The Fyr-Fyter Company dominated the fire extinguishing industry for 50+ years. Founded in 1910, Fyr-Fyter grew into a $50 million revenue per year business (inflation adjusted) by 1945. They were also one of the largest direct selling organizations prior to 1945, with over 3,500 sales agents. The founders were the pioneers of the fire extinguisher industry. The founders were also my relatives.
I, Sean Iddings, was totally unaware of their story until I picked up a book that detailed my family tree. And there it was hidden in plain sight. The story of Roscoe Charles Iddings, a founder of Fyr-Fyter.
Roscoe and his brothers lived below the radar. So much so that most people in Dayton, Ohio had no clue the city was home to the largest fire extinguisher business in the world. After the brothers sold the business in 1945 and many subsequent mergers, the company slowly was forgotten.
Only after I dug into the story did I realize Roscoe Iddings was an intelligent fanatic. The company “rolled merrily along” during the Great Depression. At that time virtually all durable goods manufacturers closed. Zero manufacturing employees were fired at Fyr-Fyter. The company grew stronger under the stress.
It also got us thinking, What is it about Dayton, Ohio that produced intelligent fanatics?
John Patterson created National Cash Register
The Wright Brothers spawned the US’s largest Air Force Base – Wright-Patterson
Charles Kettering & Edward Deeds created Delco
John & William Sherman started printer Standard Register (today Taylor Communications)
Esther Price launched what is today’s 6th largest chocolate company in 1904
I’m excited to share with you another Dayton, Ohio intelligent fanatic. Here is the untold story of The Fyr-Fyter Company, owned and operated by Roscoe Iddings and his brothers Andrew and Daniel.
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