Sunday, July 14, 2024


The history of one of the largest corporations in Philadelphia began in the 19th century. Today, Carpenter Technology Corporation is an important partner in the creation of critical products. Their main specialization is stainless steel and corrosion-resistant alloys, which are actively used in the electric power, transport, consumer and even aerospace and defense industries. Learn more at philadelphia-future.

Origins of Carpenter Technology Corporation

Carpenter Technology Corporation is considered one of the oldest corporations in Philadelphia. Founded in 1889, it has not lost its importance on the global and US market to this day. It was founded by James Henry Carpenter, the American engineer and industrialist of the 19th century from Brooklyn. A group of talented New York investors from Reading helped him realize his idea. Initially, the company was called the Carpenter Steel Company, but in 1968, it was renamed Carpenter Technology Corporation. James Henry Carpenter headed it as general manager.

James Henry Carpenter

Carpenter Technology Corporation supplied the US Navy with weapons and ammunition. According to the US Secretary of the Navy, they were the best on the market. Ammunition, supplied by this Philadelphia company, easily pierced modern armor at the time. They had no competitors. Interestingly, America’s victory in the Spanish-American War and the complete defeat of the enemy troops were partially due to the Carpenter Technology Corporation, in particular, to the ammunition they supplied.

A contract for the production of steel for the US Navy

The contract for the production and supply of specialized steel was signed back in 1890. A year later, a new contract was concluded with Carpenter Technology Corporation because of increased financing of new ships construction. Such a decision led to the need for new, more modernized steel, which was manufactured by the Philadelphia Corporation at the time.

In 1898, the production pace at Carpenter Technology Corporation became frantic due to the significant demand. To increase production at the enterprise, the founder of the company, James Henry Carpenter, even had to borrow funds. He was in huge debt back then. However, it was considered a good credit risk because Carpenter signed a contract with the US Navy.

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However, the promised funds didn’t arrive immediately, but with a significant delay. At the same time, the company faced some inner problems. Debts grew even more, a problem with the payment of wages to workers and other factors caused a rift between the board members of the Carpenter Technology Corporation and James Henry Carpenter. In 1898, he decided to leave the post of general manager of the company he founded.

The company developed gradually and made significant progress. Their steel had no competitors in the USA.

Carpenter Technology Corporation in the 20th century, its main developments and investments

At the beginning of the 20th century, Carpenter Technology Corporation took part in the creation of the engine of the Wilbur and Orville Wright brothers, who were engaged in the development and construction of the world’s first motorized airplane. But the company didn’t stop there and improved its steel. So, in 1905, Carpenter Technology Corporation presented the world with their new development, chrome-nickel steel, or as it is now called stainless steel.

This steel is special because it contains a large percentage of chromium. Therefore, it is resistant to corrosion processes. Chrome-nickel steel by Carpenter Technology Corporation began to be used in the creation of car chassis, that is, in the US machine building. And success again. One of the race cars that won the Vanderbilt Cup, the first major trophy in auto racing, was partly made of the Philadelphia company’s steel.

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A few years later, their steel was used in the construction of a plane that flew across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927 and another plane that flew all the way to the North Pole! One could only dream of greater success. Carpenter Technology Corporation and their developments became so popular that very soon they started to serve “big” consumers and clients.

Even the Great Depression in the USA of 1929-1939 didn’t stop them. When most American companies were failing, the country was engulfed in an economic crisis and suffered disaster on the stock market, Carpenter Technology Corporation developed and presented to the world its new development, stainless steel with additives of chromium, nickel, selenium and tellurium. 

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Then the Second World War began. In those years, the Philadelphia company reached the highest production rates. Their product, as one of the best in America, was actively used for the smallest and largest details.

Their steel was used for the production of Sherman tanks, boats and even submarines. After the end of the war, in 1951, Carpenter Technology Corporation presented another development, a corrosion-resistant alloy called Stainless 20. The Philadelphia company became the leader in the US market. Their fortune can be estimated in billions of dollars.

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Since the second half of the 20th century, the company has been actively buying bankrupt or smaller organizations. They acquired Northeastern Steel, NTH Products in California, Gardner Cryogenics, Dynamet in Washington, Talley Industries, Eagle Precision Metals in Fryeburg, etc. A small steel company grew into a real corporation. They went beyond Philadelphia.

In 1992, Carpenter Technology Corporation acquired a patent for the creation of an extremely strong type of alloy called Aermet. Today, this type of steel is registered under the trademark of this Philadelphia company. The Aermet type was first used for the chassis of aircraft carrier jet fighters.

The role of the corporation in the 21st century

Since the 2000s, Carpenter Technology Corporation has been a leader in the production of quality steel and its derivatives. The company was headed by the American mechanical engineer and materials scientist Anne Louise Stevens. It is interesting that she is the first woman to hold the position of CEO of Carpenter Technology Corporation. Anne Louise Stevens previously worked as a CEO at GKN Aerospace, Exxon Chemical Company and Ford Motor Company as a marketing specialist and later as their vice president.

Carpenter Technology Corporation continued to move forward and surprise the world with its developments. In 2009, the corporation presented new alloys BioBlu 27 and ACUBE 100. BioBlu 27 is made of cobalt, which is commonly used in the jewelry industry and ACUBE 100 doesn’t contain beryllium. In 2012, the Philadelphia corporation announced that it was taking a new course towards China.

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They planned to build a production enterprise there. Today, Carpenter Technology Corporation specializes in the manufacture and sale of stainless steel and corrosion-resistant alloys. Their products are so widely used that they are actually used in almost all industries.

Carpenter Technology’s Specialty Alloys Operations remains the core business of Carpenter Technology Corporation. Their main specialization is the production of high-quality alloys and stainless steel. The corporation has clients not only in the USA but also in Europe and Asia.

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