Historical Places

Lucas Machine Tool Company

Henry Lucas acquired land north of the railroad tracks at Robison Street (Garfield Lane) in March 1902. He organized the Lucas Machine Tool Company and built a factory with a saw-tooth roof. With its bank of roof-line windows, the building's innovative design improved lighting and air circulation for its workers.

Lucas and his partners, George Lucas and Frank Yost, soon began production of what would become 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 boring mills. Mr. Lucas made machine tool history by designing and building the original of the horizontal boring, milling, and drilling machine. His innovations significantly 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 piercing blasts of factory whistles regularly punctured the tranquility of the entire lakefront.

The principal problem in preparing to form a new village was to settle on some agreed method of structuring a brand-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 to move into the area.

With the proposal of a possible new highway through the Village in 1938, the Lucas Machine Tool Company would become an essential property to be acquired. Bratenahl council adopted an ordinance to provide for the appraisal of the real estate.

The Lakeland Freeway project eventually 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 demolished to make way for the freeway.