AMHoF 2016 Inductees

AMHofF Image #2 Better one

The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame (AMHoF) has announced the 2016 Inductees of the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame at Housatonic Community College.  The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame celebrates the innovative history of American manufacturing,  raises funds for educational programs, and promotes awareness of Advanced Manufacturing, which is critical to the economy.


The new inductees will formally join the AMHoF in a ceremony on October 6, 2016 at the Trumbull Marriott, beginning at 5:30 pm. All are welcome to join the celebration. More information about attending and/or supporting the event can be obtained by contacting Emily Hyde at or (203) 249-9859. For more information about the AMHoF, please contact Dan Wisneski at



Bead Industries                                                                                 

Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Co.                          

Platt Brothers & Co.

C. Cowles & Co.                                                       

Chance Vought


Bead Industries, was formed in 1914 to design, develop and create innovative electrical chain pull switches for the electrical business.  Today, Bead is a leader in the telecom, automotive, connector, and lighting industries.  The company’s original product, the bead chain, is still used on vertical blinds, securing gas tank and other marine parts, window treatments, inside toilets and other plumbing fixtures, keychains for dog tags, and many other products.


Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Company, began in 1812 in Waterbury, Connecticut. As the US went to war with England, founder Aaron Benedict realized that soldiers and sailors needed uniform buttons, but England would obviously no longer supply them. Benedict bought up every brass kettle, pan, and pot he could find, established a rolling mill, and began making buttons for the armed forces.  The business that Aaron began, right here in the CT valley, was the start of the brass industry in the United States.


Platt Bros. and Co. history Platt Bros. goes back over 200 years, when a grist and saw mill were established on the Naugatuck River, in Waterbury, Connecticut. Around 1847, the Platt Bros. became innovative in their design and manufacture of rolled zinc products and metal buttons. The Platt’s began producing stampings and drawn eyelet components about 1875.  Today, the Platt Bros. manufacture in such diversified markets as lighting accessories, communications, aerospace, sensing devices, control valves, primary and after-market automotive components, and electronics.


Cowles & Co. was founded in New Haven, Connecticut over 175 years ago. The company has evolved from a manufacturer of lanterns for horse drawn carriages to a world-class, precision metal stamping company, producing components for U.S. and Japanese automakers.  Today, with five operating divisions, C. Cowles has diversified into plastic injection molding, automotive accessories, boiler controls as well as burners, controls and ignitors for the heating industry.


Chance Vought founder, Chance M. Vought, had energy and vision as aircraft designer, engineer, builder, and company founder. He created a tradition of innovation and performance excellence that became the heritage of all who created and built Vought aircraft.  Their Corsair, powered, by the 2,000-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, flew at 404 miles per hour, faster than any U.S. fighter in production. The classic airplane would stay in continuous production until December 1952, by which time 12,571 had been built. The speed, strength, and firepower of the Chance Vought F4U Corsair enabled it to dominate Japanese opposition, downing 2,140 enemy aircraft against a loss of 189.


Last year, acting under the Housatonic Community College Foundation, the AMHoF helped raise funds that directly contributed to 18 scholarships for students at the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center at Housatonic Community College. The Center prepares students for advanced manufacturing jobs through a rigorous certification program. Last year the Center placed 100% of its certificate students in advanced manufacturing jobs. The certified students starting salaries were $30,000 and higher. As a result, the final funding of the 18 scholarships by the AMHoF resulted in more than $550,000 in income directly injected into the local economy.


The face of the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame is Founding Chairman John Ratzenberger. The actor and manufacturing advocate is best known as the colorful mailman on the TV show “Cheers,” and as the voice of multiple characters in all of the Pixar animated films. Currently, Ratzenberger is the Chief Advisor for Industrialization at Elite Aviation Products, a company that makes aviation products for the likes of Boeing and NASA. Ratzenberger was born in Bridgeport and has a home in Milford. Ratzenberger founded the AMHoF with Barbara and Carl Johnson and a group of local volunteers to call attention to the rich heritage of American manufacturing while raising money to train the next generation of the advanced manufacturing workforce.


On October 6th the AMHoF will celebrate the great companies being inducted and, at the same time, support the growth of the next generation of a much needed skilled manufacturing workforce. Each inductee will receive a custom-made award that is created by Platt Tech students using the advanced manufacturing techniques they have learned in their coursework. Each inductee will also have a custom three-minute video made that will illustrate its accomplishments that will be shown at the event. The evening is billed as THE night for manufacturing, both past and present.