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).
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.
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.
Hallowell Elementary School Historical Mural
Mr Hallowell is immortalized on the historic mural created for the new (2017) Hallowell Elementary School.