1950s

    • Universal engineers and IBM (Kingston) specialists devised a method of preparing axial lead components for IBM’s printed circuit board assembly. The “taping machine” was born and opened the door for Universal’s electronic component equipment era.
    • Company produces thousands of frames for modular plug in units used in the production of TVs.
    • President J. Donald Ahearn begins restructuring the company to capitalize on the burgeoning electronics industry.
    • Universal begins building component prepping equipment for component manufacturers across the country.
    • F.H. Lawson hired from Link Aviation; becomes Vice President and Board member.
    • Company purchases 36,000 square foot building and 10 acres at Bevier Street.
    • Annual revenues hit $1,500,000; 170 on payroll.
  • The roots of today’s precision metal fabrications at Universal can be traced to the 1930s and 1940s when the company grew into a sophisticated tool and die machine shop. Shown here is the center-and-square mechanism for the modern day surface-mount component assembly system.

  • Universal purchases second SIP 6A Jig Borer. Machine is used to produce complex perforating dies the manufacture of S&H Green Stamps. S & H stamps were a line of trading stamps that were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson Company (S&H) which could be redeemed for products in their catalog.

  • Floyd H. “Rudy” Lawson hired from Link Aviation Devices executive staff; becomes Vice President and Board member.

  • Stamped frame assembly housed pluggable unit which formed the matrix of early vacuum-tube style computer systems. Assortment shown here was typical of Stamping Division output in the 1950s.

  • The company progressed into fabrication of special machines built to customer design. Here, final assembly (foreground) and sub-assembly (background) combine to produce a complex test fixture.

  • Stamping operations were moved from Frederick St. to this Bevier St facility in 1958.

  • A couple additional points in history:

    • Limited broadcast of television signals begins to homes with black and white sets.
    • North Korea invades South Korea. With United Nations approval, the U.S. sends ground, air and naval forces to halt communist takeover.
    • Jet aircraft replace piston-powered aircraft in struggle for air supremacy over battlefields.
    • IBM and Link Aviation gear up for rapid changes in defense technologies.