into residential units, but this redevelopment was paused due to the construction of a new stormwater sewer overflow tunnel in the vicinity. In April 2022, WXZ received a $4.2 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development. 8 This funding, part of Ohio’s new brownfield remediation program, was allocated for addressing asbestos, contaminated soils, and waste removal at their site.




  1. Avery, Elroy. A History of Cleveland and Its Environs: The Heart of New Connecticut. Vol. 3. Chicago: Lewis, 1918. 213-214. Print.
  2. O’Donnell, Paul. “Ferry Cap Nears Completion of HQ Move.” Plain-Dealer 14 Aug. 2008. Web. 27 July 2015. Article.
  3. Bullard, Stan. “Ferry Set to Expand in Lakewood.” Crain’s Cleveland Business, 13 Mar. 2006. Web. 29 July 2015. Article.
  4. McCracken, Jeffrey. “Detroit Firm Buys Ferry Cap.” Crain’s Cleveland Business, 22 June. 1998. Web. 29 July 2015. Article.
  5. Bluestone, Daniel M. ed. “Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company.” Cleveland: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, Historic American Engineering Record, pp. 29-30.
  6. Prendergast, Ken. “Cleveland Flats peninsula finally coming back to life.” Neotrans, 6 Dec. 2021.
  7. Burroughs, Adam. “WXZ Development Buys Site On Scranton Peninsula.” Smart Business Dealmakers, 23 Mar. 2018.


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