Hoover acquires the Quinn-Berry Corp.
January 6, 1964 (PD: 201701)
On January 6, 1964, the Hoover Ball and Bearing Company acquired the Quinn-Berry Corp. of Erie, Pennsylvania, an injection molder of thermoplastic parts used in a number of consumer and industrial products.
Hoover was to operate Quinn-Berry, which had annual sales of approximately $3 million, as a subsidiary. Clifford Simmons, Hoover chairman of the board, stated, “Hoover foresees a bright future in plastics due to the introduction of new, superior types of materials.”
Quinn-Berry produced thermoplastics that were widely used for gears, cam tracks, knobs, housings, handles, and other parts for cameras, business machines, power tools, appliances, and automobiles.
The Quinn-Berry purchase was one of a number of acquisitions made by Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s as the company sought to diversify its product lines while continuing its initial core business of manufacturing steel balls and bearings.
In addition to the plastic parts Quinn-Berry made for automobiles, Hoover had already been making automobile seat springs and backs (with the acquisition of Universal Wire Spring, Inc. in 1960), and would begin making urethane foam automotive seat cushions (with the acquisition of Stubnitz-Greene Corporation later in 1964).
When it was acquired by Johnson Controls in 1985, Hoover was the largest independent manufacturer of seating for cars and light trucks in the country, and also continued to produce thermoplastic parts for automobiles and other applications. Johnson Controls continued Hoover’s business in automotive seating and, today, Johnson Controls’ spin-off, Adient, is the world leader in that industry.