In 1851, George Taylor and David Kendall began making thermometers and barometers in Rochester, New York. Their firm was called Kendall and Taylor and started with a single rented room above the Post Drug Store at 4 Exchange Street.
David Kendall brought technical expertise to the business as his father had founded a thermometer company (possibly the first in the United States) in 1820 in New Lebanon, New York. George Taylor brought a flair for selling and marketing. Although their skills complemented each other, after only two years the partnership ended. David then went off on his own to manufacture barometers.
The original business was focused only on the weather. It quickly expanded into other applications in 1855 with mantel, churn, distillers’ and brewers’ thermometers; starting Taylor’s long legacy serving the process industries.
Frank Taylor, George’s brother had his own thermometer company with partner and cousin Hamlet Richardson. The businesses merged in 1871. Then in 1872, Hamlet left the business for health reasons and it was renamed Taylor Brothers. It was organized as a partnership until 1890 when it was incorporated and became Taylor Brothers Corporation.
In 1904 the company announced the purchase of land and plans to build a much larger factory far from downtown Rochester on Ames Street. They began operations at the new plant in 1906 and would remain there until 1992. Today the site has gone through extensive environmental remediation required after years of thermometer production.
Even in its early years, Taylor had been involved in many acquisitions including a controls company called Davis & Roesch Temperature Controlling Company. In 1907, Taylor consolidated and reorganized itself into Taylor Instrument Companies and began using the trade name Tycos. This trade name was used exclusively until 1932 in which the Taylor name was then used.
The company had a long history of technical innovation and investment. This commitment was evident early in its history when it started what is believed to be the first R&D; department in the American instrument industry in 1911.
Taylor also had a major impact on America’s success in both world wars. In WW I, it made about 99% of all altitude barometers (altimeters) used by the United States. They also made airplane stratascopes, inclinometers, and oxygen systems for pilots. The war also resulted in a large operation making compasses that would continue for many years.
In WW II, Taylor was the prime process instrumentation contractor for the Manhattan Project’s gaseous diffusion plant.
Perhaps Taylor’s most remembered contribution to automation occurred in 1941, when two Taylor employees John Ziegler and Nathanial Nichols developed a defined method for tuning controllers. They presented their method in a paper they gave to an ASME meeting that year. Their method was linked to the development and success of the Fullscope 100, the first controller with true PID functionality.
Taylor’s more modern era was marked by mergers and continued technological innovation. In 1968, Taylor Instruments merged with Ritter Pfaudler Corporation, a Rochester-based manufacturer of medical, dental and water processing equipment and supplies. This resulted in a holding company called Sybron Corporation.
Close Up of Vignette:
Convertible Subordinated Debenture Bond, issued in the 1960’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: NY-New York Subject Matter: Instruments and Controls Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured
| Allegorical Truth
| Winged Wheel or Gear
| Skyline Scene Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, toning and edge faults from age.