The Cincinnati Butchers' Supply Company was incorporated in February 1895 by Charles Gottleib Schmidt (1851-1930) to manufacture meat packing equipment in the United States. Originally known as the Cincinnati Butchers' and Packers' Supply Company, "Packers" was eventually dropped from the company name because Schmidt felt it was too long and he thought the packing industry would be replaced by something else. The company was first located at the corner of Central and Kindell Avenues in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1870, Schmidt previously founded and co-owned the C. Schmidt Company with his uncle Carl Leonhard Schmidt (d. 1894) and brother George Oskar Schmidt. The company made refrigerator display cases and had a butcher supply department, opened to supply the needs of butchers and packing houses. Carl Leonhard Schmidt's son-in-law, John H. Ahrens also joined the business, and ultimately, bought out Charles G. Schmidt.
Schmidt founded the Cincinnati Butchers' Supply Company as a way to provide equipment designed exclusively for the meat industry. Schmidt operated a meat market and identified the need to provide standardized equipment and machinery to ensure consistent quality and efficient production. The lines of equipment expanded at the turn of the twentieth-century from dealing with only prepared meat to include the activities of slaughtering and dressing. The equipment was marketed under the "Cincinnati Butchers' Supply Company" name as well as the "BOSS" trademark (June 1917) which depicted a large bull. Some of the first systems included a hog hoist and a hog dehairer, introduced in 1903 and 1904. The sons (Oscar, Sr., and Gustave) of Charles Schmidt entered the business and established themselves with equipment design and patents of their own. The machinery and equipment was designed to streamline the production process and to move the hogs through the processing lines more quickly and efficiently, thereby minimizing labor costs and increasing production output. Specialized items such as a "BOSS" Hog Dehairer, a "BOSS" Hog Hoist, a Belly Roller, and a "fat skinning" machine were patented and produced to allow for a more mechanized and therefore more standardized processing system.
After Charles Schmidt died in 1930, the company was led by his sons: Oscar, Sr., vice-president of packinghouse machinery, treasurer and chief engineer; Gustave (Gus), who headed the woodworking ("Beauty" brand refrigerators, cabinets, display cases) department; and Herman, who became president. A daughter, Mathilde Schmidt, also worked in sales and advertising. In 1947, Schmidt's grandsons C. Oscar Schmidt (1909-1993) and William C. Schmidt took over the family business and expanded it by buying other companies that complemented their meat equipment line. The company's main lines were slaughtering equipment (dehairers and restrainers), sausage equipment (mixers, choppers, cutters), and rendering machinery. Among Oscar, Jr.'s thirty-five patented inventions was an electric hog stunner and the humane V-restrainer, originally intended for hogs, but then adapted to other animals. In 1980, Oscar, Jr. bought out his brother William to become sole owner.
Charles Gottleib Schmidt was born in Thüringen, Germany and he immigrated to the United States in 1870. He married Helene Meyer (1858-1926) in 1878. The couple had eight children: Frieda (b. 1880), Gustave (1882-1932), Oscar (b. 1886), Herman (b. 1888), Matilda (b. 1890), Emma (b. 1891), Hedwig (b. 1894), and Helene (b. 1923). In addition to founding a company, he was an active member of the Cincinnati community and was a member of the North American Saenger-Buend, United Singers Club, Hanselmann Lodge No. 208, Erwin Cicrcle Literary Club, Cincinnati Turner Society, Pioneer Club, Germanistic Society, Cincinnati Altenheim, and the German Protestant Ophan Home Society.
U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Joel E. Harrell and Son Suffolk, Virginia, nomination form, 2005 (last accessed on January 24, 2023, https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/133-5138_JoelEHarrell_2005_NR_nomination_final.pdf)
, November 12, 1939, page 11.
, November 11, 1986, page 62.
Schmidt, Christoph R. Company History, unpublished, 2002.