HAGER HILL, Ky.—Atlantic India Rubber Co. has come full circle since its founding as a rubber product manufacturer in 1919 by Charles O. Moore.
A veteran of 20 years in the rubber industry, Moore aimed to serve smaller users of industrial rubber products, rather than big companies. His idea was to develop an extensive catalog so complete that design and production engineers at smaller companies could use it as a reference and handbook for industrial rubber products.
Moore opened Atlantic India Rubber Works Inc.'s factory in Chicago, later moved to a new, larger facility just southwest of Chicago's loop, and founded a plant in Goshen, Ind.—a city once renown as the birthplace of small rubber product companies. The Chicago building hosted Atlantic India's executive and sales offices and focused on die-cutting, trimming, sheet rubber cutting and fabricating. The Goshen operation did milling, molding and extruding.
Together the facilities manufactured bumpers, bushings, corks, grommets, vacuum cups, washers and rings, tubing and extrusions and other items.
Ultimately the firm abandoned production and morphed into a distributor, but under Jim Green's ownership and future owners Irene and David Morris' management, revived its rubber manufacturing origin.
The unusual name, as President Irene Morris explains it, came from the source of the rubber the company used—India. “They would put all that rubber gum on a boat and ship it across the Atlantic Ocean,” she said, hence the name, acknowledging the material's origin and transport.
She said people still ask about the name. “A lot of people ask if we are in India, or get our stuff from India,” Irene Morris said. “Nope, I tell them we make most of it right here.”