Titan Tool & Die Limited began in 1956 as a small die shop in the basement of the home of Mr. Joseph Szecsei, at 1532 Hall Avenue in Windsor, Ontario. While working at Ford Motor Company’s midnight shift as a Master Toolmaker and Machinist, Mr. Szecsei built his dream, quite literally piece-by-piece. With two very skilled hands, an ever-creative mind, and minimal need or time for sleep, his home basement soon proved too small to house all that he yearned to achieve professionally.
Mr. Szecsei was born in the small town of Fegyvernek, Hungary in 1929, the third of five children. His creative talents appeared early in life. His initial works were busts and statues of soldiers, governors and kings of Hungary from gypsum he bought by scrounging up ‘Fillers and Forints’ (Hungary’s currency). His father warned him of the perils of trying to make a living as an artist in his version of the “starving artist” lecture.
Mr. Szecsei further explored different mediums and was inquisitive as to how metals can be formed and manipulated. He developed a fascination for the use and intricate workings of guns. These ideas provoked his creativity for the years to come. While serving in World War II, Mr. Szecsei formed a small tobacco box. His only tools were rocks found in the prison camp grounds, the heat from a fire, his eager bare hands and his imagination. Thus was born Mr. Szecsei’s early passion for working with steel. His interest in guns meshed with his inner passion to create and directed him on a path to success he has achieved to date.
In 1946, while still in Hungary, Mr. Szecsei created his own hand made metal turning lathe using a hacksaw, hand drill, file, chisel and hammer. Materials used were an anti-aircraft barrel for the main spindle, shot out tanks for the main bearings and rail road ties to name a few. Initially, the lathe operated by foot pedal, but was modified in 1949 to add a motor. With poverty a constant, as in many success stories, this story hails no exception.
Mr. Szecsei came to Canada in the early 1950s. In the subsequent years, he held true to the European tradition of craftsmanship first learned in his native Hungary. After establishing his business in 1956, his dedication, enthusiasm and sheer hard work provided the energy for the business to grow. To facilitate that growth, Mr. Szecsei designed and manufactured two unique stamping presses of which portions are patented.
As a matter of interest independent of the stamping business, Mr. Szecsei also invented and patented a sporting rifle utilizing double barreled bolt action repeater with various calibers and is presently manufactured in Austria. These are known world-wide as Szecsei Double Bolt Repeaters.