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Eaton Celebrates 100-year Heritage of Innovation 21/10/2011

Published by Jason Koffler on 23 October 2011

When diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) rang today’s Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange, it dramatized the company’s beginnings with the rugged roads of 1911, growth through major inroads in the industrial and electrical markets and increasing opportunities today through very different kinds of superhighways and the global challenges in managing power.

On this date one hundred years ago, inventor Viggo Torbensen and entrepreneur Joseph Eaton founded the company that would become Eaton Corporation. Combining their ingenuity, Torbensen and Eaton developed an axle that enabled trucks to endure the rugged roads of the early 20th century, consume less fuel and demand less maintenance.

Based in Cleveland since 1915, Eaton was first listed on the NYSE in 1923. The company has paid dividends on common shares every year since its initial listing.

“Around the globe, Eaton employees are celebrating our hundredth year with coworkers, customers and in the communities where we work and live,” said Alexander M. Cutler, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are proud of our past, but inspired by the future as we continue to find new and inventive ways to address some of the world’s toughest power management challenges.”

Over the years, Eaton has evolved into a diversified power management company. “Our more than 73,000 employees worldwide are combining their expertise and ingenuity to solve one of our era’s greatest challenges – delivering more power to help the world grow without consuming more of the world’s resources,” said Cutler.

At Eaton, power management takes many forms, from improving the energy efficiency of buildings, planes and vehicles to helping massive machines leave a more miniscule footprint on our planet. Eaton’s innovative technologies help its customers manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power safely and efficiently, while helping to control their costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

“Like our founders, we know that you can’t achieve progress by standing still,” said Cutler. “Every day the people of Eaton Corporation are helping to provide safe, efficient and sustainable power management solutions to our customers around the world.”

Earlier this year, Eaton released a book, “Powering Business: The First 100 Years of Eaton Corporation” by author Jeffrey Rodengen. The book outlines Eaton’s ascent to a global leader in power management solutions. Available at Amazon.com, the book chronicles Eaton’s transformation and expansion from a vehicle component supplier to a leading power management provider to the electrical, aerospace and hydraulics markets as well.

Reporting on Eaton’s growth and diversification, the book notes: “Beginning the 1960s, Eaton began acquiring companies with a global reach in an effort to build its international reputation.” It adds: “Eaton’s acquisition skills have only improved over time, as evidenced by later acquisitions in the 21st century such as the Westinghouse Distribution and Control Business Unit, Moeller and Phoenixtec,” all in the electrical business. Eaton also added Aeroquip-Vickers, a major manufacturer of hoses, couplings, and industrial hydraulics, and in the aerospace business acquired the fluid and air division of Cobham plc., the aerospace division of PerkinElmer, Inc. and Argo-Tech.

Eaton has expanded its global footprint with more than 55 percent of its sales outside the United States. The book says Eaton recognized that increasing the speed of decision making and remaining agile would “empower local management so they could make rapid business decisions that would allow them to respond to their customers quickly and efficiently.”

As Eaton enters its new century, Cutler is quoted looking ahead: “The strategy is working, our momentum and the demand for our products are strong and our global team is aligned, focused and excited about our company’s future.”

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2010 sales of $13.7 billion. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 73,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.