When Hugh LORD, a patent attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, cannot find others to satisfactorily make any of his fifteen inventions, he hires six employees and forms LORD Manufacturing Company.
General Electric becomes the Company's first customer, buying LORD mounts for its trolley cars.
Lincoln & Nash automobiles use LORD engine mountings. LORD® becomes a registered trademark. Hugh Lord's son, Tom, graduates from Yale University and joins the company.
LORD mountings for instrument panels are used by Charles & Anne Lindbergh on their historic flight to China. (During Lindbergh's famous 1927 Trans-Atlantic flight, excessive engine vibration damaged most of his instruments before he reached Newfoundland.) Tom Lord is promoted to General Manager.
LORD instrument panel mounts lengthen service life of instruments by 100-fold and become popular with many airplane manufacturers.
Following the Great Depression, LORD Manufacturing Company earns its first profit with sales of automotive engine mounts to Hupp Motor Company. Until now, the Company has survived on $250,000 invested by Hugh Lord.
Tom Lord and sixty employees move into a 23,000-sq. ft. site on Erie's West 12th Street that becomes the Company's first permanent home. Sixty-five years later, this facility continues to manufacture aerospace products for LORD Corporation.
Dynafocal® damped engine suspensiions are developed from a licensed patent which originated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This innovation makes the concept of multiple row radial engines possible and practical. With this innovation, LORD adopts the term "gamma product." (Gamma products are those born from new technology, protectable by patent, and destabilizing to their markets because of their lack of competition and pricing advantage.) The Company now employs 70 people.
The company officially incorporates on April 10, 1940, as LORD Manufacturing Company.
To support U.S. Forces in World War II, LORD devotes all manufacturing to produce mountings for aircraft engines, radios, and instrumentation. LORD is exclusive supplier of engine mounts to virtually all aircraft manufacturers.
Wartime expansion increases the size of the Erie plant to 250,000-sq. ft., and grows employment to more than 2,700 people. For supplying more than 80% of all American aircraft engine mountings, LORD later receives international recognition.
The Company begins development of better rubber-to-metal adhesives to aid the nation. LORD employs another 1,500 people in satellite plants in Erie and Meadville. Don Alstadt, a scholarship graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, is hired.
U.S. Navy seizes LORD Manufacturing Company on October 24, 1944, in response to pricing disagreements. Ironically, the Navy later finds it necessary to raise prices during its own period of management.
VJ Day is announced on September 2, 1945. U.S. Navy returns LORD plant on September 10, 1945. Corporation enters postwar economy with a backlog of only $200,000 and partial employment for less than 400 personnel. Engine mount business drops from 1,000 units per day to 10 units per day. The Company operated in the "red" until 1949.
LORD begins transition from military to commercial economy. Mountings for railroad cars and buses are developed and manufactured. LORD designs and produces the first elastomeric parts —transmission and engine isolators for Bell Model 47 helicopter. Tom Lord is named president.
LORD develops and manufactures a new design of multiplane mountings used on aircraft instrument panels; this improved mount generates sales that otherwise would have been lost to war surplus mountings. These mountings later become the standard on all aircraft.
LORD creates instrumentation for measurement of elastic and damping modulus of rubber. The Company establishes a repository for business records, patent data and technical drawings. This later evolves into an information network serving LORD businesses worldwide.
The Korean War begins in June creating an increased need for aircraft engine mounts. "Special elastomer compounds" are developed as substitutes for natural rubber.
Hugh Lord dies on August 6, 1952, at age 85. He held over one hundred patents, 36 related to the bonded rubber industry. LORD designs and builds traction motor nose supports to replace metal springs on locomotives.
LORD develops BTR® elastomer, later determined a "gamma" product, for use in Broad Temperature Range (-65° F.) Mountings. These replace traditional rubber mounts and metal friction-damped assemblies and serve aerospace industries into the 21st Century.
USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, is fit with LORD sound isolation technology.
LORD develops first outboard motor mountings that later become the standard of the marine industry. The Company's annual sales are nearly ten million.
Chemlok® adhesives, the Company's first proprietary chemical products, are developed and commercialized, leading to the formation of LORD "Special Products Division." Chemlok is later identified as a "gamma" product for the Company. "Dynafacts" magazine is published.
