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How Do You Make That Hose?

You likely use things made with the help of my maternal grandfather’s patent every day. From cars to jet airliners, from garden hoses to welding torches, reinforced hose is used. You need an inner layer that stands up to whatever flows through the hose, you need a reinforcing layer to keep the hose from bulging and bursting under pressure, and you need an outer coating to protect the hose from the external environment. So, how do you make that? Therein lies a tale.

F. Merrill Galloway was my maternal grandfather. Born in 1908, he went home at 95. He worked his entire adult life until the Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) or mini-strokes ended his ability to work in his late 80s. He worked with both his hands and his mind, from his garden, to clocks, to rebuilding a violin from broken pieces in a cigar box. Then there was the work that paid the bills and in which he took enormous pride.

He worked in the rubber industry his entire adult life. He was hired after college by Quaker Rubber, which was eventually bought by H.K Porter, which is now part of HBD Industries. He was moved to Ohio to establish a continuous hose production plant. The manufacturing plants in which he worked made hoses and belts, of the sort found in a car’s engine compartment, for instance. These are now organized under one of the venerable brand names: Thermoid. Into the plant came raw materials, and out the other end went finished products on pallets.

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