Historical find: A glimpse into our past

Posted on: October 27, 2020

Do you know how Cooper Enterprises became the company it is today? This photo provides a clue.

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This truck was found in Lexington, Ohio in 2018. It belonged to the Friebel & Hartman Construction Company. Friebel & Hartman was in business from 1936-1970 and was founded by Walter Friebel Sr. and Ray Hartman.

The Box Plant had made soldier foot lockers and collapsible wooden boxes to ship fuel cells for the B-24 Liberator.

Friebel & Hartman’s last project was the Lazarus building in Mansfield, which is now home to Avita Health. The company also built many local schools.

In 1965, after Walter’s retirement, the Box Plant of the Friebel & Hartman Construction Company became Cooper Enterprises.

Cooper Enterprises acquired the truck door in January 2020, and it is displayed in the plant.

Click here for a photo of workmen installing fuel cells in wings of B-24 bombers, circa 1943.

One of the company’s trucks is seen in the next photo, which was taken in 1948. The employees pictured are celebrating at a Christmas party.

For more information about our company history, please click here.

Employees of the Friebel & Hartman Construction Company celebrate at a company Christmas party in 1948.

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