Park Sherman Company

The Park Sherman Company operated in Springfield from the early 1930s, when founder Jacob Sherman bought a plant formerly operated by the Springfield-based Shanklin Manufacturing Co.,  until 1960.

Shanklin Manufacturing, 2725 S. 11th St., had been founded by George Shanklin, who copyrighted a design for a carbide miners’ lamp in 1913. He incorporated his company in 1925, but the firm succumbed to the Great Depression in 1930.

A Shanklin 'Guy's Dropper' miner's lamp

A Shanklin ‘Guy’s Dropper’ miner’s lamp

After buying out Shanklin, Park Sherman continued to make lamps and other items for the mining industry, including the popular Storm King line of lamps.

However, Park Sherman probably became better known for producing cigarette lighters, desk accessories and a variety of office and novelty items. According to a 2004 presentation to the Sangamon County Historical Society, one of the local newspapers once estimated that most Springfield residents had Park Sherman items in their homes without realizing it.

The company’s products were sold throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Advertisements often used the catchphrase “Precision Made by Park Sherman, Springfield, Illinois.”

In 1960, Park Sherman was sold to the New Jersey firm of Ketcham & McDougall. Because of wage costs and labor problems, the Park Sherman division moved from Springfield to Murfreesboro, Tenn.  Only seven of the 300 workers moved with the company. Jacob Sherman died the following year.

A wide range of Park Sherman memorabilia is available on eBay and similar sites. Below are two examples.

Park Sherman Silent Butler Crumb Catcher

Park Sherman Silent Butler Crumb Catcher

Park Sherman revolving bar set

Park Sherman revolving bar set

schs logo (2)Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.

 

 

 

 

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40 Responses to Park Sherman Company

  1. william whiteis says:

    I have just been given a nice gift from a long time friend. It is an Everdry Park Sherman match holder and still is full of original matches. Was just wondering what the value may be or even more important about when it might have been made. Thanks, Dub whiteis

  2. Jennilyn Berger says:

    I have this item can u tell me more about it please. It wont let me send a pic. But its the glass bar set without tray and cups

  3. editor says:

    Ms. Berger: Short of taking the set to an antiques dealer for a real appraisal, all I can suggest is seeing what similar sets have sold for on eBay. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Thanks for reading.

  4. Wendy will says:

    Need phone number or address for park Sherman. Collectib

    • editor says:

      Wendy: I’m sorry, but, as the entry notes, the Park Sherman company went out of business in Springfield in 1960. You’ll need to search the internet for information on collectibles. Thanks for reading.

  5. Gerry says:

    A friend just gave me a very unique cigarette lighter in brand new condition made by Park. It’s nice to find some background on the original manufacturer. The company that the lighter was made for, Metal Litho Corp., also closed it’s doors many years ago.

  6. Bobby Goldesberry says:

    My Grandma worked there I think it was in late 40s or early 50s. I have a little coal miner match stick holder that she had given my grandpa. Thanks for the article.

  7. George Goodstein says:

    I live in Portland Oregon and just bought a lighter at a thrift store. It is a Park, in it’s original purple box, with the number (model?) 1281 on the side and 2 packets of flints inside. It’s chrome, in mint condition, and I got it for $3. I saw a similar one in bronze that sold on ETSY and they described it as being from the 1940’s and one of their earlier models, so I’m wondering if this is true. The box also notes “IT’S WINDPROOF” on top. I’m just curious as to it’s age. If I could attach a picture I would. Thans.

    • editor says:

      Mr. Goodstein: Thanks for asking about the Park-Sherman lighter. Outside of what I read on various collection sites, however,
      I know nothing about the backgrounds of Park-Sherman items. I hope another reader can pass along information. I’ll notify you if I learn more.

  8. darleen volkert says:

    I have a ParkSherman postal scale that has never been used. It is in original box with partitions and instructions. It is model 6010 walnut finish. Is there a museum that might be interested in obtaining this. I am 85 year old and live alone. I am not up to advertising on various websites. Thank you.

  9. Lori says:

    I am dating water main from the early 1900’s and the Shanklin water service is referenced – i’m trying to find out where this plant would have been located in 1920.

    • editor says:

      Lori: The place you want to go to locate the Shanklin plant is the Sangamon Valley Collection, third floor of Lincoln Library. Ask for the city directory for 1920. Should take you just a few moments. And thanks for reading.

  10. Ruby Wells Cade says:

    My Mother worked at Park Sherman from the 40’s until they closed and moved the Factory to Tennessee.I have pictures of the old Factory with employees standing in front.And many memories of there Park Sherman Christmas Parties.I have a few of the lighters from there they were called Storm King they made so many things.

