#587 – Staying PowerPosted on
Manufacturing has a very long history in the United States. We are pleased to share with you a recent list put together by industryweek.com that features 10 U.S. companies that have been in business for at least 100 years!
Staying Power: 100-year-old (and More) US Manufacturing Companies
Jill Jusko, May 30, 2016
- Ball Corporation: In Business Since 1880. Five brothers started Ball Corporation in 1880 in Buffalo, N.Y., with a $200 loan from their uncle. The company’s initial product was wood-jacketed tin cans for products such as kerosene and paint. The company, now based in Colorado, spun off its iconic home canning business in 1993, and is now a leading metal packaging company.
- Bard Manufacturing Company: 1914 Origins. Bard Manufacturing Company dates its origins to 1914, when Dale Bard and the owners of the local hardware store founded a small heating and plumbing contracting business in Bryan, Ohio. Like many long-lived companies, its early products were diverse and included rug rack displays, steel smokestacks and even wheelbarrows. In 1931, Bard patented his first steel oil-fired furnace. Today, Bard Manufacturing’s products include oil furnaces, wall-mount air conditioning and heat pump technology.
- Carhartt: Born Durable in 1889. Carhartt, Inc.’s founder, Hamilton Carhartt, started his business with a Detroit loft, two sewing machines, and an idea to make overalls that wore better than any of the day. He went to the source, conducting face-to-face conversations with railroad workers to build a product that fit their specific needs. In 1889, Hamilton Carhartt & Company was born. Hamilton’s principles of quality, durability, and consumer-focused product development continued to guide the company throughout the 20th century.
- Church & Dwight Co. Inc.: Founded in 1846. The history of Church & Dwight Co. Inc. dates to 1846, when brothers-in-law Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight prepared a product that would one day become widely known as ARM & HAMMER bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda. The partners’ first factory was Dwight’s kitchen, where the soda was packed in paper bags by hand, and in 1847 John Dwight and Company was established. The company became known as Church & Dwight Co. Inc. in 1896.
- Energizer Holdings Inc.: Battery Charged Since 1896. Energizer Holdings’ legacy traces back to 1896 and the National Carbon Company. It was in that year that National Carbon and W. H. Lawrence introduced the first dry cell battery for widespread consumer use. Among Energizer’s well-known brands is Eveready, a brand acquired by National Carbon Company when it purchased the American Ever Ready Co. (previously called American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company) in the early 1900s. The American Ever Ready Co., with Conrad Hubert at the helm, produced the electric flashlight. Today Energizer Holdings is a standalone, publicly traded company.
- General Mills Inc.: It Began with a Mill in 1866. The history of General Mills Inc. began in 1866 with a man named Cadwallader Washburn, who viewed the power generated by the Mississippi River rushing over St. Anthony Falls in Minnesota and recognized a business opportunity when he saw it. The flour mills he built and operated in that location were the start of what would one day be known as General Mills.
- Hershey: A Sweet Start in 1894. Founder Milton Hershey, a caramel manufacturer, started the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894, initially to create a sweet coating for his caramels and then for sweet chocolate products. Introduced in 1907, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses quickly became The Hershey Company’s most iconic product.
- Kimberly-Clark: Paper Beginnings in 1872. Four determined young businessman and a modest $30,000 mark Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s beginnings in 1872. John A. Kimberly, Charles B. Clark, Havilah Babcock and Frank C. Shattuck formed Kimberly, Clark and Co. in Neenah, Wisc., and the company’s Globe Mill began producing newsprint made from linen and cotton rags. Today the company’s brands include Kleenex and Huggies.
- Leggett & Platt: A Partnership Born in 1883. J.P. Leggett and C.B. Platt, who in time would become brothers-in-law, formed a business partnership in 1883. Leggett, the inventor, had an idea for a spiral steel coil bedspring while Platt had manufacturing capability and expertise. The two gentlemen produced the L&P bedspring, patented in 1885, and in 1901 the company was incorporated. Today Leggett & Platt Inc. manufactures a broad array of products.
- Steinway & Sons: Musically Inclined Since 1853. The origin of Steinway & Sons began with German immigrant Henry Englehard Steinweg, a cabinet and piano maker who, according to Steinway history, produced his first piano in the family kitchen in Seesen, Germany. Steinweg and his family moved to the United States in 1950, and a few short years later, a new era of pianomaking emerged. In 1953, after changing his last name to Steinway, Henry and his sons founded Steinway & Sons in a Manhattan loft. According to the Steinway & Sons website, “Each Steinway piano, consisting of more than 12,000 individual parts, has its own musical character and is as unique as the individual who plays it.” Steinway & Sons’ first patent was granted in 1857, and it has received more than 125 additional patents since then.