— A retrospective look at Lowell Manufacturing’s 65 years of innovation —
PACIFIC, MO, June 26, 2012 — Lowell Manufacturing Company was founded in 1947 by Ben and Dorothy Lowell at a time of flourishing entrepreneurship in the post-war United States. The idea of sound from the ceiling was a novel idea then, and Mr. Lowell was awarded the first design patents for spun aluminum baffles that formed the nucleus of his product line. In the early years, Lowell Manufacturing occupied the second floor of a modest two story brick building in the city of St. Louis. The company remained in this location until 1954 when a move was made to a new facility in Maplewood, Missouri, providing the additional room to expand the manufacturing area and to house a growing product line. The 1950s saw many new design patents awarded to the company, and the introduction in 1958 of a new line of electronic equipment cabinets under the brand name Lowell Metal Works.
In 1960 the company expanded again, adding a new building to manufacture prototypes and custom metal products. In January of 1961, Lowell introduced the world’s first plastic molded speaker grille to supplement its line of metal baffles and enclosures. Two additional design patents for speaker baffles were also awarded during the decade of the 1960s.
During the 1970s and 1980s the company further expanded the audio product line, increasing its offering of backboxes for example, to include large cubic volume enclosures for use in convention centers, airports and performing arts centers. During this time, and in response to the growing popularity of sound masking systems in open office environments, Lowell was in a unique position as a manufacturer of backboxes and grilles to package these components into sound masking speakers for ceiling plenum areas. In August of 1977, John Lowell, current President and CEO, joined the company in the sales and marketing department, eventually becoming sales manager in 1985. In May of 1980, Wilhelm R. Lowell joined the company in sales, eventually moving into operations and new product development.
In 1992, Lowell again expanded its manufacturing facility into a new state-of-the-art building in Pacific, Missouri, 40 miles southwest of St. Louis, housing advanced fabrication and powder coat painting equipment capable of producing a level of quality never before seen in the industry, which is the hallmark of the company today. These advances led to the introduction of a new line of equipment racks, cabinets and rack accessories that continues to expand into new market opportunities. A design patent for a key-actuated volume control was awarded in October of 1991.
In the first decade of the new millennium, Lowell engineers designed a wide array of AC products ranging from advanced surge suppression and remote power control to power sequencing, along with its latest creation of Powerstac, a modular power product with a vast library of power modules designed and built to consultant or customer specifications. In October 2006, Lowell was granted a design patent, one of three it would eventually earn, for its Lay-In Tile Speaker System. In September of 2008, Tom Lowell joined his other two brothers in the company, bringing with him a background in distribution sales. In November of 2010, Lowell was awarded a patent for its Universal Horn Speaker.
For 65 years Lowell Manufacturing Company has gained a reputation for premium quality products that offer labor saving solutions for their customers. The three Lowell brothers continue to add their mark to the rich history and legacy of the company founded by their parents, manufacturing products in the USA, and supporting the American worker.