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Used in 1833, and ever since.

We started with making black powder in America when the nation was young and expanding. Our long history of serving the quarry and mining industries reflects the continuous development of new, safer, and more reliable blasting products, and innovative technologies.  Today we provide the global industry with the highest quality emulsions, electronic detonators, and blasting expertise.

For nearly 190 years, Austin Powder has been in the business of helping customers break rock safely and efficiently.

Our Early History

Austin Powder Company is the oldest manufacturing enterprise in the State of Ohio and one of the oldest manufacturers of explosives in the world.

The company began in 1833 in Akron, Ohio by the 5 Austin brothers of Vermont to produce black powder which was used in blasting rock and the sporting arms of the day.

The company acquired the Cleveland Powder Co. in 1867, at the 5 Mile Lock of the Ohio & Erie Canal. The facility later was lost when an explosion occurred in 1907.

Fortunately prior to that in 1891, Austin Powder moved the production 13 miles into the country and carved out a parcel of Solon Township southeast of downtown Cleveland, and built the company town of GLENWILLOW (external link), a rural community in 1892 that included production facilities as well as employee homes,  a town hall, a school, and a general store.

In 1930, the company recognized the need to add to its product offering and decided to build a dynamite plant in Vinton County, OH near the small town of McArthur, OH.  This remote facility became known as Red Diamond, in recognition of the company’s logo and has become the main production site of the company in the US.  In 1972, all of the remaining activities at Glenwillow were moved to Red Diamond and production ceased.

In the early part of the 20th century, company headquarters were located in the ROCKEFELLER BLDG. in downtown Cleveland. During the 1960s, Austin moved its headquarters to the eastern suburbs, closer to Glenwillow and where they still reside today. Beginning in 1985, Austin began a period of significant technical and international expansion. By 1995 the company had operations in a dozen countries around the world and over 1,400 employees.

Today, Austin Powder is servicing customers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, with more than 4,500 family members worldwide.

Keg House

Austin Powder Early History

John Rathbun, President & CEO describes the unique history of Austin Powder in Akron, Ohio, USA.




We are a traditional manufacturer of initiation systems for industrial blasting operations and an important technological and research base for production and further development of initiation systems.

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Austin Powder Service CZ implements the latest technologies and products for blasting works, such as laser profiling, electronic modeling, and electronic detonators.

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