On March 9, 1877, 28-year-old Charles Glawe, an old-world sailmaker, incorporated his company in Cincinnati, Ohio. One month later he moved the firm to Dayton, Ohio. It remained there until 1994.
1893—In the Middle of the Parade
Upon moving to Dayton, the office was located at 111 North Main Street. The accompanying picture shows the office right in the middle of a huge circus parade traveling down the street. The employees enjoyed a ringside seat.
The primary products in those early days of the business were horse blankets and wagon covers. The company also sold many yards of heavy "duck" canvas to firms in the area, including the Wright Brothers. Glawe was concurrently building up the custom-made residential and commercial awning business, along with slowly developing the tent manufacturing and rental operations.
The factory was moved to Elm and Hall Avenue. That address later became 515 East Herman Avenue.
1903—Working With the Wright Brothers
At the request of the Wright Brothers, Glawe manufactured two special tents for them. One of these they took with them to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, for their attempt to accomplish powered flight. They succeeded on December 17, 1903. This picture is the original Wright photograph of Wilbur scrubbing pans outside the tent at Kitty Hawk.
The Wright Brothers-Glawe connection has continued in a manner of speaking. The Carillon Historical Park has built a replica of the Wright Brothers' workshop in the park. Glawe donated the company's belt-driven drill press which was the exact make and model used by the Wright Brothers in their workshop.
March 1913—The Flood!
1913 was the year of the great flood that covered the Miami Valley. After the flood, which toppled the two-story factory on Herman Avenue, a concrete first floor was constructed with two-foot-thick walls. The original two-story building was placed on top of this construction to make a three-floor plant. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Glawe on Hall Avenue also had to be rebuilt. The company remained in this location until the construction of "Malfunction Junction" and I-75 necessitated another change in location.
February 17, 1925
Charles Glawe passed away and was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio. Mrs. Glawe (Belle) was a stockholder along with other partners. One of those partners, William Huesman, eventually purchased all of the stock. Along with his wife Catherine, he reorganized the company as a partnership. The name of the company remained The Glawe Manufacturing Company.