History of the Victor, NY plant currently owned by I-T-E Imperial Corp.


Publication: The Daily Messenger

Canandaigua, NY, United States
vol. 176, no. 85, p. 52, col. 6-7

Victor Insulators Was Begun In 1893


VICTOR — Victor Insulators, on Maple Avenue, the birthplace of high-voltage porcelain, has been in operation since 1893, except for a couple of years during the "30s."

The company started out as Locke Insulator Corp., operating under the direction or Fred Locke, and continued under that name until 1932 when it became a victim of the depression.

Locke Insulator which had previously opened a plant in Baltimore, Md., closed its plant in Victor. The operation remained closed until 1935 when local people reopened the plant.

Victor Insulator in presently owned by I-T-E Imperial Corp., manufacturers of a broad line of power equipment for the utility industry, of which it is a division.

In 1935, the reopening of the business was financed when the people of the village subscribed for 310 shares of the stock of Victor Insulators Inc. The entire amount was secured in three days.

Organizers were Bentley A. Plimpton, Kent A. Hawley, George H. Schoenthaler and Arthur G. Bernard. Plimpton was formerly sales manager for the former Locke insulator Corp. plant; Hawley, chief engineer, Schoenthaler, chief draftsman and Bernard, plant superintendent.

Formed under the law of the state, stock of the new corporation consisted of 2,500 shares of non-assessable, no par value, common stock, for which the incorporators paid $100 per shore. Only $106,000 of the stock was immediately sold, with the balance staying in the treasury.

I-T-E Circuit Breakers Co., later to become I-T-E Imperial, purchased Victor Insulator in 1953.

In 1954, Victor Insulator announced a new, high-strength switch and bus insulator line, called at the time, "a sizeable significance in the electrical industry."

The then division manager, Howard Failmezger, said it represented "a new concept in the manufacture of electrical porcelain which requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques and raw materials, and has resulted in a product that is vastly superior to any other extra-high-voltage insulators presently available."

Development work an high-strength electrical porcelain was initiated at Victor Insulator about 1953 in anticipation of the needs of electrical utilities for extra-high-voltage switching and transmission applications.

The Insulators were tested in Italy in one of the few laboratories available in the world for testing in this voltage range.

The insulators were offered in the United States for 345,000 and 500,000-volt applications.

The Victor Insulator plant expanded in 1965 when a new concrete block, topped with colored steel siding building was added. It contains about 90,000 square feet of floor space.

This made Victor division the company’s largest industrial plant.

I-T-E Imperial Corp, is a manufacturer of equipment to connect, convey and control electric and fluid energy. It has extensive research, manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the United States and multiple operations In Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy and Australia.

The corporation employs about 12,000 persons, 225 of whom work at Victor Insulator.

Joseph Kaminski Jr. is presently manager of the Victor Insulators Division. In 1967 he succeeded Failmezger.

The Victor division was criticized in 1968 by the state for polluting Great Brook which runs through the village.

However, in 1970 the company installed a $35,000 disposal system for waste water treatment. In the operation of the facility waste water containing principally clay, flint and feldspar is mixed and treated with a measured amount of an organic polymer.

It takes the solids out of the water and they settle. The mixture is pumped in a large settling lagoon in which solid particles are now able to settle, leaving clear water to overflow into Great Brook.

Last December, the parent company, I-T-E Imperial, added electrical and electronic control systems, including automatic warehouse control systems to its line of products by acquiring a West Germany company.

Keywords:Locke Insulator Manufacturing Company : Victor Insulators, Incorporated : I-T-E Imperial Corporation
Researcher notes:The company's first name was not Locke Insulator Corp. Fred Locke simply sold under his name. The factory site on Maple Ave in Victor, NY was not established until the summer of 1898. In September 1902, he formed a company with the name Locke Insulator Manufacturing Co. Then in 1921 the name was changed to the Locke Insulator Corp. After the factory was closed in 1932, it was reopened in 1935 as Victor Insulators, Inc. and had several different owners and names after that. In 1984, the employees purchased the factor at Victor, NY and changed the name back to Victor Insulators, Inc.
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Elton Gish
Date completed:December 24, 2013 by: Elton Gish;