The Waddell Company

The Waddell Company owes it start to Americans' fondness for coffee. When the John M. Waddell Company began its operation in 1887, coffee was high on the nation's preferred beverage list. However, to get coffee, beans were ground at home by awkwardly holding a box grinder between the knees and turning the handle with one or two hands.

This process was too cumbersome for company founder John M. Waddell, who at that time was employed by his father, John F. Waddell, at his hardware store in downtown Greenfield. John devised a way of simply putting a handle on the grinder that allowed the operator to hold it with one hand and turn the handle with the other. The improved grinder was the company's first product and from it an entire line was developed called Ideal Coffee Mills.

Needing a building for his business, John moved into his father's two-story grain elevator located at 512 South Washington Street.

In addition to the Ideal Coffee Mills Line, early products included mousetraps, rat traps, trade stimulators, calculators, cash registers, and x-ray egg testers. Along with those products, Waddell manufactured cigar cases, general merchandise cases, and post office fixtures - mostly sorting racks and tables, stamp windows, storage cabinets, and letterboxes.

The above summary appeared in Greenfield, Ohio 1799-1999, 2000.






The Greenfield Historical Society
PO Box 266
Greenfield, Ohio 45123