The building that is currently known as Sycamore Group started as the home of one man’s “New Idea”.
Joseph Oppenheim was born in 1859 in Germany. He moved to Maria Stein, Ohio and became a teacher. The longer Joseph taught, the more frustrated he grew that his older male students were missing out on their education to shovel manure in the fields. While watching small children playing a game called “tom ball,” Joseph had his new idea. The small paddle that the children used in the game would function well as a mechanical manure spreader. With a small prototype he made from a wooden cigar box, Oppenheim opened his first factory in Maria Stein and started manufacturing his revolutionary manure spreaders.
After Joesph’s death due to illness in 1901, his wife and children worked hard to continue to grow the business, eventually moving it to Coldwater, Ohio in 1910. There, the company thrived for 85 years until July of 1984, New Idea was purchased by Allied Products Corporation.
The factory and warehouse space left behind by New Idea was eventually purchased by Sycamore Group. The Coldwater facility reflects over 100 years of changes and improvements, and even though the equipment and manufacturing process has changed drastically in that time, the people of Mercer County Ohio remain as hard working and dedicated as ever to provide quality products to the world.