Torch, Winter 1981

The wife of my new employer introduced me to a wonderful young lady named Marian Frances Elliott . Eleven months later we were married and she has proven to be a loyal helpmate . Often at 2 or 3 a.m . she would accompany me to the plant to make sure that certain chemical processes were going satisfactorily! We ' ve been loaned the lives of three children and six grandchildren and count them a tremendous blessing! Seeing little prospect of progressing along the lines I wanted in Atlanta , I accepted a position in the Textile Technical Section of the American Cyanamid Corporation laboratory in Stamford, Connecticut. I welcomed this opportunity to work for a large chemical company to gain experience . Within six months, I was transferred to their New York City headquarters and was placed in charge of marketing their Aerosol@ brand of surface active (wetting agent) compounds. I had an exceptionally fine supervisor who allowed me to run things pretty much on my own, without having to worry about finances . I became involved in research and development, technical service applications, and sales . I worked with salesmen in every part of the country and became involved in many industries, including cosmetics, metalworking , food, lumber, glass, concrete-to name just a few. It was a wonderful learning experience. In addition, I met many leaders in research in industry and at universities. I left American Cyanamid in the fall of 1943 to become a salesman for a metalworking company , covering the state of Connecticut. Here I met Robert Bullard, grandson of the founder of Bullard Company, manufacturer of machine tools in Fairfield, Connecticut. Bob and I became good friends and together we read technical papers which were just becoming available on the theory of metal cutting . We did a good deal of speculating on the chemical and physical principles involved in metal cutting . With my chemical background , I then used my wife's summer kitchen to formulate a new type of metalworking fluid . This I gave to my employer. Although it wasn't perfect, it was an effective product. Still wanting to have my own business and being somewhat unhappy with my situation, I began to work nights and weekends at home on what I hoped would be a superior product. I often worked until 2 and 3 a.m . During this time of experimentation, I parted company with the Bullard firm and poured all my efforts full time into my project. My family and I lived on our savings. Finally after 3 1/2 years and 3528 formulas, I believed I had the product I was seeking. At last I was ready to plunge into business for myself. Without any capital, I made arrangements for a chemical manufacturing firm in Toledo, Ohio , to manufacture my metalworking fluid while I traveled the country to sell it. Before long, I realized that a system of industrial distributors with a network of salesmen was the most effective way to sell my product. Within 1 1/2 years it was mutually decided that I would set up my own company. By having copies of invoices from repeat customers, I was able to raise $36 ,000 for initial capital. At the same time, my former chemical manufacturer partner allowed me to manufacture in his plant at a fixed cost per drum . I made ten drums of the product a day and every other day I took it to a public warehouse . In the meantime, I rented a three-floor manufacturing facility which my father-in-law and I revamped for production. Eventually we warehoused 100-200 drums at a time . Then I went on the road to sell and to arrange for distributors . ·. During this time , my wife and our young daughter would go to the plant and take care of the mail and shipping from the public warehouse and later from our plant. They would take care of all the office work while I was on the road selling. These years were not easy, but we took on the challenge as a family and were drawn closer together as a result. We formed our corporation November 13 , 1951. Two years later , I hired our first outside-the-family associate , a fellow worker from my American Cyanamid days and one of our first shareholders . He was in charge of manufacturing, general receiving, and shipping. The bookkeeping was done by an outside firm, one of whose employees we later hired on a full – time basis and who eventually became our treasurer. We continued to add distributors, and in 1961 we hired our first service engineer. In 1963, we moved to our own new plant in Perrysburg , Ohio . Since then we have made three major plant and office expansions. In January 1981 , we began manufacturing our producing products in a new plant in Huntsville , Texas . Our business has been richly blessed and we have averaged a growth rate of approximately 15% per year over the past 15 years . We now have 105 distributors , 28 service engineers , and approximately 100 total associates . We sell our products throughout the U.S .A. and we also export. The extent to which our business has prospered over the years has not been due to coincidence . I can unmistakeably sense the hand of the Lord. But this is not to say that He has done it with no effort expected on our part . The competitive free market system in this blessed country allows people the freedom to dream, to hope, and then to work toward fulfillment of their goals. When a quality product or service is offered to the public with hard work and dedication, it will in time usually sell and be a success . Such an enterprise, when allowed to operate free of the unnecessary outside restraints of government, is a boon to both business and the consumer alike . As president of Master Chemical Corporation , my desire is to serve those I employ . As they in turn enjoy a sense of fulfillment in their vocations , our products will continue to be of high quality and meet the needs of consumers . And to the degree this happens in business all across our country , the free enterprise system will continue to be the lifeblood of the economy of these United States of America. 9