Lodge had his apprenticeship in theEnglish machine-tool industry and arrived broke in Cincinnati in 1872. After eight years with John Steptoe, he had saved enough to start his own firm. This became Lodge & Davis, whose export activities exceeded the capacity of the firm. So while Davis sold the machines, Lodge helped start other firms to supply them. Later Lodge & Davis split up over Lodge's desire to concentrate on a single type of machine. The original firm eventually became American Tool, and Lodge's new firm became Lodge & Shipley. By 1900 there were 25 machine-tool firms in Cincinnati, and the formation of about half of them had been strongly influenced by Lodge.