The Founding of Detecto Scale
Detecto Scale Company was started in 1900 in New York City by three immigrant brothers (The Jacobs Brothers) in the butcher supply business. The company produced bakers’ dough scales, butchers’ scales, clinical scales, counter scales and hanging scales.
In 1981 the company was acquired by Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company based in Webb City, Missouri where it’s corporate offices and manufacturing facilities are still located today. Cardinal was a well-known name in the heavy-duty truck scale and floor scale market, so the acquisition was a good fit to provide the company with a complete line-up of scales across a broad spectrum of markets.
Cardinal/Detecto Scale is at home in the small community of Webb City, Missouri, a city nestled on the edge of the Ozark mountains, with a population of just under 12,000. All around are wide, open prairies, hills and woods. Cardinal employees like it that way and are committed to keeping it that way. Cardinal/Detecto’s mission statement promises that they will adhere to sound environmental practices. They do that and then some. Cardinal/Detecto’s goal is to always be a step ahead in observing sound environmental rules.
From The Beginning… Exceptional Value
The evolution of what is today Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company, involves the pulling together of a century’s worth of ideas, products and people.
Cardinal Scale, with home offices in the heart of America, officially began in 1950. Founder William H. Perry of Webb City, Missouri, an experienced scale industry man, started the new company as a result of customer need for a line of special-capacity scales.
This need arose out of America’s construction-era boom. In the development of the nation’s highways, bridges and other structures, builder demand was at an all-time high for appropriate, new weighing systems. All concrete, stone and aspalt were batched and sold by weight; manufacture of the right weighing equipment called for someone with the right experience, resources and ability to respond. That individual was William H. Perry.
At the time, Perry was employed by the Webb Corporation, a Webb City manufacturer and distributor of heavy-duty industrial scales and mining machinery. He was authorized to start his own company for the production of the new, lighter capacity scales, which would then be marketed through Webb.
The new scale line proved to be so successful that Perry had to resign from Webb in 1956 and devote his full attention to his new and rapidly growing company. And so, Cardinal Scale was born. Cardinal’s ability to respond to the specialized weighing needs of many other industries has enabled the company to expand its product line extensively over the years.
The First Acquisition
As a new scale manufacturing entity, Cardinal was in need of its own heavy-duty scale line. With this in mind, Perry began discussions with Sacramento, California’s L.R. Murphy Company, a well-known west coast player in the large-capacity scale business. It was L.R. Murphy who pioneered all-steel, large scale design… a major revolution in the weighing industry.
Up until that time, all large-size scales had been laboriously constructed of cast iron in designs that could not easily have been changed. Nor could these scales be easily transported from their sites of manufacture on the east coast.
Steel was readily available to Murphy on the west coast as a result of the construction explosion that began there in the 1930’s. He gained a competitive edge with its use, and it was this advantage that made sense as Perry and Murphy began talking about a partnership that could be mutually beneficial.. particularly in terms of product distribution.
In 1958 an agreement was reached, and the two companies began working together, marketing all-steel, welded motor truck and axle-load scales to all parts of the country. The companies were closely associated for 15 years, and then in 1973, Cardinal acquired Murphy Scale and completely integrated the operation, with full-service plants in Webb City, Sacramento and Denver.
Tremendous changes in scale technology have occurred since Cardinal’s early days, and no one was more conscious of the need to stay one step ahead than William H. Perry. Always driven by what customers needed… or were going to be needing… Perry led Cardinal to a major acquisition which could further diversify the company’s product line.
Detecto Scale Company (www.detecto.com), based in New York City, began in 1900 by three immigrant brothers (The Jacobs Brothers) in the butcher supply business. The Detecto acquisition brought with it an important, new dimension for Cardinal… scale building experience and know-how that dated back to the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years, Detecto had develped a respected name in the manufacture of scales for grocers, markets, the shipping industry and the medical field. These product lines and Detecto’s expertise were valuable additions to Cardinal, which quickly moved all manufacturing of Detecto scales to Webb City.
Today, Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company is well known under the brand names Cardinal Scale and Detecto Scale. Cardinal is primarily known for its large-capacity scales (5,000 lbs and over) and associated information handling systems. Heavy-duty truck scales and such developments as the low-profile EPR truck scale and Guardian hydraulic scales are virtually synonymous with the Cardinal name. Detecto is most noted for scales with capacities under 5,000 lbs in the medical, food service, and postal industries.
Cardinal’s Greatest Asset
Facilities and equipment are wonderful resources.. but ultimately are of little value without the most important aspect of any business – its people. Cardinal is proud of its ability to attract top-notch members to its corporate family. Over the years Cardinal has been fortunate in being able to employ many talented individuals with the willingness to develop their skills to the highest levels in the manufacture of quality weighing equipment.
As with their products, Cardinal is a complete entity when it comes to personnel. Cardinal believes in having the best people on board, from the designers to the production line to customer-service representatives.
Cardinal’s engineering staff alone has over 750 years of combined engineering background. Cardinal machinists, too, are top-of-the-line, with the expertise to operate computer-controlled equipment with accuracy and efficiency. In the production area, talented individuals work with a myriad of parts – some exceptionally small – over extended periods of time. They are able to continually and reliably produce high-quality products such as Cardinal’s load cells and strain gauges.
In every phase of the Cardinal operation, people utilize their latest statistical control techniques to monitor and improve their performance, assuring customers the finest end result… a top-quality product.
The Future of Weighing Technology
As Cardinal/Detecto Scale continues to be the industry forerunner in the 21st Century, the family-owned and privately-held company in Webb City, MO still maintains William H. Perry’s determination to meet the unique weighing needs of its customers and the American spirit of building a quality product that is second to none. Cardinal is the largest independent scale manufacturer in the U.S. and is invested in the future to bring its customers the best weighing equipment on the market.