Our History

Our Core Values are Integrity, Teamwork, Growth-mindset, Ingenuity, and Grit.

  • 1859 The Eastern Company, our parent company, is established in Naugatuck, CT.
  • 1877 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company established in Canton, OH by George W. Eberhard and two other partners. The focus is on malleable iron & brass hardware for saddlery & carriages. 8 patents are issued, and our deep-rooted innovation begins.
  • 1880 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company relocates to Cleveland, OH. An accidental fire, caused by a dropped lantern, destroys the business. The company is merged with the Cleveland Malleable Iron Co. under the leadership of Alfred Pope and the Eberhard Manufacturing Company is back in business.
  • 1882 Corbin Cabinet Locks (CCL) Founded in New Britain, CT.
  • 1893 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company becomes a charter member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Our entrepreneur spirit continues to burn bright.
  • 1908 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company strategically begins manufacturing products for the burgeoning automotive industry.
  • 1914 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company converts operations to directly support the USA efforts during World War I.
  • 1926 Sesamee 4-Dial Padlock patent granted.
  • 1930 Illinois Lock Company (ILC) founded in Chicago, IL by Raymond Gray. The focus is to design and manufacture locks to secure and protect the growing arcade gaming industry.
  • 1935 Duo© Lock Patent issued to Illinois Lock Company (ILC).
  • 1942 Eberhard Manufacturing converts operations to manufacture components for amphibious vehicles and landing crafts to support the USA efforts during World War II.
  • 1958 Eberhard Manufacturing ceases all foundry work in Cleveland, OH.
  • 1960 Illinois Lock relocates to Wheeling, IL
  • 1965 Illinois Lock Company is acquired by The Eastern Company.
  • 1973 Eberhard moves to a new factory in Strongsville, OH.
  • 1984 ILC Taiwan operations begin in Taoyuan, Taiwan.
  • 1987 CCL Security Products acquired by The Eastern Company.
  • 1992 China Operations begin at ILC Dongguan.
  • 1999 Eberhard Manufacturing Company purchased Ashtabula Hardware Company which manufactured bus hardware products that includes manual door controls, rods, handles, and other linkage components.
  • 2006 Royal Lock Corporation and product line is acquired and merged into Illinois Lock.
  • 2008 Eagle Lock Corporation acquired by Illinois Lock.
  • 2009 Eberhard purchased the footman loop line of products from the F.A. Neider Company. These lines of products are used on many commercial and military vehicles to secure straps or webbing.
  • 2017 80/20 business transformation begins at Illinois Lock.
  • 2018 ILC launches new branding and acquires Load N Lock Systems.
  • 2020 The Eberhard Manufacturing Company & Illinois Lock Company combine amidst a global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus. The two companies form a single, stronger entity under the Eberhard name and offer “ONE” solution for their customers with one of the broadest engineered access hardware offerings.