JAX Company History

  • 1944


    Bridgewater Machine Company – Akron, OH

    As a Seabee in the Pacific during World War II, Jack Thornton returns home to Akron, Ohio. As jobs are scarce, Jack’s neighbor finds him a job as a Janitor at Bridgewater Machine Company in Akron, OH.

  • 1945

    Athens Machine Company – Athens, OH

    After just one year working at Bridgewater Machine Company, Jack Thornton, now a machinist, is transferred to Athens, OH to help open the first tire molds’ division for Bridgewater Machine Company. It is called Athens Machine Company, located at 180 Mill St.



  • 1959


    Bridgewater Machine Company – Brantford, ON

    Bridgewater transfers Jack Thornton, now Quality Manager, to open Bridgewater’s newest tire mold division in Brantford, Ontario, and to be its General Manager.

  • 1969

    Jax Mold and Machine – Simcoe, ON

    After 25 years of experience, from sweeping the floors to running his own branch, Jack Thornton decides to start his own tire mold company in Simcoe, Ontario. It is called Jax Mold and Machine.



  • 1972


    Jax Mold and Machine – Decatur, AL

    After only 3 years, and with much success in Simcoe, Canada, Jack Thornton decides to go international and opens his second Jax Mold and Machine location in Decatur, Alabama, USA.

  • 1976

    Jax Industrial – Campinas, SP

    Finding much recognition within the tire mold industry, Jack Thornton is asked to expand his operations to South America, in the city of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. It is called Jax Industrial. Jack sends his sons Mark, Jim and Tom to help lift it off the ground.



  • 1985


    Athens Mold and Machine – Athens, OH

    Jack Thornton overhears there is a possibility that the old Athens Machine company (that he helped start in 1945 and is now called Athens Boring and Milling) is going up for sale.  It is one of the largest tire mold facilities in the world at the time. The Jax Group Companies are running strong and looking at expanding, so Jack purchases the building and its assets and calls it Athens Mold and Machine.  Mark Thornton, Jack’s second son, becomes its General Manager.

  • 1986

    Caliber Mold and Machine – Akron, OH

    Originally from Akron, Ohio, Jack Thornton traces his roots back to the Rubber Capital of the World and starts Caliber Mold and Machine. Tom Thornton, Jack’s fourth son, becomes its General Manager.



  • 1990


    Tenac – Morrison, TN

    Bridgestone opens a brand-new Truck and Bus Radial Plant in Morrison, Tennessee and asks Jack Thornton to open a location next to them to service their tire molds and allied equipment.  Jim Thornton, Jack’s third son, becomes General Manager of Tenac Inc. in Morrison, TN.

  • 1991

    Jako – Oklahoma City, OK

    After much success servicing Bridgestone with Tenac, Jack Thornton starts a location next to another Bridgestone plant, Jako in Oklahoma City, OK. Jack Thornton has his first Son, Paul Thornton, take his position at the original location in Simcoe, Ontario and Jack himself runs Jako.



  • 1997


    Ja•Cal – Handford, CA

    Pirelli Tire asks Jack Thornton to start a service plant next to it on the west coast. Jack sends Tom Thornton to start Ja•Cal in Hanford, California.

  • 2012

    Paul Thornton – President

    2012 – Jack Thornton’s first son Paul Thornton becomes the president of Jax Group Companies after the passing of its founder, Jack Thornton.



  • 2015


    Thomas Thornton – President

    Paul Thornton retires and Jack’s fourth son, Tom Thornton, becomes president. Through many recent recessions, the Jax Group Companies had consolidated to two locations, Caliber Mold and Machine of Akron, Ohio, and Tenac Inc. of Morrison Tennessee.

  • 2016

    Athens Mold and Machine – Athens, OH

    As third generation, with close to 20 years of experience and a strong vision for growth, Samuel Thornton, Tom Thornton’s second son, renovates, revitalizes, and reopens Athens Mold and Machine in Athens, OH.



  • 2021


    Jax Mold and Machine – Akron, OH

    With much success in Athens, Ohio, Jax Group Companies acquires a much sought-after building in the tire mold industry, the previous Quality Mold located on 2200 Massillon Rd, Akron OH. Ezekiel Thornton, Tom Thornton’s third son, grabs the reins of this project and reopens Jax Mold and Machine in the new building.