1850: An Immigrant Becomes America’s First Springmaker
Established in 1850 in a small back street shop in New Haven, Connecticut, John Evans’ Sons, Inc., had humble beginnings. John Evans was a recent Welsh immigrant and a blacksmith by trade. An industrious and visionary man, he personified the entrepreneurial spirit of his time. His success was evidenced by his ability to innovate and adapt technology throughout the decades leading up to the twentieth century: an approach that lives on at John Evans’ Sons, Inc., to this day.
John Evans’ initial products were flat suspension springs for horse-drawn buggies and carriages. In contrast to some manufacturers of the era who formed spring steel solely for the immensely popular “hoop skirt,” John Evans was thinking “diversification”––a strategy that continues to make our manufacturing stand out from the rest.
1870: A Move to the Birthplace of Freedom
In 1870, after continued urging by Philadelphia Spring Works, one of his largest customers, the business moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just blocks from Independence Hall. While the city prepared for its Centennial Exposition, John Evans reestablished his business in the “Birthplace of Freedom.”
Industrialists from all parts of the United States would attend the exposition and have the opportunity to visit Evans’s factory.
1890: Constant Innovation
Evans’s success was a result of his ability to manufacture products to work with the latest technology and to invent creative solutions to everyday challenges. He enabled horse-drawn coal wagons to dump their load using gear and lever principles to raise the bed of the wagon.
In 1890, he designed springmaking equipment that would be adapted to the newest technology of the time: hydraulic power. When the automobile was invented, John Evans laid claim to the original patents for the hydraulic shock absorber.
Early Twentieth Century: Changing with the Times
As the country faced two world wars, John Evans’ Sons, Inc., contributed heavily to the war efforts and thus changed the focus of its products. Manufacturing small, delicate springs used in oxygen equipment control valves for military aviators, the business turned toward the specialty spring market and away from “off-the-shelf” products.
The company continued to evolve, producing precision springs for such commercial products as toasters, fishing reels, and movie projectors, while maintaining a relationship with the U.S. defense industry after the Second World War. In 1967, the company changed ownership, and moved 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, to Lansdale, Pennsylvania, its current home.
Late Twentieth Century: Growth Rooted in Generations of Success
More than four decades later, under the current leadership, the company continues to grow considerably. Today, John Evans’ Sons, Inc., is located in a modern 65,000-square-foot facility and manufactures springs, wireforms, metal stampings, and spring assemblies for many different industries.
We take pride in manufacturing difficult and unusual spring products as well as high-volume precision springs. Continuing to invest in the physical plant, machinery, and employee education, we uphold the original values and vision that has made John Evans’ Sons, Inc., the unmatched leader in the spring manufacturing industry. We are proud to be this country’s pioneering springmaker, and we are committed to being its best.