LORD licenses Henkel Corporation in Germany to manufacture and market Chemlok® products in Europe. Don Alstadt is appointed Hughson's General Manager. LORD develops the snubbing skirt mounting for heavy equipment installations.
Jim Freeman joins LORD Corporation. As part of its future growth strategy, LORD initiates a business policy to establish multiple manufacturing sites in rural areas, which would each employ 300 employees or less. LORD mountings isolate guidance system for Atlas ICBM.
Hughson introduces Chemglaze® moisture-cured polyurethane coatings. LORD builds a facility in Saegertown, Pennsylvania, to manufacture adhesive and coating products.
LORD mounts protect instruments aboard NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Obeservatory. LORD forms Hughson Quimica de Mexico, S.A., its first international joint venture. Corporate annual sales approach $19,000,000.
The Company negotiates a licensing agreement in Zama, Japan, to begin manufacture of Chemlok® adhesives. This leads to the development of LORD Far East, Inc. in 1969. Cambridge Springs Plant is purchased and refurbished to manufacture bonded rubber products. Development of HCL® (high capacity laminate) elastomeric bearings begin at LORD.
The Company's sound damping work established Allforce Acoustics as a stand-alone business in Erie. LORD Corporation (Europe) LTD., Manchester, England, is established. LORD builds a new facility on West Grandview Blvd. in Erie for Corporate Headquarters and Hughson Chemical laboratories. Tom Lord is named Chairman of the Board of Directors. Don Alstadt is appointed Company President.
LORD Corporation creates formal Mission, Purpose, and Creed statements to govern its business. LORD manufactures the world's first production elastomeric bearing for Bell Helicopter. The gimbal ring mount for gyros and internal platforms is developed for NASA's Lunar Rover.
LORD and Bell Helicopter jointly design the elastomeric elements for the nodal beam pylon isolation system.
LORD builds a "High Energy Lab" at its West 12th Street facility. Hughson Chemical Company produces urethane coatings to protect flooring, cabinetry, appliances and many other surfaces from wear, discoloration and chemical attack.
Lastoflex® HCL bearings gain broad acceptance in the helicopter industry. They weigh less than conventional bearings, require no lubrication, and prove more reliable and easier to maintain. LORD later names Lastoflex bearings a "gamma" product. The Corporation implements new identity standards.
The Company establishes LORD Industrial LTDA., Sao Paulo, Brazil, allowing Hughson Chemicals to manufacture and market in South America. Cambridge Springs plant experiences major expansion. LORD acquires an Ohio custom molded plastics business that later becomes Keyon Materials and eventually LORD Engineered Plastics.
LORD breaks ground for a manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Fusor® epoxy adhesive and Versilok® acrylic adhesive trademarks are adopted. Hughson Chemical creates Photoglaze® UV/EB Cure coatings.
LORD International Group is formed to grow ventures in Japan, Mexico and South America. LORD manufactures and markets dock fenders for ship berthing applications. LORD also markets Bridgestone dock fenders under license of the Japanese manufacturer.
LORD licenses Sumitomo Japan to manufacture and market aerospace products. LORD Biomedical Engineering, which produced artificial finger, hip and knee joints is initiated. Corporate sales reach $75 million.
LORD Kinematics develops metal analogy of elastomer mounting using coiled and linked fine stainless steel wire. LORD acquires Nichols Engineering in Connecticut to produce aerospace products. Hughson introduces first adhesive line to provide chemical bonds between unpreparedmetal surfaces. Tycel® laminating adhesives for flexible packaging is trademarked. Tom Lord retires as CEO, but continues as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
LORD Kinematics initiates "Quality Circles" as a team approach to quality improvement. Hughson begins a joint venture, Agomet Klebstoffe, with DeGussa in Frankfurt, Germany to produce industrial adhesives for European markets. LORD Kinematics develops teeter bearing to support 187,000 pound turbine blade for experimental NASA-Boeing windmill.
