Garford Manufacturing Company
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This photograph of the Garford Manufacturing Company in Elyria is from Part 1 of the book Art Work of Lorain County Ohio. The book, published in 1895, shows homes and major attractions in Lorain County, while the text focuses on Lorain County geography. The book contains approximately 150 pages and measures 14.25" x 10.5" (36.20 x 26.67 cm)
In 1892, Elyria, Ohio, businessman Arthur Garford purchased the Fay Manufacturing Company. Founded by Winslow L. Fay in 1885, the Fay Manufacturing Company produced bicycles and equipment to improve roads for bicycle use. In 1892, Garford renamed the business the Garford Manufacturing Company. Bicycles had become very popular by the late nineteenth century, but roads were very rocky and bumpy, making riding a bicycle somewhat uncomfortable. Garford's bicycle seat, known as the Garford Saddle, made bicycles more enjoyable to ride. Within a few years of establishing the Garford Manufacturing Company, Garford's firm was manufacturing more than one million seats per year.
By the early 1900s, Garford had amassed a sizable fortune from the Garford Manufacturing Company. Garford eventually sold this company to George Worthington, who renamed the firm the Worthington Manufacturing Company. In 1917, Fred Colson became president of the Worthington Company and renamed the firm the Colson Company. The Colson Company manufactured bicycles, scooters, and tricycles in Elyria. The Colson Company continued to manufacture its products until 1953, when the Evans Company, centered in Plymouth, Michigan, acquired the Colson Company.