Raymond Herrick - a tool and die maker - had no formal education and modest savings, but he had an idea . . . to apply mass production techniques learned working with Henry Ford to the assembly of refrigeration compressors.1934:
Herrick founded Tecumseh Products Company in Tecumseh, Michigan., which would become the world’s largest independent producer of refrigeration compressors.1938:
Tecumseh revolutionized the industry with the first hermetically sealed compressor, significantly increasing appliance longevity and reliability. By 1939, the company was producing 160,000 compressors annually. During WWII:
Thousands of patriotic men and women served their countries. Citizens and businesses were called up too. Tecumseh applied its mass production know-how to manufacture record numbers of 40 mm shells.After the war:
With much of the world in ruins, food preservation equipment was badly needed. Tecumseh shared its knowledge and began working directly with foreign licensees. Post-war desire for refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning was soaring. In 1947, a Tecumseh compressor powered the first window air conditioning unit.1950:
Tecumseh produced 2 million compressors. Soon afterwards, we introduced a compressor for automotive air conditioning. Consumer demand for these products grew exponentially and by 1954, Tecumseh compressors powered 48 percent of all cooling appliances. By the mid-50’s, sales were $124 million. Early 1960s:
We’d become America’s largest compressor producer, with our units in 70 percent of all freezers, window air conditioners, non-GM automobile air conditioners, and 30 percent of all refrigerators. Today:
We manufacture from four continents for customers in countries around the globe. We continue to seek alliances and opportunities to carry out our founder’s basic philosophy – to make the highest quality compressors and keep costs low. As a result, citizens everywhere enjoy a better quality of life.