Philadelphia Gear: Providing Innovative Power Transmission and Gearing Solutions for over 100 Years
In 1892, George B. Grant founded Philadelphia Gear Works in the perfect location to serve the booming steel and anthracite coal industries of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. At the time, the country was in need of raw materials - from steel for railroads, ships and bridges; to coal for power generation; to wood, copper and other materials; as well as machinery for food production. All of this production required dependable gearing, allowing Philadelphia Gear to prosper.
By 1907, Philadelphia Gear employed 17 machinists - 20 by 1911 - continuing this growth over the next five years. A look at Philadelphia Gear's 1912 catalog shows not only standard stocked gears, but also custom-made products.
As the gearing industry continued to prosper, gear manufacturers recognized the value of joining together to advance the industry. Thus, Philadelphia Gear joined with nine other gearing companies to form the American Gear Manufacturing Association (AGMA) in 1916.
Philadelphia Gear and the War Effort
At this time, much of Europe was entrenched in the first World War. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, companies such as Philadelphia Gear increased their production of gears, sprockets, chain and automotive transmissions for ships, planes, munitions, tanks and machinery. Philadelphia Gear tripled its workforce to 55 machinists and 10 office staff.
As the gearing industry continued to evolve, Philadelphia Gear began producing completely packaged power transmission products. Our 1922 catalog shows an enclosed speed reducer, which was a first. Users of gear-related machinery could now rely on Philadelphia Gear power transmission specialists to create entire drive systems.
While other companies were ruined by the Great Depression, Philadelphia Gear survived thanks to our sale of the speed reducer. By 1939, speed reducers had become a major emphasis at Philadelphia Gear. During this time we also produced couplings and electric hoists, as well as every type and size of gear.
With the outbreak of World War II, Philadelphia Gear produced 14-foot ring gears to rotate battleship gun turrets, and worm gears for the hydraulic systems of virtually every Navy destroyer launched.