MOR Company History
HISTORY OF THE MOR TIME-SAVINGS EQUIPMENT COMPANY
The story of the Moore Company is a classic tale of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship that spans the better part of a century. Like thousands of similar stories across the tapestry of business in this country, it began from humble beginnings, almost accidentally. There was no “grand plan” or visions of grandeur at the outset. The company evolved in fits of growth fired by truly brilliant inventions that filled a strong desire by rug cleaners to add a higher level of efficiency and productivity to their business. All through this journey, what its founders and employees brought to bear was unmistakable grit and energy. There was risk-taking, trial and error, financial tribulations, and finally, unmistakable success.
The process of building this history
Some of the description here has come from information found in the archives of company paperwork. Much of it has also been gleaned from speaking with Ron Moore, the son of the Arthur Moore, one of the two brothers who started the company. What’s here to start with is brief and admittedly incomplete. This part of our website will be under continual expansion and refinement as we learn and include more of the story.
Join us in documenting this history with your stories!
Please play a part in helping to flush out this fascinating story. If you have played a role in the company’s history—as an employee, contractor, vendor, business associate or as one of its many customers, your stories, anecdotes, experiences, reflections, along with any pictures, drawings or other visuals will add a wonderful richness to this timeline. Soon, we will add functionality to this website to allow our visitors to get involved directly. Until then, please contact us with your input. Send an e-mail to Howard Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-652-8778.
THE COMPANY’S INCEPTION: A BRIEF HISTORY
This narrative has been authored by Tom Monahan, co-founder of Centrum Force and owner of the Moore Time-Savings Equipment Company
It was the first week in February 1930 that the Moore brothers, Arthur and Gregg, innocently purchased a small dry cleaning business doing approximately $30,000 per year, and with long hours and hard work succeeded in one year in bringing sales volume down to $24,000. That was not what you would call encouraging or good sales promotion either. Two things were desperately wrong. The depression was on plus the sad fact the Moores had never been inside a dry cleaning plant before.
From then on you could laugh or cry; either was always in order. To describe all that happened would require words like “Blood,” “Thunder,” “Backache,’ “Headache,” “Red ink,” etc.
They were inspired by the facts that Rome was not built in a day and neither do men get horse sense pounded in their head in a day.
Well time moved on and forever paying for mistakes and blunders began having effect. The year 1936 finally arrived. Six long years were now survived. Moore’s were actually worth less than at the beginning. The remark was nonetheless made: This was encouraging indeed. Why? Although the material wealth was less, there were two things more abundant; thicker skin and courage.
Following the year, 1936 saw great events take place.
1. The old banking contact grew tired of relationships and a new bank with a kind and fatherly touch took the almost defunct business under its sheltering wing to nurse it back to life.
2. A partnership was incorporated in order to sell stock to pay a mortgage in order to again mortgage to acquire another loan. Sounds more like friction than fiction, but it worked and believe it or not, for everybody’s good.
From this new loan a new and more modern plant was built. 1936 was the beginning of new days; days of progress, days of steady growth.
It was following the above new venture that Moores began to see the field of rug cleaning. After all that happened during the past, most any diversion would look welcomed. So the conclusion was made, why not rugs?’
The first real adventure in rug cleaning equipment occurred on that notable day, when in the absence of Arthur Moore, Gregg Moore (His brother and partner) made a purchase of a new small model rotary brush scrubbing machine for $150.00. To spend the sum of $150.00 without consultation was something the average individual would never have dared to do in that day. Even this worked out for the good of all as it proved to be a great launch into the business. Even if the cleaning performed by this device was only done on the surface with no rinse, it was a start.
A few years later attention then went out to automatic equipment. A new rug plant was built on Sterling Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana. This was on the same property where their dry cleaning facility was operating.
To address the business challenge before the brothers, a small automatic washer and conveyor were installed. Everything was set for the “grand take-off” to produce volumes of revenue. Everything was fine except one important thing. Ron recalls, “Production was simply not possible.” The equipment could only process ten rugs per hour. For an automatic machine this was not acceptable. In itself, this would never make the new venture profitable. The company founders were faced with another ‘red ink operation’. They pondered, what could be done? No equipment existed that could do it better. Their situation caused them to conceive of a system of equipment that would furnish a high-speed rug cleaning production line. Ideas and machinery built to lift Moore’s out of an impossible situation was soon to lift many others in the years to come!
Looking through the rug cleaner’s eyes and standing in others shoes has been the policy at Moore’s.
Many new ideas were forthcoming.
In 1949 Cecil Treadway heard about Arthur Moore building an automated rug washer in Elkhart Indiana. Mr. Treadway owned Boushelle’s Rug Cleaning in Chicago Illinois. When Mr. Treadway visited Moore’s facility in Elkhart, he immediately wanted Arthur Moore to build him an automated rug washer too. Later in 1949 he did so and the rest is history. That was the beginning of the Moore operation that would explode into an international company, making it the number one rug washing equipment manufacturer in the world.
They made Dusters, Washers, Wringers, Conveyor and Dry Room Equipment, and Rolling and Wrapping Machines. We have designs for over 50 models of machines that they built. MOR also supplied rebuilt and used machinery and a complete line of equipment supplies. Their slogan was, “Get rugs MOR clean through automation”.