Over 100 Years of History and Counting

LindbergMPH BuildingAn article in Harvard Business Review analyzed “How Winning Organizations Last 100 Years.” Among the details of the authors’ study, the writers asserted that “centennials” stay ahead by being “radically traditional – with a stable core, but a disruptive edge.”

Lindberg/MPH can count itself among centennial businesses – those that have lasted more than 100 years. The company celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012. Lindberg/MPH has seen its fair share of changes, mergers, and evolutions since 1912, but like the HBR article noted, it maintains its core mission to offer products that are the best in the industry now, while constantly innovating in preparation for the future.

Now working on its second century of business, it’s worth taking a look back at Lindberg’s first century to understand how it got here. This story starts in 1912, when Edwin L. Smalley, August and Walter Elmer, and a group of investors in New York City formed Electric Heating Apparatus Company. Smalley received a patent for replaceable electric heating elements used in research furnaces, and the company operated as the Replaceable Heating Elements Company.

Four years later, the company expanded into the industrial field and began using the trademark “Hevi-Duty.” In 1924, Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company acquired the heating apparatus firm, kept its trademark to rename it Hevi-Duty Electric Company, and moved operations to Milwaukee.

After more than three decades, Hevi-Duty Electric Company was again acquired, this time by Basic Products Corporation in 1959. It was in 1963 that the Lindberg namesake entered the picture. Basic Products Corporation acquired Lindberg Engineering Company, combining it with the Hevi-Duty brand to form Lindberg/Hevi-Duty.

Basic Products Corporation became Sola Electric in 1967, before Sola was taken over by General Signal Corp. in 1978. Over the next two decades, General Signal combined forces with a number of companies and brands, including MPH Industries in 1990.

Eight years later, General Signal Corp. was purchased by SPX, a global provider of technical products and systems with operations in 19 different countries. In 2003, SPX brought many of its brands under the umbrella of Thermal Product Solutions (TPS). Then in 2005, TPS made the move to shutter Lindberg’s Wisconsin facility and consolidate its operations with MPH in Riverside, Michigan, giving birth to the Lindberg/MPH brand.

MPH’s journey to consolidation with Lindberg was a little more direct. The firm was started in 1971 in Michigan by a trio of partners: John McCarthy, Keith Paul and Bob Howell. The MPH brand was taken from the initials of their last names. The company became part of the General Signal family in 1990 before SPX took over in 1998, followed by the entrance of TPS in 2003 and the subsequent merger with Lindberg in 2005.

Today, Lindberg/MPH is proud to operate out of Michigan and is part of the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan manufacturing community. It’s also proud of its current and past employees, who have fueled its success through each step in the journey to 100+ years. Read more about Lindberg/MPH on our website. Be sure to follow Lindberg/MPH on both Facebook and LinkedIn for more information like the above and company updates!