Leslie Controls, Inc. History
Leslie Controls manufactures steam valves, water pressure valves and regulators and has for more than 100 years, proudly equipping United States Navy ships during World War I and World War II. As the product line grew through the decades, the company expanded considerably, but the core business remained, providing the basis for the most diverse and innovative control valves in the world.
Leslie Controls, Inc. Facts:
- Founded: 1905
- Years Operated: 1905 – present
- Headquarters: Tampa, Florida
- Business: High pressure valves
- Asbestos Trust: Yes
- Bankruptcy Status: Filed July 12, 2010. Reorganization confirmed Jan. 10, 2011
Unfortunately for the company and its employees, Leslie’s pumps, gaskets, pipe parts and steam valves all were manufactured using asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that causes a variety of health issues for those exposed to it. Asbestos once was so valued for its ability to control heat and to insulate. It was not only strong, versatile and available but also toxic, which became well known by the early 1970s.
John Leslie of Canada started the company in 1905, and the first product he advertised was a steam-powered snowplow for railroad locomotives. His first manufacturing plant was in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, where it began serving a variety of utility and industrial customers. Leslie is now based in Tampa, Florida, where it operates a 150,000-square-foot facility.
Leslie was purchased in 1990 by Watt Industries, one of the largest independent valve manufacturers in the world. It provided a more global marketplace for the Leslie fluid control products. Today, it is a subsidiary of CIRCOR. With more than 100 manufacturers nationwide, Leslie serves oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, commercial marine and military marine markets everywhere.
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