Historical Places

Lucas Machine Tool Company

Henry Lucas acquired land to the west of Marble & Shattuck in March 1902. He organized the Lucas Machine Tool Company with George Lucas and Frank Yost as his partners. Lucas built a plant with a saw-tooth roof on its one-acre lot at Foster and Robison Roads. With its bank of roof-line windows, the building's innovative design improved lighting and air circulation for its workers.

They soon began production of the world-famous Lucas Boring Mill.

One year later, Lucas Machine Tool produced and shipped its first machine and ran to a production of 351 machines. Mr. Lucas made machine tool history by designing and building the original of the horizontal boring, milling and drilling machine. His innovations greatly improved both the accuracy of the boring operation and the set-up of the work.

Smoke and grit engulfed the immediate vicinity whenever prevailing winds blew from the south or west, and the tranquility of the entire lakefront was regularly punctured by the piercing blasts of factory whistles.

The principal problem in preparing to form a new village was to settle on some agreed method of structuring the new community to prevent the intrusion of unwanted types of land use. Although the Lucas Machine-Tool Company was relatively quiet and did not break the harmony of the village, the founders did not want any more businesses moving into the area.

With the proposal of a possible new highway through the Village in 1938, the council adopted an ordinance to provide for the appraisal of real estate. Lucas Machine Tool Company was a necessary property to be acquired. The Lakeland Freeway project took the Lucas Machine Tool property in 1947. The company moved its operations to a new factory at 12302 Kirby Avenue and the Bratenahl factory was demolished.