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This article appeared in the Evening Record on November 9, 1961. The pictures appeared in the article.

Friends Invited On 1st Birthday


Every time you look up to see a plane knifing through the sky, chances are you are looking at an aircraft that carries a bit of Ravenna craftsmanship.

For Ravenna's Allen Aircraft serves every major aircraft manufacturer in the country supplying a variety of valves.

And another Ravenna company, Ward-Riddle supplies machined engine parts for aircraft.

Ward Riddle Co

These two sister industries, Allen Aircraft and Ward-Riddle, are celebrating their first anniversary in new quarters this Saturday afternoon with an open house for their 100 employees and their guests.

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Allen Aircraft

THE two plants are located next to one another: Allen Aircraft on the corner of Newton Falls Rd. and Woodbine which is immediately east of Cotton Corners; and Ward-Riddle at 6168 Woodbine, around the corner from Allen.

The open house will show the processes and products of the two young and expanding companies.

Allen Aircraft has two distinct operations: One is the manufacture of aircraft valves: the other, a metal finishing operation.

Their valves find homes on airplanes, missiles and the atomic submarines.

The metal finishing operation puts various finishes on metals for the manufacturing trade.

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WARD-RIDDLE makes aircraft, missile and automotive parts. These are highly technical machined parts, custom made. Another line is making deep hole drilling equipment. Hugh Riddle designed a machine for this.

The two companies find their link in ownership. The officers of one company are the officers of the other. Neil Mann is president of Allen Aircraft and vice president of Ward-Riddle. Hugh Riddle is president of Ward-Riddle and vice president of Allen Aircraft.

George Walter is secretary of both Companies.

In some instances the two companies will work on the same job. Ward-Riddle may machine a part that is later anodized at Allen Aircraft.

Ward-Riddle's markets are usually confined to the Ohio-Michigan-Pennsylvania area.


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ALLEN AIRCRAFT'S markets are national. "Almost every major aircraft manufacturer uses our valves," said Mann. These vary in size from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Ward-Riddle was established in 1946 and Allen Aircraft a year later in 1947. Each company employs 50 people. Their combined payroll pours over a half-million dollars a year into the community.

Harold Sommers

Both companies have similar brick buildings standing on plots of an acre or more.

Allen Aircraft originally settled on its present site. It underwent four expansion programs before last year's remodeling and addition which doubled its space. The building houses 18,000 square feet of production, laboratory and office space. There is no warehousing.


WARD-RIDDLE moved into a brand new building a year ago. Until that time all operations were in a building at the corner of Myrtle and Spruce Sts., Ravenna. The new building has 13,000 square feet of work space. Like Allen Aircraft, it is all in production and offices. There is no warehousing.

Recently Allen Aircraft has gotten into a glamorous field: anodizing — in color — aluminum windows and doors. The front of the new "Theatrical Restaurant" in Cleveland, with its sophisticated black metallic finish was done by Allen Aircraft. So were the United Nations library and the American Cyanamid buildings in New York and the Hunt Library at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh. The company is enthusiastic about this branch of work. Besides being attractive, the treatment keeps the aluminum from pitting or scratching.

Allen Aircraft makes a number of different kinds of valves such as drain, check, pressure relief, quick disconnecting couplings, float valves and jet pumps. They are used on a number of different systems such as water, oil, air, hydraulic systems and pneumatic seat ejection systems. These go on military planes, missiles, commercial airliners, executive transports and helicopters.

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ALL SALES are done through their own sales staff.

There are a number of capable men in charge of operations. At Allen Aircraft, Bill Hayduk is manager of the metal finish; Charles Austin is superintendent of production of metal finishing. Gene Dietrich is superintendent of aircraft, and William Salladay is sales manager.

At Ward-Riddle, Harold Sommers is plant superintendent.

Expansion, either in buildings or personnel is not imminent, according to the officers. In the long look, however, they are both in expanding, not contracting, industries. Their industrial future looks bright.


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