Serving its customers for nearly 150 years, The Gerstenslager Company has a long, rich history in the transportation industry. The company’s ability to adapt to the industry’s changing needs has allowed it to evolve into the company it is today.
Gerstenslager was first started in Marshallville, Ohio in 1860. At that time it was a carriage factory and was known as the Wehe Company. In 1882, Mr. George Gerstenslager, a young blacksmith, went to work for the company. In the early 1890s, Mr. Gerstenslager became the owner along with Mr. Weimer. At that time the company was known as The Weimer and Gerstenslager Company. In 1904, George Gerstenslager assumed majority ownership and management of the company and it became known as The Gerstenslager Company.
The company continued to produce buggies, surreys and wagons at the factory in Marshallville, Ohio. It soon became apparent that they needed larger facilities and a more advantageous shipping location; and in 1907 they moved to a new plant in Wooster, Ohio. The building that Gerstenslager built in 1907 is still standing today. During the early 1920s, Gerstenslager changed their production facilities from buggies, surreys and wagons to van bodies and special truck bodies.
Gerstenslager management realized the building at Spink and Liberty Street was not conducive for this type of manufacturing, and in 1930 it relocated to today’s location on East Bowman Street in Wooster, Ohio.
Following the war, Gerstenslager devoted many hours to designing and building custom-built mobile units for libraries, fire rescue departments, dental units, canteens, mobile x-ray units, hospitals and television units used by all the major networks. In the early 1950s, the company was awarded contracts to build vehicles for the United States Post Office.
During the 1980s, in an effort to combat the corrosion problems in the industry, Gerstenslager was one of the first companies to install a cathodic prime painting system.
In the 1990s the company expanded its operations and added manufacturing, warehouse, and die storage facilities. In 1997, Gerstenslager was acquired by Worthington Industries. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Worthington Industries is a leading diversified metal processing company with annual sales of approximately $3 billion. The company is one of North America's largest independent steel processors and is a leader in maufactured metal products such as light gauge steel framing, pressure cylinders steel pallets, metal ceiling grid systems and laser welded blanks.
In 2000, the company constructed a 180,000 sq. ft. state of the art manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio. This plant houses Gerstenslager’s largest press line and is fully automated with Fanuc pick and place robotics. Gerstenslager continues to grow and adapt to its customers changing needs. In recent years, the company has added a cure oven for sealing and paint operations, and many flexible assembly cells.