A Chronology of Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing
Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing Company was organized on June 1, 1950. Harper Rowe, owner, was named President; Tom Gray, Executive Vice President; Everett Reed, Vice President and Sales Manager; and Frank Ward, Secretary-Treasurer.
The predecessor of Rowe Machinery was Rowe Tool & Die Company, organized in 1939, located on Commercial Street in Dallas, which became the largest contract tool and die shop in the southern part of the United States. After a business recession in 1948 and 1949, Harper Rowe decided to expand his business to include manufacture of high production machinery for stamping operations. The business was moved from Commercial Street to 1506 N. Industrial St. Shortly thereafter, the first "Easy Load" coil cradle was built. Two models were available: Model 810 and Model 2010.
As Rowe Machinery celebrated its twenty-ninth anniversary, the creative genius of its founder, Harper Rowe, was recognized. He was the inventor of numerous high speed production machines and hold of many patents. He was acknowledged in the machinery industry as the one man able to solve production problems. In 1950, a few months after Rowe machinery was launched, he died. It is regrettable that he did not live to see the success the company has achieved today. Tom Gray then became the owner of Rowe.
After moving to a new location, Rowe built the first reel, which sold locally. Then it decided to offer standard cut-to-length sheeting lines consisting of a reel, straightener-feeder, shear and run-out conveyor. After a short time, speed on the cut-to-length lines was increased to 160 FPM. This provided Rowe with four additional lines called High Speed Cut-To-Length Sheeting Lines. Also a stripped down version of the standard line was introduced. It was called the Econ-o-Cut line. Later the roller leveler was moved to the front of the sheeting line on the 3rd and 4th lines. This changed the model numbers to 3E and 4E since the first line was sold to Edgecomb Steel Company. This line is still operating in Greenville, South Carolina.
Rowe Machinery was guided through its formative years to its enviable position today by the leadership of Tom Gray. He had been associated with Rowe Tool & Die Company for several years and was named Executive Vice President when Rowe Machinery was organized. Upon the death of Harper Rowe, he became President of the company.
As production increased, so did the company's need for a larger building. In the late 1950's Gray purchased a five acre tract in the new Brookhollow Industrial District at 811 Regal Row. In 1959, the company was moved into a new plant consisting of 26,500 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and 4,500 sq. ft. of office space. Two major additions have been built since that time making a total of 65,000 sq. ft.
In the mid-70's, Tom Gray sold the company to Mr. Harold G. Spriggs (majority owner) and Mr. C. Tom Sultzbaugh. In 1979, Tom Gray, Chairman of the Board of Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing Co. Inc., 811 Regal Row, Dallas, Texas, announced the appointment of Harold G. Spriggs as President. Mr. Tom Sultzbaugh was named Vice-President of Sales and Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Gray, who had served as President of Rowe for 28 years, has guided the company from a small tool and die shop to one of the world's leading metal process and metal stamping machinery manufacturers.
Mr. Spriggs, formally Senior Vice-President of a division of Emerson Electric Co., brought to Rowe many years of engineering and business experience to help Rowe Machinery continue its growth and success in the future.
In 1986, Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing Company, Inc., was sold to Met-Coil Systems Corporation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mr. Spriggs remained in the position of President of the company. Two years later in 1988, Mr. C. Tom Sultzbaugh, who had been the Vice-President of Sales and Chairman of the Executive Committee since the late 1970's, retired from Rowe.
In 1990, Met-Coil Systems Corp. moved it's Automation Group from Iowa and Michigan to Dallas. After a short period the Automation Group was reorganized into Rowe and the name of the company was changed to Rowe Machinery & Automation, Inc. During this time period, Rowe pursued large high speed Cut-To-Length Lines and automation projects often individually totaling in the millions of dollars for each project.
Difficulties at Met-Coil with another division necessitated the sell off of Rowe Machinery & Automation, Inc. to generate operating capital. In February of 1996, Met-Coil sold the business assets of Rowe to Mestek, Inc. After this latest change in ownership, the name of the business was returned to Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing.
In 1997, the manufacturing of product was moved from 811 Regal Row to another Mestek facility located in Clinton, Maine. This facility is known as Formtek-ME. and manufactures equipment for Cooper-Weymouth, Peterson, Coilmate, Dickerman, B&K as well as Rowe. The Sales, and Service and Spare Parts departments for Rowe Machinery were moved from 811 Regal Row to 4025 Black Gold Drive in Dallas. Engineering followed later that year, creating the Formtek Engineering Group.
In 1998, the Spare Parts department moved to Maine, followed by the Sales department in June of 1999.
Today, Rowe Machinery & Manufacturing enjoys
a recognized presence in a world wide market in the areas of stamping
and cut-to-length lines. The Formtek Service department has locations
in Chicago, Cleveland, Cedar Rapids, and Clinton. The name Rowe
has been and still is one of the most widely recognized names throughout the
industry for high speed metal processing equipment.
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