Hendrick Manufacturing Company

Hendrick Manufacturing Company

Infobox Company
company_name = Hendrick Manufacturing Company
company_type = Private
foundation = 1876
location_city = flagicon|USA Carbondale, PA
location_country = USA
key_people = Pansy L Drake, Chairman of the Board
area_served = International
industry = Metal Perforating & Fabrication
products = Perforated Metal and Sheet Metal Fabrication
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 117 (2008)
parent = Drake Industries LLC
divisions =
subsid =
homepage = http://www.hendrickmfg.com
footnotes =

Hendrick Manufacturing Company is an American perforated metal manufacturer founded in 1876 and located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Over the years, new manufacturing locations were established in California, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois. The plants in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Illinois are still in operation.


Eli Hendrick

Born in 1832, Eli Hendrick apprenticed as a wood turner in his native Michigan. He served a tour of duty as a US Pony Express mail carrier in Iowa. He also practiced his craft as a turner of ornamental wooden porch pillars during the early years of the 19th century before moving east to Franklin, Pennsylvania, in 1850s.

A confidence man from Toronto, Canada sold Eli a formula for the manufacture of oil for the then-considerable sum of $10. The formula turned out to be worthless, but it sparked Mr. Hendrick’s interest in the refining of oil. Eli quickly developed a very worthwhile formula and process of his own, producing quality lubricating products mainly for the railroads. So was born the Hendrick Company.

Sensing that a refinery would be most profitable if it were located near its customers, Mr. Hendrick relocated his refinery to Carbondale in 1860 in order to be near several large railroads.

For the next dozen years, the company flourished, developing such new products as “Galena Signal Oil,” an extra-fine kerosene for railway lighting. The company also developed “Plumboleum”, a gear box lubricant that remained a basic ingredient of automotive lubricants for 75 years.

The filter presses used in the refining process consisted of mats of woven wire and canvas. In constant use, the wire eventually was abraded to the point where it pierced the canvas, reducing the efficiency of the filter. Mr. Hendrick reasoned that a metal sheet, properly perforated, could replace the canvas-and-wire filter, giving it a longer life. Several tries at drilling holes, first individually, then in a multiple drill-press proved the idea as sound, but the production process too costly. He then conceived the idea of punching holes simultaneously in the sheet metal. The metal-punching machine he developed was a pilot for the modern perforating press and the foundation upon which Hendrick Manufacturing Company was started in 1876.

Over the next 100 years, the company steadily expanded its technology and its product lines, branching out from the original oil and coal industries into aggregate, iron, steel, paper, material handling, construction and other industries where perforated or slotted sheets of material are required.

California Perforating Company

In 1884, California Perforating Screen Company (Cal-Perf) was founded by the Wagner family to manufacture hammer mill and grain-cleaning screens for California’s growing agricultural industry. These items were produced on throat presses using tooling limited to 6” lengths. In order to penetrate additional markets, Cal-Perf purchased stock-size sheets and light plates that were perforated on multi-punch, all-across presses operated by the Eastern and Mid-Western perforators at the time. Cal-Perf stocked these sheets for resale in their San Francisco warehouse.

Hendrick Manufacturing Company purchased California Perforating Screen Company in 1966 and moved the operation into a larger facility. This larger plant was could accommodate additional throat presses and supporting equipment such as shears, straightening rolls, press brakes and bending rolls. Three new, multi-punch, all-across presses were added to product custom perforated sheets that were being purchased at the time from the Hendrick Carbondale plant. Under Hendrick ownership, Cal-Perf grew from an office manager and 4 plant operators to a total of 23 employees.

When the lease on the San Francisco facility expired in 1982, Hendrick moved the Cal-Perf operations to Visalia in order to be closer to the Los Angeles market. At the same time, in order to gain warehouse space and a sales office, Hendrick purchased Berglund Perforated Metal in Los Angeles. In 1985, at the termination of the purchase agreement, Hendrick merged the operations of Berglund into Cal-Perf.

Profile Screens

Hendrick Manufacturing Company first entered the profile screen market in the early days of World War II. This demand was created when the US supply of profile screens from Germany were cut off. At that time, Hendrick was asked to furnish perforated u-clips to the Wedge Bar Screen Corporation, a small manufacturer of profile screens located in the borough of Queens in New York City.

In 1943, Fred Goldbeck joined the Hendrick sales force located in our New York office. Mr. Goldbeck was very knowledgeable in the use of profile screens. The sales department grew rapidly in 1945-1946 as Mr. Goldbeck spearheaded the efforts to manufacture complete profile screens for the coal, mining and paper industries.

The market for screens increased rapidly after World War II. Hendrick Manufacturing Company began to import fine wire screens from Aumeca, a Belgian firm. In 1953, Greening, a company located in England was selected to supply wedge wire screens for Hendrick. Greening introduced a series of mini-wedge wire screens and Hendrick abandoned the Aumeca screens from that point forward.

In 1969, Hendrick employed Leon Bixby to serve as Product Manager of Profile Screens. Mr. Bixby’s father started the Wedge Wire screen Corporation of Wellington, Ontario, where the young Leon spent his time in the design and development of profile screens for use in additional markets.

Mr. Bixby brought new success to the profile screen business for Hendrick. In the early 1970s, Mr. Bixby convinced ownership that profile screens would always be considered a secondary product as long as they were manufactured in Carbondale, PA alongside the far more popular perforated metal products.

Profile screens’ largest market was the coal industry which was growing rapidly in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Hendrick chose Owensboro, Kentucky, for the site of the Hendrick Screen Company, a separate incorporation, which opened up in a brand new facility in 1974.

Since then, Hendrick Screen Company has expanded into other markets such as wastewater treatment, water intake, petrochemical, dewatering, and architectural.

Tennessee Perforating

In 1971, Hendrick Manufacturing Company commissioned a study that was conducted by Georgia Institute of Technology for the purpose of evaluating demand for perforated metal in the nine states comprising the Southeast US. The study supported the idea of a satellite location. Unfortunately, Hendrick did not move on this information quickly and the competition opened plants in the Southeast during the late 1970s.

In 1984, Hendrick conducted a site survey and determined that Memphis, TN was a good location to service the Southeast US and still be competitively located to service the Midwest. A new plant was opened with three 36” wide high-speed, all-across perforating presses relocated from the Carbondale, PA plant. These presses were selected to supply a full range of light gauge, small hole perforations in materials up to 18 gauge thickness. The associated equipment was installed and operations began in September of 1984.


* [http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/doodles/cf/recording.cfm Hendrick drawings in the Smithsonian]
* [http://glassian.org/Prism/JacobMark/hendrick1894.html Invoice from 1894]
* [http://www.thefabricator.com/Finishing/Finishing_Article.cfm?ID=1826 Development of deburring machine]
* Metalworking Fluids by Jerry Byers, ISBN-13: 978-0824792015, 1994
* [http://fileserver.urimarketing.com/websites/Texaco_Lubrication_Magazine/1940-1944/V30%201944/V30%20N08%201944.pdf Plumboluem]

External links

* [http://www.hendrickscreenco.com/ Hendrick Screen Company website]
* [http://www.hendrickmetalproducts.com/ Hendrick Metal Products website]

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