I was a youngster in 1974. Outside of Watergate and the resignation of President Nixon, my memories of 1974 are of my childhood activities. A tool that wasn’t available in 1974 but available today is Google. So I used Google to learn more about the events that occurred in 1974. It is cool to compare what happened in 1974 to what is happening today. Here are just a few select events that occurred in 1974 (minus Watergate & President Nixon):
- NBC Radio – introduced on-the-hour news, 24 hours a day. Today there are multiple options for around the clock news.
- 55 mph speed limit imposed by Richard Nixon. Today, not only can Sammy Hagar not drive 55 but speed limit signs of 70 mph are common.
- Ray Kroc bought the San Diego Padres for $12 million dollars. Current Times, SD Padres sold for $800 million and pay Josh Johnson more than $12 million a year to play baseball for them.
- People magazine hits newsstands. Today, magazines are thinner, readership is down, advertisement spends are less and magazines such as PC World are no longer published.
- John Lennon reported seeing a UFO in NY City. Today, do we have any solid proof that UFOs exist? Some argue yes and others say no…
- Businesses that were established in 1974 include well known brands: Alamo Rent-A-Car, Carquest, Foot Locker, Fox Racing, Foxconn, Mellow Mushroom and Rainbow Sandals to name a few. Today, all exist (including United Seal & Rubber) but names like Google, YAHOO, Facebook, Amazon, Dell and others were not thought of nor would have existed in 1974.
This brings me back to the title of this blog: United Seal & Rubber Celebrates 40 Years on 2/12/14. The events of 1974 that I list do a fine job of showing just how much has changed during the last 40 years. Perhaps the biggest change has been technology. I found that the “first PC” was advertised in Popular Electronics, the Altair 8800 computer. Have you ever heard of Altair? I wasn’t familiar with the name until I did some research for this blog. Today, not only do we have PCs but we have laptops, tablets and Smartphone’s (that perform PC functions). United Seal & Rubber Company has rode the waves of technology and has adapted well along the way. In fact, we will install a new ERP software system in 2014 that will increase our efficiencies.
Prior to 1974, Virgil Alonso had been transferred to the Atlanta GA area and given the task to grow and develop business in the area for his employer. He was doing a great job of developing business and found that he really liked the area. His employer informed him in 1974 that he wanted him to move back to the home office but in his heart of hearts, Virgil didn’t want to leave the Atlanta area. So, Virgil got together with a few partners and established United Seal & Rubber Company. It was through one of his partners, Virgil met Kathy who would soon become his wife. Almost from the start, Kathy and Virgil worked together to develop the business. Kathy had a full time position with Eastern Airlines but helped Virgil when she wasn’t working and traveling. Virgil’s strengths were business development, customer service & quality and he found quick success with customers. It wasn’t long into the venture that Virgil was able to buy-out his partners and work with his life partner, Kathy in further developing the company.
Virgil enjoyed two aspects of the business, business development and fabrication (manufacturing a finished product). Through a long term relationship with Parker Seal (Parker Engineered Materials Group) and Parker Chomerics, Virgil was able to buy and sell a quality product that his customers could rely on. It was through Parker Chomerics, that Virgil was also able to purchase product and use it for fabrication purposes. Over the years additional raw material supplier have been added. The fabrication department began with small volume hydraulic presses but now includes high speed/volume cutting presses and splicing/vulcanizing stations. United Seal & Rubber has never limited itself to flat die cut gaskets. Just like technology has changed, so has the design and materials of gaskets and seals. United Seal & Rubber has always been on the cutting edge of gasket and seal advancements. Challenge us, you’ll be surprised what we can do!
Today, Virgil and Kathy are still very involved in the business. We have employees who have been here for over 20 years and others who have been in the industry for more years than they care to admit. A lot has change in 40 years but United Seal & Rubber has always been committed to offering our customer the best possible product for their application and at a fair price. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement has been the key to serving our customers for 40 years. We have a group of highly trained and knowledgeable employees who are dedicated to servicing our customers well. Today we celebrate 40 years. To those who have been a part of our 40 years history, we thank you!! To those who haven’t been a part of the first 40 years, I invite you to take part in the next 40 years of our history.