In 1905, James H. McGill moved his Crescent Company from Chicago, IL to Valparaiso, IN to manufacture the Crescent Company products for the electrical industry which included wire guards for lamps, cord spools, sockets and coloring fluid for incandescent light bulbs.   

In 1910 the company was changed to McGill Manufacturing Company and the McGill® LEVOLIER® pull switch was developed. The LEVOLIER switch became synonymous with quality among electrical wholesalers and contractors and McGill Manufacturing Company became a major producer of switches for a multitude of electrical products including washers, dryers, ovens, fans, power tools, blenders, and more.

During that same year McGill Manufacturing Company acquired a nonferrous foundry to produce permanent mold, sand, and hydraulic pressure castings of aluminum bronze. The McGill Metal Company developed a line of bronze retainers for ball bearings and sold them to the Strom Bearing Company of Chicago, Illinois, who in turn sold them to premium automobile manufactures. The initial production of bearings bore the Shubert name, but in late 1926 all bearings produced were marketed under the McGill Manufacturing Company name. In 1924 Strom sold the bearings business, and a group of ex-Strom employees moved to Valparaiso. Led by Mr. Frank Shubert in 1925, the group persuaded McGill to produce the former Strom bearings under the Shubert name, and by the end of 1926 McGill Manufacturing produced and marketed a line of McGill ball bearings.

The first roller bearing cam follower was invented in 1935, and the design's now well known trademark became associated with the company's CAMROL®  bearings offering. Innovation continued over the years, yielding a varied portfolio of McGill bearing designs still sold in today’s marketplace. Global recognition of our well-known brands has earned the McGill bearing products a reputation for being a source of quality precision bearings.

In 1990, the McGill Manufacturing Company was acquired by Emerson Electric Company and became part of Emerson Power Transmission Corporation. The McGill Electrical Division was merged with Emerson’s Appleton Electric Division and continues to exist today under the Emerson umbrella.

In 2015, Emerson Power Transmission Corporation (also known as Power Transmission Solutions) was acquired by Regal Beloit Corporation.


McGill Article

Learn more about James H. McGill and the McGill® Company courtesy of Porter County Museum and the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.






Article copyrighted - Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce - 2019

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