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An early photo taken in 1936, showing the company founder Charles F. Eck (9th man from the left) standing with his daughter
American Lubrication Equipment Corporation
In 1918 Charles F. Eck saw the promise of the newly emerging U.S. automobile industry and invested everything he had in a new company, The Alemite Company of Maryland. The company opened for business on December 18 in a small office in downtown Baltimore. Eck was only 22, but like today's young entrepreneurs he was willing to gamble on a new technology that he foresaw would transform the U.S. economy.
The company's first product line consisted of 10,000 grease fittings and several hundred grease handguns manufactured by Alemite (formerly a division of Stewart-Warner). Initially, the products were sold (door-to-door) to individual car owners, but as sales and the industry grew in the roaring 1920s, marketing was expanded to car dealers through newly packaged automotive kits. A complete line of petroleum products was introduced in the late 1920s to satisfy the growing need of car dealers for quality lubrication.
The company continued to grow and expand its product base, adding a complete line of lubrication equipment for auto jobbers and farm implement dealers and later, during the 1930s Depression, its first line of industrial lubrication equipment. The 1940s marked the outbreak of World War II and an all-out effort by the company to supply the U.S. government for the war. Like many U.S. industrialists Charles F. Eck served as a dollar-a-year man in Washington.
During the post-war 1950s the company embarked on another major expansion, adding a line of automotive, marine and industrial instruments to its product base. After graduation from Lehigh University, C. Franklin Eck, Jr. joined the company in 1958, becoming the second generation in the business. The 1950s and 1960s were solid growth years for the company which moved five times to larger facilities in Baltimore before relocating to its present headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland in October 2008.
The founder, Charles F. Eck, died in 1980 and was succeeded as president by C. Franklin Eck, Jr. Under his direction the company was among the first in the industry to fully computerize in the 1960s and 1970s. He also oversaw the move to Hunt Valley and presided over a major re-engineering of the company from a predominantly single-source supplier to multiple supply sources. In October 1988 the company changed its name to American Lubrication Equipment Corporation and changed its primary supplier from Alemite to ARO, a division of Ingersoll-Rand. Franklin Eck and his son, Eben Eck, who joined in 1990, travel globally in search of quality materials to support the product lines.
In 1997 the company opened offices and warehouse facilities in Anaheim just outside of Los Angeles, California, allowing it to better serve its distributors and national accounts. As a result of this change, the company grew from an east coast operation in the 1980s to a national provider of quality lubrication equipment in the 1990s. American Lubrication Equipment Corporation is dedicated to growing its business by providing its customers with fast delivery, outstanding service and Superior Technology at an Affordable Price .