At just twenty six, however, Adams was ready to strike out on his own, opening a studio in Cleveland and working with his wife, Arleen, a talented artist and interior designer. Adams found instant success with his 1934 transition to the burgeoning field of industrial design, and the couple returned to Erie, settling in the country on Wolf Road where Adams worked from a studio in the barn on the old Metcalf estate.
Erie was a hub of industrial activity and an important part of the industrial corridor bridging the Midwest and the Northeast—Adams’ clients readily followed him to this now seemingly removed location. Adams designed, styled, and streamlined everything from toilets to tractors to the SkyWay Drive-In, all while raising prize chickens, four children and living the life of a country gentleman. Alexa D. Potter, curator of Styled by Adams, places Adams in his rightful role as a major figure in early American industrial design.