LORD builds its first stand-alone research laboratory, Thomas Lord Research Center, in Cary, North Carolina. Hughson Chemical is renamed LORD Chemical Products Group" (CPG); LORD Kinematics is renamed "LORD Mechanical Products Group" (MPG) and dedicates separate resources for its Aerospace and Industrial Products operating units. MPG expands product line for the rail and rapid transit industries. This group also acquires a machining center in Dayton, Ohio. CPG acquires a high strength urethane film (Tuftane®) production plant in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Corporation enters into "quality revolution" with focus on statistical methods, controls and improvements. LORD doubles the size of its West Grandview facility. Don Alstadt elected Chairman of the Board of Directors; Jim Freeman is elected President. Allforce Acoustics is sold to United McGill, Inc.
Environmentally friendly aqueous adhesives are developed by CPG. Biomedical Engineering business is closed. Employee newspaper, begun during war years as "The Bulletin," completes 15 years under the "Lordfacts" masthead. Company sales top $133 million.
LORD Korea, joint venture iwth Sewon Chemical Company, is formed to produce Chemlok® products. Joint venture LORD Metzler is formed in Europe to produce an market automotive, industrial and aerospace products. LORD Athletic Association, LAA, marks 40th anniversary.
CPG moves to better involve the "operator" in the improvement process, stating that all employees have a role in improving the organization. MPG launches QPI (Quality/Productivity/Improvement) program. The LORD Aid for Education Program has enrolled 198 employees .
LORD hires Robert E. Booker and appoints him as President. Dr. Chuck Hora joins Company. Jim Freeman assumes the role of Vice Chairman. LORD MPG begins design and qualification of elastomeric bearings for the Navy V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
LORD receives Pennsylvania Governor's Award for labor-management leadership. Jura Corporation, a holding company formed by Tom Lord, controls all LORD voting stock. LORD Appraisal and Manpower Planning (LAMP) is revised to shape and track employees' growth for future staffing needs. The "Group" designation in MPG and CPG is changed to "Division."
The Company initiates the Hugh C. Lord Innovation Award to honor employees making major contributions to the Corporation and industries it serves; six recipients are recognized. Company emphasizes Continuous Improvement and Total Quality Management (TQM) to guide all operations. LORD de Mexico is formed to service CPD customers in Central America. The Mechanical Products Division Dayton, Ohio site is automated iwth robotic machine tools. LORD Industrial Automation, a robotic R&D spin-off, is sold to Assurance Technologies, a company staffed by former LORD employees. Tom Lord dies at age of 85, on September 2, 1989.
Thomas Lord Research Center expands; 75 scientists and their staff are now located at this site. LORD S.A. is established in France. Engineered Plastics business is sold. "Industry Week" magazine includes Don Alstadt in its cover article, "Unsung Heroes." LORD Far East relocates to Kofu, Japan, and adds product development facility.
Hugh C. Lord Innovation Award recognizes four recipients. Mechanical Products Division is finalist for "Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence." "Industry Week" names Dayton Plant as one of America's top 10. Jim Freeman reappointed President. LORD sales exceed $240 million.
Materials Division commercializes newly formulated VersaFlo™ magneto-rheological fluids. LORD Euromech and LORD U.K. merge and become LORD Corporation Europe, Ltd. LORD GmbH is formed in Germany for the production of industrial products. Seals Division (Shelton, Connecticut) assets are sold. Chemical Products Division receives Ford Q-1 Quality Award.
Mechanical Products Division and Mil Helicopter (Moscow) sign a partnership agreement for purchase of elastomeric bearings, dampers, and isolators for use on Russian helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Surface effect technology expands into energy management fields. Liofol Company, a joint venture between LORD and Henkel Germany, is formed. Three employees receive Hugh C. LORD Innovation Award. Jim Freeman retires. Chuck Hora appointed President. Shanghai LORD markets and later produces Chemlok® adhesives in People's Republic of China (PRC).
NVX™ noise cancellation systems are used to quiet cabins in business jets. LORD purchases Crest Products Corporation in Fountain Valley, California. Rheonetic™ trademark for magneto-rheological devices is adopted. Chemical Products Division is certified to ISO-9002 quality standards. LITMT, or the LORD Institute for Technology and Management Training, is established, making LORD the first manufacturing company licensed as a private school in Pennsylvania. LORD initiates Team Incentive Pay for employees. Seven LORD Technology & Society Symposium held. Over the last two decades, LORD Symposia honor work of 26 scientists, educators and innovators.
