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The Will-Burt Company Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Jan 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Industry News

On January 31, 1918, Burton W. Cope signed incorporation documents creating The Will-Burt Company in Orrville, Ohio. The company’s history can be traced back to 1894 when the Cope brothers opened a general repair shop. They took on partner William Tschantz. “Will” Tschantz and “Burt” Cope began doing business as The Will-Burt Company in 1916.

Along with contract manufacturing, Will-Burt has designed, manufactured and sold many different products over the years. Coal stokers and heaters were a mainstay from the 1920s through the 1960s. These were sold throughout the United States and Canada and many are still in use. Versa-Vise, a flexible home workshop vise was a part of the product line from the early 1900s until the 1990s.

The 1970s ushered in the “Age of Elevation.” The purchase of a local company that had been making telescoping pneumatic masts for the U.S. Army was the beginning of Will-Burt’s becoming a leader in the design, manufacture and sales of mobile elevation products.  Will-Burt has made several acquisitions over the years in support of this business, while receiving numerous patents as elevation products have become Will-Burt’s primary product range. During the 1980’s, the company transitioned from a family-owned business to a 100 percent employee-owned company via an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan).

There are several employee- and customer-focused programs scheduled throughout the year.  A community event will be held August 25 and all invited to join the celebration in Orrville, Ohio.