On this day in 1976 there was six inches of snow on the ground in Chicago when 21 rotomolders met at the O’Hare Hilton and discussed a few industry concerns including standards, freight rates, education, and supplier relations.
There was Harold Williams and W.C. Miller and Robert Dunne. And there was Ewing Lofton, Raymond Hoschette, Pat and Thomas Long. And then there was James Florsheim, Ray Oliver, George Kraemer, and Rush Smith. There was Darrell Hampton, Virgil Lynch, and Thomas Schidel. Harold Brown and John Cali and Larry Snyder too. And then you had Weldon “Red” Smith, Norman Schaefer, Arlen Huff, and Bob Bagshaw.
The men divided into subgroups to discuss their topics and then gave reports. It was decided that these concerns were key areas where an association would be able to help the industry. Each interested company signed a commitment form promising $250, which would be credited to their annual dues. And with that ARM was born.
George Kraemer, Tom Schidel, and Weldon Smith volunteered to steer Humes & Associates, who served as ARM’s first staff.
Pat Long remembers being happily surprised that day that everyone in the room put aside competition to benefit the industry.
Three weeks later, a memo was sent listing the following charter members:
- Du-Call Miller Plastics
- Dunne Plastic Company
- El Jay Plastics, Inc.
- Faribo Manufacturing
- Formed Plastics, Inc.
- G E T Plastics, Inc.
- Glass Plastics Corp
- Jiffy Plastics Inc.
- Kracor, Inc.
- Plastech Division, Penn Pacific Corp.
- Rotec, Inc.
- Rotocast Plastic Products
- Snyder Industries
- Solar Plastics
- Spin-Cast Plastics Inc.
- Unipar, Inc.
ARM will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary in earnest at the Annual Convention in New Orleans this September. But if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can join the brand new ARM Reunion Facebook page which we’ll use to bring together rotomolding luminaries from the last four decades.