Finding aid for the Midland Steel Products Company Records and Photographs

Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Midland Steel Products Company
Title: Midland Steel Products Company Records and Photographs
Dates: 1914-1959
Extent: 0.20 linear feet (1 container)
Abstract: Midland Steel Products Company was an automobile frame manufacturing firm located in Cleveland, Ohio, between 1893 and 2003. The collection consists of correspondence, marketing material, and photographs.
MS Number MS 5384
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English

History of the Midland Steel Products Company

The Midland Steel Products Company was an automotive frame manufacturer located in Cleveland, Ohio. It began as the Parrish and Bingham Company, founded in Cleveland in 1894 to produce bicycle, wagon, and trolley parts. The factory site was located at Madison Avenue and West 116th Street. In 1923 the Parrish and Bingham Company was merged with Detroit Pressed Steel Company to form Midland Steel Products Company. It quickly became the largest producer of automobile frames in the United States. A brake division was established in 1928, producing mechanical and air brakes and air compressors. During World War II, Midland manufactured jeep and truck frames and parts for shells and tanks. In the mid-1950s, the Board of Directors initiated a program of diversification resulting in the formation of the Midland-Ross Company in 1957, when Midland Steel Products Company merged with J.O. Ross Engineering Company. In 1961 Midland Ross acquired Industrial Rayon Corporation, of Cleveland, Ohio, a manufacturer of automobile tire cord and rayon yarns. The original Midland Steel Products Company unit was sold to Lamson and Sessions Company in 1978. In 1992 the plant was sold to Gerald B. Smith and subsequently transferred to Iochpe-Maxion Ohio, Inc., in 1995. The factory operated until 2003 when it was closed.

Click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for Midland-Ross Company

Scope and Content

The Midland Steel Products Company Records and Photographs, 1914-1959 and undated, consist of correspondence, marketing and sales material, and photographs (33).

This collection includes material of a major automotive frame stamping and metal fabrication company, both in Cleveland, Ohio, and the United States. Researchers interested in how large manufacturing companies marketed their products will be interested in the various brochures and in the internal sales manual. The sales manual outlines policies and procedures, as well as product specifications and testing data that marketing and engineering students will find of interest. Correspondence dated during the 1930s provide insight into a company operating during the Great Depression, particularly in instructing and motivating sales people, as well as promoting itself during difficult economic times. Photographs of the construction and interior of the original Parrish and Bingham plant will be of interest to students and researchers of architecture and industrial engineering, especially about structures built during the early years of the 20th century.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series.
Series I: Records is arranged alphabetically by document type and then chronologically.
Series II: Photographs is arranged alphabetically by document type and then chronologically.

Restrictions on Access


Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Metal stamping.
Steel industry and trade -- Ohio -- Cleveland.
Steel-works -- Ohio.
Steel-works -- United States.


Midland Steel Products Company -- Photographs.
Midland Steel Products Company -- Records and correspondence.

Preferred Citation

[Container ___, Folder ___] MS 5384 Midland Steel Products Company Records and Photographs, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio

Acquisition Information

Gift of Peter E. Kurowski, Midland Steel Products Company, in 1985.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert Suriano in 2016.

Detailed Description of The Collection

Series I: Records ca. 1924-1959 undated

Box Folder
1 1 Auction notice for the sale of the automotive stamping and metal fabrication plant, and machinery, located at 6660 Elliott Street, Detroit, Michigan 1959
1 2 Internal memoranda to sales managers 1933 1934
1 3 Letter from Gordon Stoner, company vice president, to potential customers describing facilities and production capabilities 1935
1 4 List of press equipment with specifications, for the Parrish and Bingham Division, Cleveland, Ohio 1942
1 5 Marketing brochure, "A giant servant to a gigantic industry", describing and illustrating the role of the company in supplying to the automotive industry ca. 1924
1 6 Marketing brochure, "Backbones and muscle for transportation", describing the history of the company, its products and technology, its facilities, and executive management ca. 1955
1 7 Marketing brochure, "Midland engineering: geared to gigantic production", illustrating the company's facilities, products, and executive management, as well as the company's mission statement undated
1 8 Monthly allotment of passenger automobile production 1941-1942
1 9-10 Sales manual outlining policies and rules, descriptive terms, products and specifications, laboratory testing results, drawings, and internal memoranda ca. 1933 undated

Series II: Photographs 1914 1916 1919 undated

Box Folder
1 11 Construction of the Parrish and Bingham Company plant, Cleveland, Ohio 1914
1 12 Factory interior, including stamping machinery, welding, material stock and products, as well as employees at work undated
1 13 Parrish and Bingham plant, Cleveland, Ohio, exterior and construction 1916 1919 undated