Below is a time line that tracks the growth of Lakeview Forge Company and The Erie Tool Works over the past 114 years:  

1902  -The Erie Tool Works (ETW) is founded by Frank W. Bacon   (at 12th and Cascade).  The company starts as manufacturers of pipe fitting tools for plumbers and industrial machines (vises, wrenches, pipe cutters, pipe dies).   

1928 - After Bacon’s death in 1928, succeeding Presidents are his son-in-law Alan Kite and son, Edwin W. Bacon until his death in 1949.  In  1946, grandson F. Warner Bacon joins the company. 

1950’s  ETW acquires several patents for its tool designs including a pipe vise, pipe wrench, and tubing  cutters.

1951  ETW moves to 12th and Liberty (the current location).

1952 - ETW acquires Lakeview Forge at 1725 Pittsburgh Avenue (current location) to have a source for the forgings used in its tools.   Founded in 1912, it started as Lakeside Forge Company on East Lake Rd.  In 1925, it becomes Lakeview Drop Forge Co and moves to Pittsburgh Avenue.   In 1935, the company  acquires a patent for improvements in “Methods of Forming Clevises” and becomes  Lakeview Forge and Clevis Company.

Besides clevises,  Lakeview's work grows, making custom forgings for outside customers such as General Electric Company, Modern Industries, Chevy, John Deere and Bucyrus-Erie, while ETW provides secondary services.

1954  ETW purchases Stillson wrench business of Boston’s Walworth Co.

1955  ETW files trademark for "Pipemaster" name.  

1959   ETW purchases Holland Mfg of Erie (estab. 1887)  makers of vises, melting pots, ladles, and pipecutters.    ETW starts use of the name Erie Pipemaster Tee Turner and files for patent in 1961.

1960's  ETW begins production of suspension lugs and obtains major contracts with the US Goverment.  

1964  A sixth major expansion of Lakeview Forge is completed including new office space, new factory space (three new hammers).  At the time there are two sifts and more than 100 employees.  

1964   The Erie Story quotes ETW as “the world’s largest independently owned maker of pipe wrenches”.   For more than 30 years the company produces a line of plumbing tools for Sears as well as many other private brand names (Armstrong, Ridgid, Toledo, Capewell, NYE, Skinner Seal and Reed Manufacturing).       The company completes a major expansion with remodeled/enlarged offices and additional plant space.  

1965   The company is bought by Textron for its defense work.  At the time, Dewitt Bull is President and                          F. Warner Bacon is Vice President, both grandsons of the founder.  

1968   Dewitt Bull resigns;  Bacon becomes General Manager.  

1970    ETW obtains a patent for a Flange Tightener.

1972    ETW obtains a patent for a Pipe Cutter.  

1972   Textron decides to sell the company.  F. Warner Bacon forms a buyout for both ETW and Lakeview                                      Forge.  He makes Lakeview Forge the parent company with ETW as a division.

1975   Matthew L. Bacon (Warner's son) begins full time at the company and in 1978 becomes GM of ETW.

1998    F.W. Bacon promotes his son, Matthew, to President and as a member of the Board of Directors along with his sister, Kitty Bacon Koch,  who was working in sales.   Later Koch becomes VP of Sales.   F.W. Bacon remains on the Board until his passing in 2007.   

2005   Lakeview installs its first hydraulic power hammer and induction heater so it can continue making suspension lugs to the government requirement.

2008   Lakeview is certified ISO9001:2008.

2014   Lakeview obtains another large government contract for suspension lugs.

2015   After the unfortunate passing of Matthew at age 60,  Koch becomes President. 


The company continues to manufacture small to medium custom drop forged parts at the Pittsburgh Avenue location.  Customers are from many different industries including:  aerospace, construction, agriculture, hardware, truck, automotive, mining, firearms, and the military.    Secondary operations such as machining and heat treating are completed at the ETW location. 




1725 Pittsburgh Ave. Erie, PA 16505 

(814) 454-4518  phone     (814) 455-5875 fax

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