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P&Q Corridor of Fame Profile: Louis W. Johnson


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Mar 22, 2024
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Louis Johnson


Crushing. Screening. Transportable processing.

Louis Johnson, the founding father of El-Jay Manufacturing who launched the Rollercone curler bearing cone crusher and the triple-shaft horizontal display screen greater than a half-century in the past, made an impression on all these crucial business areas. The tools Johnson introduced ahead stays extremely related at present.

“Mr. Johnson’s innovations and corporations helped to revolutionize the aggregate-processing business – particularly transportable aggregate-processing tools,” says Cade Seeley, director of buying at Kimball Gear Co.”

For example, earlier than the Rollercone, bushing-style cones just like the Symons had much less of a rival.

“His was the primary that used curler bearings,” Seeley says of Johnson’s Rollercone. “In case your cone’s correctly maintained, then these curler bearings can final infinitely. The profit is that they final so much longer than a bushing model. The downside is the expense of getting to repair them.”

That a number of of at present’s tools producers supply a model of Johnson’s crusher is a testomony to the effectiveness of his mannequin.

“The Cedarapids MVP cones are curler bearing crushers, and so are the JCI Kodiaks,” says Seeley, including that Kimball Gear a long time in the past was the second vendor to symbolize El-Jay Manufacturing. “Additionally, Superior’s Dakota is a curler bearing cone crusher.”

Johnson’s triple-shaft horizontal display screen stays an business staple, as properly.

“Superior makes it,” Seeley says. “Trio, which is now Weir, makes it – as does JCI. McLanahan makes one. Each ConExpo, any individual else is making one.”

The early years​

El-Jay Manufacturing was not only instrumental in the advancement of crushing, but screening as well. Photo: Susan Moorhead

El-Jay Manufacturing was not solely instrumental within the development of crushing, however screening as properly. Photograph: Susan Moorhead

Whereas Susan Moorhead, the final residing little one of Louis Johnson, isn’t acquainted with the intricacies of the tools El-Jay Manufacturing produced, she had the distinctive expertise of rising up across the firm and seeing her father in motion.

Now 70, Moorhead says her father and grandfather acquired a gravel pit in Glenwood, Oregon, close to Eugene within the late Thirties. The 2 centered on producing gravel – not equipment, on the time – however Johnson realized the right way to work on rock crushers from producers like Symons and Telsmith.

After World Conflict II broke out, Johnson joined the Navy. His dream of creating a crusher of his personal, nonetheless, was manifesting.

“Whereas he was within the Navy, he began to think about what design he may be capable to provide you with,” Moorhead says.

Alongside his spouse Anne – a Navy veteran herself whom Johnson met throughout the warfare – a enterprise was established in Eugene.

“Mother labored alongside him,” Moorhead says. “Their condominium was part of the constructing. You walked out the condominium door, and there was the workplace.”

Reflecting on the previous, Moorhead says she realizes her dad and mom’ enterprise had develop into a profitable one within the Nineteen Sixties.

“It in all probability was in 1965, says Moorhead, recollecting how El-Jay licensed an organization in France to construct El-Jay tools. “My father went over in 1965 and spent about six weeks with them. The next 12 months, our household went over for the summer time. He labored with the folks in Grenoble, France.”

As Moorhead describes, her father was a tireless employee.

“He began working younger, and he labored exhausting,” she says. “He solely knew exhausting work. That was simply a part of the fiber of his being. And so, he labored till he died. He was 91.”

Johnson’s later years​

Louis Johnson, right, discusses features of El-Jay Manufacturing’s Rollercone roller bearing cone crusher with ESCO’s Bob Anderson. Photo: Susan Moorhead

Louis Johnson, proper, discusses options of El-Jay Manufacturing’s Rollercone curler bearing cone crusher with ESCO’s Bob Anderson. Photograph: Susan Moorhead

After promoting El-Jay Manufacturing within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, Johnson took on just a few different ventures. Moorhead says he began an organization known as JLB alongside his son, Bruce.

“They constructed the Ultracone cone crusher,” she says.

By 1984, Johnson was on to a different enterprise involving one thing utterly completely different.

“He began what was known as Fore-Ward Golf,” says Moorhead, including that her dad was an avid golfer. “He had provide you with an thought of fabricating customized golf golf equipment. That they had a swing machine the place the person’s swing was analyzed. Then, the membership was customized fitted to him.”

Whereas the idea was cutting-edge, Moorhead says the enterprise didn’t show viable. Later in life, Johnson ventured into crushing one ultimate time with a enterprise known as Sturdy Crushers.

“My reminiscence is that began in 2004,” Moorhead says. “He known as [the crusher] the Duracone. He did get a patent for the Duracone.”

In all, Johnson earned greater than 50 patents. And he makes clear in his memoir that his success and happiness very a lot derived from his spouse.

“He held her in excessive regard, each as a spouse and as an individual for her talents and contributions,” Moorhead says. “He talked about in his memoir how he so appreciated her willingness to let him do what he wished to do [and] that she didn’t ever reign him in.”

Featured picture: Susan Moorhead

Associated: P&Q Corridor of Fame Profile: Charles S. Luck IV​

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