Submitted by Richard K. Fleischer
Est. Circa 1918 Located originally at Paige Ave. and Griswold St. Eventually moved to Larchmont Ave. NE.
When owner J.W. Brainard retired this company was sold to a private firm headed by E. T. Sproul, who had formerly been an official at Trumbull Steel. The company’s new name was the Brainard Steel Corp.
A year previously, in 1951, the company sold off it’s rivet department and it was moved to Girard, OH. And is known as the Brainard Rivet Co. The rivet department became a part of the J. W. Brainard Steel company when the company bought out the Fowler Rivet Co. of Braddock, Pa. and moved it to Warren in 1919.
Brainard Steel expanded it’s other business lines into the space vacated by the rivet department at Warren. The main business lines of the plant were steel strapping, steel hoops, galvanized steel strip used in construction, cold rolled steel strip for the auto and hardware industries, electro-galvanized steel strip for corrosion resistant auto applications, welded steel tubing, and hot rolled electro-galvanized strip steel.
By 1946 Brainard Steel was acquired by the Sharon Steel Corp. and became known as the Brainard Strapping Division of Sharon Steel.
By 1981 Sharon Steel was shipping 13,000 tons of steel to the Brainard Strapping Division. Five thousand tons are used to make Brainard strapping products and Brainard supplies 10% of the nation’s needs for steel strapping.
The other 8,000 tons of steel received from Sharon each month is used for making galvanized steel products for the auto industry in applications where corrosion resistance is necessary.
By the late 1980’s Brainard Strapping was falling on hard times. As a division of Sharon Steel Corp., Brainard was also falling victim to the machinations of corporate raider, Victor Posner, had saddled the parent company with. Brainard was shut down from July 1989 to February 1991. The plant was re-opened in 1991 to supply steel strapping to the packaging industry. The plant closed for good in November of 1992.
Another company did business in the buildings as a steel coating company, but it is now gone as well and I think the Brainard buildings are now vacant.