    • editor says:

      Ms. Cade: Thanks for reading. If you’re able to email me one of the photos of the factory and employees, I’d love to publish it with the Park Sherman entry. (You’d get credit for the contribution.)

    • Carole Chase Draughan says:

      My Dad worked at Park Sherman when he came back from WWII. It would have been in the mid to late 1940’s. I’d love to see picture of employees.

  11. Mary says:

    We have one of the revolving bar sets. Does anyone know if the glass is lead crystal?

  12. Vicki says:

    My father worked for Park Sherman (later to become Park Industries) when it moved to Murfreesboro, TN. Unfortunately, he has passed away so I can’t get the answers to many of the questions. He was the plant manager and I remember visiting the plant many, many times as a child. I also remember Bill and Bob Sherman (2 brothers who were owners). I remember the cigarette lighters, cigarette cases, crumb catcher, and a few other items that were manufactured there. I also know in later years they made a butane lighter but it never became as popular as the other butane lighters on the market at the time.

    • editor says:

      Vicki: Thanks for the information, and thanks for reading.

    • Douglas L Cox says:

      I used to play golf with Bob Sherman in the 70’s and got to meet several of the key people that worked with Bob. Bob’ wife was named Micky and as I recall was from a prominent family in Nashville. I can’t remember his name but a tall red headed man ran the factory at that time.

  13. Gene Crane says:

    I just found a Park Lighter in an old box my father had. It is still in the cardboard box and in unused condition. Interesting to here that they made these in Murfreesboro, Tn, which is where I live. I would like to know what these lighters are selling for. Thanks

  14. Larry Beach says:

    Thank you for providing some information on this company, I appreciate you time doing the research.
    My Mother Passed away last month, she had a Perpetual Sherman No1 Calendar she used every day until gently passing in her sleep. She knew I loved it and it had been a part of my whole life, I just hadn’t realized it.
    It is now in my home and my 12 yr old Daughter loves being the one to set Grandma’s
    Calendar every morning. A simple device that has lasted much longer than anybody probably imagined it would.
    Have a Blessed Day,
    Larry Duane Beach
    Primghar, Iowa

    • editor says:

      Mr. Beach: Thank YOU for reading and for the touching comment.

    • Eva Brothers says:

      Larry , Like you I also have a Perpetual Sherman No1 Calendar
      My Father -n-law was a Principal/ Teacher for 30 yrs and this
      little calendar sat on his desk the whole time. After retirement
      it went to his home desk. For the last 26 yrs I have had the
      pleasure of setting this calendar. I am now turning this pleasure
      over to my grandson 🙂 Like you who would of thought something
      so small would last so long.
      Eva Brothers
      East Sparta ,Ohio

  15. Norm says:

    I have a Bronze desk hand turn calendar that my Grandfather gave me

  16. Thomas hylton says:

    I have a park lighter with a mcdonalds emblem on it would like to know when it was made

  17. Janice langdon says:

    I have an oval tray, made of plywood,?, with flower inlay in the center of veneer top. On the back is a small brass marker with the words “park Sherman Co. Springfield, ill.” I have not been able to find any info on this table. Can you help me out?

  18. Xavier says:

    Okay so I have an original johnny cash show park lighter and a colonial federal savings park lighter I have looked on eBay and I cannot find anything on them by any chance do you have any ideas.

  19. Mary says:

    Did Park Sherman make solid walnut roll-top desks? We have such a desk with a velvet Park Sherman label in it. Label size is about 5 3/4 inches by 3 inches
    The label reads: Park Sherman U.S.A. Solid Walnut.

  20. me says:

    I have a lifetime guantee on a lighter. I need to have it repaired. Is the company still honoring it? Thanks

    • editor says:

      As far as I can tell, Park Sherman is out of business. If you search the Internet, I think you’ll find that Arden Industries/Park Sherman in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where the company moved in 1960, is a Superfund site, meaning that it had to be cleaned up because of toxic materials. I doubt your guarantee is worth anything. I hope I’m wrong; if so, I’m sure another reader will let us know. Thanks for reading.

  21. Terry Coleman says:

    Hi, I have a park lighter that was given to my father in 1954 from Great Lakes Steel in Detroit Michigan. It is in it’s original box and it has never been struck. I was wondering is it of any value to the company or any collectors, and how do I go about finding that out?

    • editor says:

      Thanks for reading, Terry. The company is long gone, but I’ve seen lots of Park Sherman items on sites like eBay. Your best bet is to search for similar lighters there. Good luck.

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