The story of Peterson Spring begins in the 1880s with the immigration of a young Norwegian blacksmith to America. August Christian Peterson studied blacksmithing – the trade of choice for early spring makers – and gradually rose through the ranks of spring manufacturing in the early 1900s. Eventually August would come to manage various plants across the Midwest. In 1914, August was prompted to move his family to Detroit and form a company with the vision of meeting a lion’s share of the demand for springs within the railroad industry and the budding automobile industry.
For nearly two decades, and through incredibly difficult national economic times, August continued to lead, focused on the manufacture of springs. By 1932, Peterson founded Precision Spring Corporation, a company majority-owned by August and his three younger brothers, Sigurd, Conrad and Harold. As the company grew, it continued to be a family-oriented enterprise as a second generation of Petersons joined the ranks.
Precision Spring would continue to prosper alongside the automobile and other industries with the post-WWII manufacturing explosion. The 1960s and 1970s saw the company expand overseas through the purchase of foreign firms and joint ventures. In 1978, the company split into two halves with one renamed Peterson American Corporation. They would eventually purchase the assets of the departed half in 1991 bringing the entire Peterson family of companies back under the PAC umbrella.
Peterson Spring is a proud and founding member of the Spring Makers institute (SMI). Since the institute’s inception in 1933, Peterson Spring has been an active member. In fact, former employees Bud and Pete Peterson, grandson and great-grandson respectively of founder August Christian Peterson, have both served two-year terms as president of SMI. In 1989, Bud received the SMI’s Golden Coil Award for contributions of lasting importance to the spring industry. Numerous Peterson Spring employees have served on SMI committees.
Peterson American Corporation continues to be a proactive industry leader in a continuously changing manufacturing environment. With 14 facilities world-wide, Peterson American provides a geographic footprint that allows for customer focus and competitiveness for all products. All facilities are TS/ISO/QS certified and have numerous customer achievement and recognition awards. Decades of innovating thinking honed in the high-performance automotive market has given Peterson Spring the knowledge necessary to thrive in any field implementing the use of springs. The Peterson family, with dedication and integrity handed down from one generation to the next, continues to put this knowledge to use as our springs are used everyday in a wide range of products from lawnmowers to military applications. Much akin to the blacksmiths of old, Peterson’s metallurgists, engineers and designers are modern day artisans in the highly technological art of spring making.
Check out the latest article on Peterson Spring in the Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI) "Springs" Magazine.