15 Facts About Torrington Company


Torrington Company was a firm that developed in Torrington, Connecticut, emerging as a rename from the Excelsior Needle Company.

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Later as a leading manufacturer of anti-friction bearings and a Fortune 500 company, The Torrington Company sold its products, which included an array of metal parts and assemblies, to a variety of major global industries.

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In Wolcottville, the central part of the city of Torrington Company, which had been for years a hub of numerous light-manufacturing activities, Hopson and Brooks convinced seven local businessmen that their machine could produce sewing machine needle blanks superior to those already in existence.

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In 1890, before Torrington entered the scene, Excelsior Needle absorbed Springfield, Massachusetts-based National Needle Company, a competing needle manufacturer that had first opened its doors 18 years earlier, in 1873.

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Torrington Company compensated for the precipitous drop in surgical needle imports, but only at the government's request.

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Spark plugs and marine engines, shipped to Torrington's subsidiary in England, and the production of 75 millimeter shells were included in the company's war-time contributions, but unlike many other manufacturing concerns, Torrington was able to conduct business on a fairly normal level throughout the war, emerging from the war years as strong, if not stronger, than it had entered them.

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The epiphany that forever changed Torrington's future and the answer to the company's need for new business had roots stretching back 20 years earlier, back to 1912, when Torrington had acquired a small ball bearing business through an affiliation with an automobile ignition coil and spark plug manufacturer.

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Torrington Company developed a new type of bearing for the company—a needle bearing—that eventually predicated the bulk of Torrington's business.

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In contrast to World War I Torrington Company invested considerable effort toward manufacturing its new line of products—bearings.

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Beyond U S borders, the Torrington empire comprised manufacturing facilities in England, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and in Japan, giving the company a sizeable presence in key international markets.

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The following year, Torrington Company celebrated two century marks by reaching its 100th anniversary in business as well as reaching over $100 million in sales.

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Torrington Company was the largest US producer of bicycle pedals from the late 1920s thru the early 1980s that utilized their bearing design, they were the exclusive supplier to Columbia Bicycles made in Westfield MA and Schwinn line of bicycles made in Chicago.

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In 1968 then, Torrington Company's management settled on Ingersoll-Rand, a diversified manufacturer of machinery, tools, and construction equipment.

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Torrington Company was among the pack charging that Asian and European bearing producers were selling bearings below their manufacturing cost, an illegal practice that carried into the early 1990s.

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Part of Ingersoll-Rand's Bearings, Locks, and Tools business group, Torrington Company charted its future course beyond the mid-1990s, buoyed by its more than 125 years of successfully navigating through unseen waters.

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