Thomas J. Morton, Jr.
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In 1935, Thomas J. Morton, Jr. bought one of the first injection molding machines from Germany to Evansville, IN, to study this new process. In 1937 he founded a new company, Cardinal Corp., where he used that first Isoma machine (and two subsequent machines) to mold the first high-volume injection molding application in the United States, a shelf stud made for Sears, Roebuckâ€™s Coldspot refrigerators.
With Jack Bauer, he developed the See-Deep process, a method of decorating the back surface of clear molded parts, first used on a commercial basis in the 1938 Nash horn button.
Their company, now called Hoosier Cardinal Corp., also brought the vacuum forming process into mass production for one-inch-thick sighting domes for World War II heavy bombers.
After the war, Morton further developed the market for decorative plastics technology and also founded Benersons Corp., which developed assembly machines that automated plastics manufacturing.
In the 1950s, Morton bought a new business called Fiberfil, a developer of glass reinforced thermoplastic compounds, and supplied the first commercial injection molded product from these materials, a land mine housing. From both Hoosier Cardinal and Fiberfil (later sold to Dart Industries) have come many significant startup companies, inspired by Mortonâ€™s dedication and innovation.