Freeman Manufacturing & Supply Company History

Our company was founded in 1902 when Bill Freeman, the owner of Freeman Pattern Shop of Maumee, OH, began reselling excess shop materials to other (foundry) pattern shops in the local Toledo area. Soon thereafter, this side business performed well enough that he decided to separate it, rename it as Freeman Pattern Supply, and move it to Toledo where it remained a small, regional supplier for over four decades.

 

In the 1950s, Freeman began a multi-decade campaign of geographical expansion by acquiring several other similar suppliers around the Eastern, Midwestern, and Southern parts of the United States. This string of regional distribution centers would soon establish Freeman as the nation’s largest tooling material supplier to pattern shops, as well as to the rapidly growing automotive and aerospace industries. Freeman also expanded into manufacturing with the acquisition of a specialty wax manufacturer in Cleveland, OH, thus becoming The Freeman Manufacturing and Supply Company.

 

By the 1980s, Freeman was ready for another transformation as its entire operation was restructured and streamlined to focus on what it does best. Freeman moved its headquarters from Toledo to Cleveland, Ohio (the site of its manufacturing operations), invested in tooling plastics manufacturing (most notably, the Repro line of fast-cast urethanes), created its largest branch office & warehouse in Roseville, MI (near Detroit), and formed an enduring partnership with the tooling division of CIBA (now part of Huntsman Advanced Materials). Then, in 1998, Freeman built a brand new manufacturing and distribution facility in Avon, OH (near Cleveland), where its headquarters remain to this day.

 

In the mid-2000s, Freeman entered its third major transformation by making several key investments in its future. In 2006, it acquired tooling board technologies from Epoxical and expanded its plastics manufacturing to include the ProCast line. In 2007, it acquired MF Composites, a Montreal-based supplier of tooling & composite materials. And over the following four years, Freeman completed its North American geographical expansion with the opening of several additional warehouses and sales territories throughout the west and north, ultimately covering 48 US states and 10 Canadian provinces.

 
 

Then, in 2011, Freeman completed the largest acquisition of its 100+ year history when it purchased the pattern supply and specialty wax divisions of The Kindt-Collins Company, a hometown rival of Freeman’s for over 90 years. This investment not only deepened Freeman’s commitment to its legacy pattern supply businesses, but it also reinvigorated its wax manufacturing, research, and development. Finally, in 2015, Freeman made its most recent investment by acquiring PSC Global, Inc, a leading North American distributor of die boards and other materials to makers of steel rule dies. This industry is closely related to Freeman’s core and is an exciting addition to our ever-expanding breadth of products.

 

Freeman now services its North American customers with twelve U.S. and two Canadian locations, as well as dozens of authorized distributors of our products both domestically and worldwide. While the traditional pattern shop supply business remains deeply at our core, Freeman is now also a major supplier to a much wider range of customers, including those that do automotive and aircraft tooling, modelmaking, rapid prototyping, jewelry manufacturing, vacuum forming, steel rule diemaking, high performance composites construction, injection molding, metal stamping, and much more.