Hugh C. Lord Innovation Award bestowed upon one recipient. Dayton plant completes seven years (1,000,000 hours) without a lost time accident. LORD moves Headquarters to Cary, North Carolina. Library begins converting Company information into digital format for ease of storage and retrieval.
To expand its chemical production, LORD purchases Castall, Inc., East Wymouth, Massachusetts; Mavidon Corporation, Palm City, Florida; and Burke Palmason Chemical Company, Pompano Beach, Florida. LORD sales exceed $336 million. LORD India, PVT, LTD., Mumbai, India, is established by Chemical Products Division receives American Helicopter Society's first prestigious "Supplier of the Year" award for many technical contributions to the helicopter industry worldwide.
LORD completes Grandview Technical Center expansion with advanced engineering lab. Hugh C. Lord Innovation Award bestowed upon two employees. CPD is certified to QS-9000 and ISO-9001 quality standards; this Division also adds a latex production facility to its Saegertown Plant.
Motion Master™, LORD trademark for magneto-rheological seat damping systems is adopted. LORD builds new Marketing/Headquarters at LORD Campus in Cary, North Carolina. Safety records include: Grandview Technical Center, 1,000,000 accident-free hours, and Cambridge Springs Plant, 2,200,000 with one lost time accident. LORD begins shipment of elastomeric products for the US Navy's V-22 Osprey aircraft, and is certified to AS-9000 and QS-9000 quality standards. LORD acquires adhesive manufacturer, Thermoset, Plastics, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. Company receives Winslow Award for outstanding economic contribution to Crawford County through LORD plants in Cambridge Springs and Saegertown.
LORD celebrates 75 years in business with seventh consecutive year of record sales growth and profitability. European manufacturing capabilities increased with acquisition of Metal Gomma, a bonded-rubber company in Monzambano, Italy.
LORD Mechanical Shanghai constructed, Pudong Free Trade Zone, Shanghai, People's Republic of China. Materials Division introduces steer-by-wire solution for forklift trucks, the sixth product brought to market by Materials since 1996.
BalaDyne Corporation acquired; Active Balancing solutions for airplane propellers/rotating machinery added to product offerings. Rheonetic® MR Fluid chosen by Delphi Corporation for new MagneRide™ shock absorbers. First international use of Fluidlastic® technology occurs with Agusta helicopters sold to Italian government.
Richard L. McNeel, former Vice President for BP Chemicals in London, U.K., hired as President and CEO. Adoption of Rheonetic® MR Fluids expanded into auto primary suspension systems. Behavior Based Safety program launched to involve all employees in a proactive safety process, identifying and eliminating at-risk behaviors before an injury occurs.
Automotive Technical Service Center established in Wixom, Michigan. Company is realigned to combine Mechanical, Chemical and Material Product Divisions, structuring core businesses by markets served: Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Industrial OEM and Industrial Assembly & Components.
LORD significantly exceeds all major objectives, establishing new annual records of $530 million. Production begins on Volvo PNG engine mounts — common global suspension platform utilizing patented LORD X-mount technology. This solution was developed and launched within 21 months, and set a new benchmark for advanced truck engine suspension systems. A new Brand strategy is created and implemented, globally unifying the Company under a single brand entity.
Continuing globalization efforts, the Company purchases the minority partner's share of the LORD India joint venture. Company receieves numerous Supplier Awards, including: Hamilton Sundstrand, Supplier Excellence; John Deere & Company, Partner Supplier (as part of the Achieving Excellence program), Bell Helicopter, Supplier of the Year. Ground is broken on a $3.8 million expansion project to the Dayton, Ohio, facility to meet customer aerospace market demand.
Company records its fourth consecutive year of sales growth with revenues at a record $630 million. Globalization of the Company's rubber-to-substrate (RTS) business is complete with two major acquisitions: Henkel's RTS bonding and rubber coating business assets and the LORD China joint venture. A new office in opened in Neuss, Germany, to better serve customers in Europe. The Donald M. Alstadt Technology Innovation Award is established to recognize technologists for exceptional leadership and major contributions.