In 1983 Standard Abrasives, Inc. acquired Abrasive Fabricators as a move to expand their line of specialty products and at the same time they retained its president, John McAdams, as president of its Brookville division.
Standard Abrasives, Inc., was formed in 1959 by Joseph McKay, Jr., and Melvin J. McKellar, who formerly operated Imperial Tool Company, an industrial supply house in Los Angeles. In 1964 McKay and McKellar obtained two patents on quick-change discs, the first known as CQR discs and the second is known as SocAtt discs, the latter replacing the CQR type. These discs were designed to compete with the “Stik-On” type of pressure-sensitive discs which were most popular at that time and which type remains popular in the industrial market. In the early 70s Standard Abrasives licensed the Norton Company to private label the SocAtt discs under the name of “Speedlock”, and in 1973 the Carborundum Company also became a licensee for them. Also, in 1981 Merit Abrasives, Inc., headed up by Aleck Block, also became a licensee wherein they were allowed limited use of the Standard patent. And on September 6, 1966, Aleck Block and Joseph Purcell, Jr., of El Monte, California, obtained Patent No. 3,270,468 for a similar quick-change disc and holder which was assigned to Merit Products, Inc., of Los Angeles, California, of which Mr. Block was President.
To my knowledge the first popular patent to be issued in the abrasive specialty field was that for a spirally wound band obtained by Wm J. Maddox, being Patent No. 1,883,747, on October 18, 1926, and it was manufactured by EvenCut Abrasive Company of Cleveland, of which Homer Coe was president. Since 1975 this firm has been owned and operated by William “Bill” Mitchell, who has had an extensive experience in the abrasive manufacturing business.
On July 18, 1929, Patent No. 1,929,274 was issued to W. J. Ellis of Cleveland, Ohio, on a similar type of band and this was manufactured by the Cleveland Container Corp., a division of the Carborundum Company, and it was managed by Frank Brooks. They later licensed Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co. and the Behr-Manning Co. (now Norton) to manufacture them. After their demise Frank Brooks started his own firm, Precision Abrasives, in Cleveland to make bands but “retired” later after selling the business to a New Yorker.
In the meantime, the EvenCut company had developed and marketed expanding rubber sanding drums for use with the bands and they, too, became popular items because the bands could not be used without them. These sanding drums and bands were first purchased by Field Abrasive Mfg. Company from EvenCut on an OEM basis and they became the first “outside” specialty product to be included in their catalog.
To my knowledge, other than the EvenCut company, Superior Abrasives, Inc., in Dayton, Ohio, is the only specialty manufacturing firm making these bands at the present time. Patents on these items have long expired, and of course it is possible some of the large cloth manufacturing firms still are making them but it is doubtful, as we are aware that some of them acquire them from the specialty manufacturing companies cheaper than they can manufacture them themselves. It is known too that the manufacture of abrasive bands alone cannot support a management due to the necessity of having to feature low prices in order to obtain volume business. As evidence, Clayton Derthick and a co-worker of EvenCut Abrasive left to form their own company, known then as Acme Abrasives, ostensibly to manufacture abrasive bands, in which they had the expertise. They existed for a few years but later floundered because of the keenness of the abrasive market.
The next patent to be obtained by Albert Field was for tapered abrasive cones on November 2, 1946, being Patent No. 2,410,870, which today are commonly known as cone points, available in various degrees of taper. This was followed by his obtaining Patent No. 2,622,377 on December 23, 1952, for an abrasive product commonly known as tapered abrasive spiral rolls. Prior to his obtaining this patent the Behr-Manning Company had obtained a patent on this product known as the Manchester patent but the Field patent contained a stub nose rather than a fragile sharp nose and it was considered by the patent office to be an improved product.
On February 1, 1945, Patent No. 2,700,852 was issued to Field for a quick-change abrasive square pad. This included a female threaded grommet in its center for use on a male threaded steel mandrel. These features also were covered for use with quick-change discs of all types, such as plain discs, slotted discs, and overlap discs.
Later, on November 12, 1946, Patent No. 2,916,872 was issued to Wesley C. Meinerding of Canton, Ohio, for a triangular shaped abrasive pad. This configuration did not prove practical in the market when competing with the square type pads as developed by Albert Field.
On July 31, 1962, Herbert E. Cook obtained Patent No. 3,046,709 on a similar product which contained a male threaded quick-change feature, thereby providing a competitive product for marketing through his own company, which was established as Superior Rotary Tools, Inc., which now is Superior Abrasives, LLC. Cook left the Field Abrasive Mfg. Company on January 2, 1960, to go with Michigan Abrasive Company of Detroit, Michigan, as a sales manager, retiring from this firm in January, 1962, when he established Superior Rotary Tools, Inc. He retired from that company in January, 1979, to relinquish the presidency to his son, Paul C. Cook, and his wife, Jean, who served as vise-president and secretary-treasurer, and later became a partner in the business. Paul was well qualified for this responsibility as earlier he had worked for Field Abrasive Mfg. Company during summer school vacations and later in afternoons after school and on Saturdays. Also, when I started my own business, he came with me from IBM and continued to learn all phases of the business well and he eventually became the plant superintendent. And his wife, Jean, formerly a secretary to an executive of the Dayton Power & Light Company, was well qualified to take her place as its vice-president and secretary-treasurer and later as a partner in the business. Also, the long continuation of the firm is assured because their three sons, Mark, John and Tom, have assumed responsible positions in sales and management.