Philip E. Uhl, president of the Toledo Metal Furniture Company, one of the important manufacturing enterprises
of the city, was born March 3, 1868, in Glandorf, Ohio, a son of Benedict and Elizabeth Uhl. He attended the Toledo
high school, thereby completing his education, save for the broader knowledge that he has gained in the school
of experience. He started out in the business world as clerk in a furniture store and later became bookkeeper in
the employ of Thomas Doherty, dealer in builders supplies. Ambitious to engage in business on his own account he
and his brother, Clement R. Uhl, on the 1st of March, 1898, opened a small bicycle repair shop in a little frame
building formerly the office of M. V. Barbour, coal dealer, at the corner of Monroe and Eleventh streets and styled
their enterprise Uhl's Cycle Emporium. Their capital was eighty five dollars. Business grew rapidly, so that thirty
days later they built a brick addition and added some machinery, together with a brazing furnace and enameling
oven. Two years later they incorporated the Uhl Brothers Company with a capital stock of fifteen thousand dollars
and moved across the street to the one story Chiesa building, adding to their. equipment some more machines and
a plating plant. As the bottom had dropped out of the bicycle business, they started in the manufacture of novelties,
finally developing a steel chair and table, their first order being an equipment of the soda fountain parlors of
Hoffman & Company on Summit street. They soon found their space too small for their growing business and removed
to South Huron street, occupying a two story brick building formerly used as a bottling works. In 1904 they changed
the name of the company to the Toledo Metal Furniture Company and increased the capital to sixty thousand dollars.
The business continued to grow until in 1910 they purchased their present plant on the Lake Shore Railroad near
Dorr street, which was originally built for the Maumee Cycle Company and to which they have since built several
additions. In May, 1920, the capital stock was increased to three hundred thousand dollars. The company manufactures
a specialty line of steel chairs and tables for cafes and soda fountains, also a line of typewriter stands and
cabinets, typewriter chairs, desks, stools, etc. A goodly portion of the company business is also the construction
of special stands such as are used by the Burroughs, Wales, Dalton and other adding machine companies, together
with dictating machine, pedestals, water cooler stands, etc., all of which are its own design and are covered by
patents. The firm employs about one hundred and fifty men in the factories, besides ample office and sales force.
The officers of the company are: Philip E. Uhl, president; Joseph F. L. Uhl, secretary and general manager; and
Clement R. Uhl, vice president and superintendent. The increased capitalization is indicative of the steady growth
of the business, which is today one of the important productive industries of the city.
In Toledo, on the 12th of October, 1898, Philip E. Uhl was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Kirschner, a daughter
of Charles J. Kirschner. He has always been a lover of music and is one of a family of ten brothers, all musicians,
who formerly conducted what was known as Uhl's Concert Band. In religious faith Mr. Uhl is a Roman Catholic, belonging
to St. Mary's church, and he is also identified with the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Knights of America and
the National Union. He is also a member of the Commerce Club, the Inverness Club and the Toledo Automobile Club
but is most widely known because of the prominence to which he has attained in business circles, his notable industry,
perseverance and ambition bringing him from an obscure position to one of gratifying leadership and success.
Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo
Lucas County, Ohio Biographies
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