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See the 1922 Booklet Celebrating 90 Years of Progress

90 years of progress

“After 100 years since this book was published, it is comforting to know that the business’s formula for success has proved to be sound and passed along from generation to generation,” acclaims John D. Rathbun, President & CEO. “Safety, a strong customer focus, a sense of family, and respect for those around us continue to drive success at Austin Powder and keep us playing a fundamental role in making our world a better place to live.”

It seems appropriate, as we celebrate 190 years, to share this 100-year-old document, which introduces the reader with the following restrained but clearly proud preface:

“Any institution that has successfully weathered the vicissitudes of ninety years need offer no apology in presenting to a new generation the simple facts connected with its history or its product. However, sound and substantial merit require no elaboration or embellishment…”

The above statement has even more relevance today as we celebrate our 190th anniversary. As you read through the booklet, notice the features included, such as the hand-drawn heading images, the flowering language of the day, and the details on each of the photographs.

“….In submitting this brief and unassuming record of an industrial enterprise to the comparatively small list of those who are bound to be in some degree concerned, we have at least the gratification of knowing that it will meet a sufficient measure of interest to justify its publication….”

The booklet has many interesting aspects, and one is the use of the Red Diamond logo, which predates our plant in McArthur, Ohio (1931) of the same name. The booklet also states that the company at this time had shifted entirely to the blasting powder business and thus away from any sporting or rifle powders that had been a part of its historical market since the beginning.

At this time, Joseph Kendrick was the President of the company, his brother George (Cap) Kendrick was the head of production, and John D. Alexander was Vice-President and Treasurer. Austin Powder has been a ‘family’ business since its inception. The Kendrick’s brother-in-law, R.T. Coleman, had been the President of the company following Linus Austin’s death, and J.D. Alexander is the great-grandfather of Michael A. Gleason, our past President and current Director.

The purpose of the booklet was multifold. Obviously, it was created to help promote the products, the legacy of the company, and the quality of the black powder products that Austin was manufacturing at that time. But it also looks to be marketing the company to potential employees who would want to come to work for Austin Powder at the Glenwillow plant and live in the village of the same name. The promotion of the school, the community, the store, and the company homes highlights this dimension.

Finally, it is also clear, from several sections, that customer service and relationships are seen as a keen part of the value proposition that the leaders of the company were offering.

“…A continuation of the satisfaction we have given our customers in the past is the aim and endeavor of the present management, with the added assurance that no effort shall be spared to make our service of the highest degree of value and to win, even further, the confidence that has been granted us in the past.”






We are a traditional manufacturer of initiation systems for industrial blasting operations and an important technological and research base for production and further development of initiation systems.

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Austin Powder Service CZ implements the latest technologies and products for blasting works, such as laser profiling, electronic modeling, and electronic detonators.

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