Howard T Hallowell, a native of Horsham, founded the Standard Pressed Steel Company - now known as SPS Technologies.
Hallowell was working as a draftsman at the American Pulley Company in Philadelphia in 1900 when he witnessed an industrial accident where a brittle cast iron shaft hanger broke. He designed a better hanger from pressed steel and patented it in 1901. The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia 115 awarded Hallowell the John Scott Legacy Award for this same invention in 1906.
In 1903 Hallowell left American and with Harald F Gade, started the Standard Pressed Steel Company in Philadelphia to manufacture these hangers. The company, now known as SPS Technologies, Inc. is a leading international company producing both stock and specialty fasteners and fastening systems for automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (stock symbol ST).
The company expanded into making socket set screws in 1906 and built a second plant to manufacture this product.
Mr; Hallowell created the first recessed head socket set screw shaft collar. Hallowell received a patent on his safety set collar, which was soon copied by others and became an industry standard. The invention of the safety set collar was the beginning of the recessed-socket screw industry.
Early production relied on skilled craftsmen who made pieces by hand using calibers and scales.
Standard Pressed Steel moved its headquarters to Jenkintown in 1920. They started making their own work benches and cabinets and soon began selling them to other companies. In the 1930s they introduced Just in Time manufacturing to meet the needs of it's customers in the radio business who didn't want to tie up their capital in inventory. They started selling their Unbrako screws in England in 1930 and in 1937 built a plant in Coventry. During this time the also built a new facility in Jenkintown.
SPS developed the country's first commercial machinery to test the fatigue of its fasteners assuring more dependable producst.
The company supplied a number of products during WWII including 30-caliber and 50-caliber armor-piercing bullet cores, airframe bolts and other aircraft parts. They also spun off a new company: The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Company, to meet the government's demands for building complex machinery that was sent to the Picatinny Arsenal during the war years. Jenkintown was running 24 hours a day and employment peaked at over 3,000 workers.
Sales grew from $14 million in 1949 to $34.7 million in 1951, the year Howard T. Hallowell became the chairman of the board, while his son H. Thomas Hallowell, Jr., took his place as president.
SPS Technologies, Inc. is a leading international company producing both stock and specialty fasteners and fastening systems for automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors. It also makes precision tools such as thread roll dies, drills, and metal cutting tools. For airplanes, helicopters, and satellites, SPS designs and manufactures instrument and distribution panels, armament controls, turbine lockplates, and other items. The firm's Specialty Materials and Alloys Group provides superalloys and ceramic cores used in gas turbines, medical prostheses, and other products. SPS is also the leading U.S. manufacturer of magnetic materials used for a wide range of applications, including assemblies for cars, aircraft, power supplies, electrical components, and telecommunications. After numerous acquisitions in the 1990s, SPS operates facilities in Pennsylvania, Utah, California, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Nebraska, and New York. Its overseas plants are located in England, Ireland, China, Canada, India, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Singapore.
Much of this content taken from FundingUniverse.com 114
Howard T Hallowell was born on his family farm on June 30, 1877 at Hallowell, PA. Hallowell was at the intersection of Governor's Road and the Doylestown-Willow Grove Turnpike in Horsham Township, PA. It was one of 5 small villages that made up the township. The area became a crossroads after the 1830s when the Turnpike north of here became a public road. Justinian Hallowell, born in 1855, established the Hallowell Hotel in 1880 and at some point a post office also called Hallowell. This is near what is now Easton and Moreland Rds. The farm itself was just north of the village here. Most of it was acquired by the US Navy in the 1940s for what would become the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, but one building still stands at 1300 Easton Rd directly across from what was the main gate to the airbase.
Ronald Mintz, in The History of a Horsham Homestead describes William Hallowell's farm as "...one of the largest in Horsham. The great farm was fertile and in an excellent state of cultivation." Howard recalled that the farm was so orderly and productive that it was often visited by both the US and PA Departments of Agriculture.
Life on a farm in the 1880s-90s meant a lot of hard, manual labor. Howard Hallowell recalled having to work almost as a man starting at a young age: shooing flies from the backend of a horse at the blacksmith, collecting eggs, driving the wagon to market, harrowing the fields, milking cows then taking the milk to the train in Hatboro and then walking to the Horsham Friends School down the Willow Grove - Doylestown Turnpike.
Mr Hallowell's autobiography How a Farm Boy Built A Successful Corporation 117 tells the story of his life on the farm and the early history of Standard Pressed Steel. The book is no longer in print but HPHA has a copy in our library. More about Mr Hallowell's early life on the farm at Life on a Farm in Horsham.
From the George School 116
Howard had his first patent three years after graduating from high school, and three years after that he founded the Standard Pressed Steel Company. Howard only spent the year 1894-95 at George School, but he remembered that it was there that he was first introduced to the industrial arts, the basis for his success as an inventor and entrepreneur.
George School’s arts program had, from the beginning, been given more weight than was common in academic secondary schools at the time, but the emphasis had not been translated into attractive facilities. In the 1940s, art instruction took place at several locations in the basement of Main or in makeshift facilities elsewhere.
The school’s need and Howard Hallowell’s philanthropy came together in 1948 in the building of Hallowell Arts Center, designed to house instruction in hand and machine-tool work in wood, plastics, and sheet metal; a machine shop; graphics; drafting; drawing and painting; photography; and ceramics.
Forty years after the completion of Hallowell Arts Center, the full measure of Howard Hallowell’s generosity became clear. The deaths of Ruth Hallowell Gray ’30 and H. Thomas Hallowell Jr. occasioned, in 1989, their father’s final, and most generous, benefaction to George School. The gift was the residuary interest, amounting to about $2 million, in a trust that theretofore had contributed to the support of members of the family. It joined in the George School endowment the Hallowell Scholarship Fund, established a generation earlier by gift and bequest of Howard Hallowell and Blanche, his wife, with a 2012 value of $1,145,361.