The secret to success is one simple concept.
This phrase rang true for Washington Samuel Tyler, who founded his wire-weaving mill in September 1872. Tyler sought to create products that were not an end in themselves, but means by which his customers could complete something useful and profitable.
This simple notion would be the building block of a successful business that still thrives today.
Tyler, a descendant of a Connecticut family, was born on April 10, 1835, in Cleveland. His parents settled in Ohio City, on the west side of Cleveland, because the northeast part of Ohio was allocated to Connecticut during the course of a resettlement policy.
Even though he grew up in Ohio, Tyler returned to his family’s roots in Connecticut for his education. After completing his studies, he worked at a textile store in Hartford, Connecticut, for three years.
Working at the textile store negatively affected Tyler’s health, so he returned to Cleveland, where he opened his wire-weaving mill, originally dubbed Cleveland Wire Works, in 1872. The company was renamed W.S. Tyler that same year.
The company started with only 11 employees, and the plant – built adjacent to the Cleveland Pittsburgh Railroad – was an old two-story building that measured 40 ft. x 75 ft.
Despite its small size, the company flourished. Tyler’s business and moral standards greatly contributed to the company’s success. At a time when customers had to be on guard about the products they purchased, Tyler upheld the notion that a successful business should generate a profit but also give customers their money’s worth.
After a year of operating in his tiny facility, Tyler’s company grew from 11 employees to 30. As the number of employees grew, so, too, did W.S. Tyler’s level of innovation and success.
The company originally produced woven wire cloth for a number of uses, such as garden fences, flower lattices, protective devices for fireplaces, woven screens for mines, elevator linings and more. The products were woven on wooden looms until, in 1878, Tyler introduced mechanical weaving looms to the operation – as well as wire crimped in stages. This helped to increase efficiencies and offer customers greater durability in their screen decks.
In 1910, Tyler introduced the Tyler Standard Scale Sieve Series, a scientifically designed testing sieve series that later became the basis for the development of the ISO standards used in particle analysis today.
According to Haver & Boecker, W.S. Tyler’s parent company, the principle of the sieve series became so essential that the United States and a number of foreign countries adopted it as a national standard.
In 1914, the company launched the Ro-Tap Sieve Shaker, an industry laboratory standard that further complemented the product line and, in 1916, Tyler developed the hook strip for screen tensioning.
Tyler recognized a need to continue moving forward, and he saw an opportunity in vibrating screens. At the time, woven wire cloth was advancing and improving, while vibrating screen developments were stagnant.
In 1917, W.S. Tyler produced the first fully mechanical vibrating screen. Tyler died that year at the age of 82. He had more than 500 employees at the time, and his drive to innovate the screening industry remained a staple of his company as it moved forward.
Eighteen years after his death, Tyler’s company purchased the Niagara screen patent and developed its first four-bearing screen, the Ty-Rock. This was the first collaboration between W.S. Tyler and its future parent company, Haver & Boecker. The screen, which integrated positive screening action – coarse to fine – played a pivotal role in the evolution of screens in the years that followed.
W.S. Tyler today
While Tyler paved the way for woven wire and a number of screen developments, he was also attentive to opportunities for expansion and growth.
In the early 1900s, W.S. Tyler ventured into Canada, Mexico and South America. Following a discovery of gold, South Africa also became a market for W.S. Tyler products, followed by China, Australia, India and Malaysia.
In 1930, the Tyler family built a factory in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, to capitalize on the country’s booming mining industry. The family moved the Cleveland production site midway through the 20th century to Mentor, Ohio.
The new sites improved the company’s efficiency, convenience, material processing and working comfort, expanding the company name around the world.
Tylinter, more formally known as W.S. Tyler International, was established in 1958 through a joint venture between W.S. Tyler and Haver & Boecker, a manufacturer based in Oelde, Germany, that offers diversified processing, storing, handling, mixing, packing, filling, palletizing and loading solutions. The partnership catapulted the companies into a two-way international trade.
In 1969, when no family members were found to continue the business, W.S. Tyler underwent two ownership changes. It was owned by Combustion Engineering – now ABB – and known as C-E Tyler for 10 years, and then sold to a leverage buyout firm that ran the company for nine years. Haver & Boecker bought W.S. Tyler in 1998.
More than 140 years since Washington Samuel Tyler established his wire-weaving mill, W.S. Tyler and Haver & Boecker continue to hold true to their founder’s principles of integrity, value and outstanding customer service.
Today, the Tyler name lives on through a number of products, including the company’s signature vibrating screen, the Tyler F-Class. Tyler also continues to offer particle analysis equipment, wire mesh, filters and filter cloth, screen printing and architectural mesh.
W.S. Tyler continues to operate in Mentor, Ohio. Its Canadian manufacturing facility, which focuses on screening, washing and pelletizing technology for the mining and aggregate industries, rebranded to Haver & Boecker Canada in 2015.
“Haver & Boecker was born from innovation, and we continue to embrace it in everything we do,” says Karen Thompson, president at Haver & Boecker Canada. “The Tyler name is a reminder of our roots and the importance of putting the customer first.”