The company incorporated in May, 1890 was first known as the Kenton Lock Manufacturing Co.. Mr. F. M. Perkins of Cleveland was interested in a factory to make his patented refrigerator locks and used temporary quarters at the J. Forbins Scroll Mill in Kenton as his first site.
Work was begun on the new building the same year, and by 1892 a foundry building was added with 20 molders employed. Because of patent disputes between Mr. Perkins and the lock factory, the company started making cast iron toys. In November of 1894 the name was changed to the Kenton Hardware Manufacturing Company and production of toys was begun… stoves, banks and fire company outfits.
In 1903 the company was destroyed by fire. The company rose from its ashes in the short span of four months. After the fire, the company joined a series of failed toy trusts. During this time, the Wing Manufacturing Company was moved to the Kenton plant, thereby incorporating the sale of Wing toys and banks into the Kenton catalog. Due to the declining nature of the trusts, Kenton plant operations were closed from February 1908 until February 1910 when it reopened while the trust was in receivership. During the period they were closed many of the Kenton and Wing patterns were transferred to competing manufactures in the toy trust such as J. & E. Stevens, the Grey Iron Casting Company and Jones and Bixler. This transfer of patterns explains why many of the same banks were produced by different manufacturers.
In 1912, Kenton sales agent L. S. Bixler resurrected the company under the name of the Kenton Hardware Company.
Until his death in 1951, Bixler’s leadership made Kenton a leader in toy and bank manufacture with the addition of several innovative designs, such as the radio and mailbox lines. The company ceased production in 1952.