Textron Inc. history, company profile (overview) and corporate video
Textron Inc. is a conglomerate (a multi-industry company) headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, United States.
The company operates through the following business segments: Bell, Textron Aviation, Textron eAviation, Industrial, Textron Systems, and Finance. Its products are used by customers around the world, in a range of industries spanning aerospace and defense, specialized vehicles, turf care, and fuel systems.
Textron is recognized for its brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and others.
Textron was founded as a small textile company in 1923, when 27-year-old Royal Little founded the Special Yarns Corporation in Boston.
In 1938, Special Yarns Corporation changed its name to Atlantic Rayon.
In 1939, the company acquired a portion of an abandoned manufacturing plant in Lowell, Massachusetts.
During World War II, Atlantic Rayon Corporation was a major producer of parachutes and other textiles.
After the war, the company moved from producing parachutes to making lingerie, blouses, bed linens, and other consumer goods. To reflect the new business model and expanded product portfolio, Little changed the name of Atlantic Rayon Corporation to Textron – a combination of “Tex” from textiles and “tron” from synthetics.
In 1947, Textron was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1953, Textron purchased its first non-textile business, St. Louis-based Burkart Manufacturing Co., a supplier of cushioning materials to the automotive market.
In the 1950s, Textron acquired and entered new lines of business with small, incremental investments. Some of the more important businesses added were:
- Homelite – retained until 1994
- Camcar – retained until 2006
- CWC – Still a part of Textron today, CWC produces cast iron engine components.
At the end of 1960, Textron acquired the golf car manufacturer E-Z-GO and Textron Bell Aerospace – which included Bell Helicopter.
In the 1960s, the company acquired the watchband manufacturer Speidel; Sheaffer Pen; staple and nail gun maker Bostich; and Rhode Island-based silver company Gorham
In 1978, Textron acquired Jacobsen, which produced the world’s broadest lines of professional turf maintenance equipment and lawn care machinery.
In 1985, Textron acquired Connecticut-based AVCO Corporation, a conglomerate that played a major role in the Apollo missions of the 1960s and early 1970s. NASA chose AVCO to design and install the heat shield. AVCO pioneered the heat-resistant material that charred to form a protective coating and block the heat from penetrating the space capsule. Textron transitioned AVCO to Textron Defense Systems which evolved into today’s Textron Systems Weapons & Sensor Systems.
In 1986, Textron formed Textron Marine & Land Systems from a Bell Helicopter business. Textron Marine & Land Systems is a manufacturer of an extensive line of military security vehicles, including the COMMANDO™ family of four-wheeled armored vehicles, and marine craft. It was also chosen to produce the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC hovercraft) for the U.S. Navy.
In 1986, Textron also acquired Greenlee, a manufacturer of professional contractor tools.
In 1992, Textron acquired Cessna Aircraft Co., one of the leading companies in light and medium-sized commercial business jets. It also acquired Germany-based Kautex, a global fuel tank and system supplier to the automotive industry.
In 2006, the company acquired Overwatch Systems.
In 2007, the company acquired AAI. AAI and Overwatch Systems became part of Textron Systems.
In 2014, Textron acquired Beechcraft, forming a new business segment called Textron Aviation that includes three powerful brands: Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker.
With over 34.000 employees in more than 25 countries, Textron Inc. is considered one of the world’s best-known multi-industry companies. According to Forbes, it is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World.
*Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.textron.com.
**Video published on YouTube by “TextronInc“