Maysville has been home to the family-run Wald Cycle Co. since 1924. First launched in Sheboygan, Wisc., in the early 1900s, the company is headed up by Maysville residents Ralph, Keith and Dennis Pawsat, the fourth generation of their family to lead the business.
Ralph Pawsat, president of Wald, said half the company’s products are bicycle accessories, including pedals, handlebars, and training wheels, and the other half are automotive parts.
Respected worldwide, the company currently employs roughly 80 workers and is today the only large-scale American-based manufacturer of the wire-framed bicycle basket. Pawsat said the bicycle baskets are the biggest selling item. “We make hundreds of thousands of those a year,” he said.
Roby Cooper, department supervisor, explained how steel wire is made into bicycle baskets, finishing up with welding in all the places where wires intersect.
“We’ve had many family members work together, and we’re very proud of that,” said Keith Pawsat, vice president of manufacturing. Robert Mineer has been with Wald for almost 60 years. His son Barry has been there about three years.
Dennis Pawsat, vice president of engineering, said the company does a lot of its own designs. “We design our own dies and build those as well as design and build a lot of our own equipment,” he said.
The company was started by Ewald Pawsat and Herman Pawsat. The Wald name comes from Ewald, who dropped the ‘e’ from his first name.
Wald began as a bicycle repair shop. In 1924, the Pawsats wanted to be more centrally located to bicycle manufacturers. “So my great uncle Herman said get off the train in Maysville,” Ralph Pawsat said.
Independent bicycle dealers, he said, have made Wald what it is today.
“We attribute our longevity to–I sound redundant–-to our employees and our quality,” he said. “We take both very seriously, especially our quality.”
Pawsat said they owe all of their success to their employees. “We’re Kentucky people from the ground up, deep inside the heart,” Pawsat said.