It all began in 1937 when 20 year old Fred F. Ruland bought two screw machines at a junkyard for $50 each and merged the parts into a working unit. He ran the machine during the day in a loft of a textile mill at 40 Pleasant Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, which he rented for $20 per month.
At night he worked at the Waltham Watch Company to pay the bills. Ruland Valves Were Used on Spacesuits Ruland valve pressurizes suit of first American to walk in space. Soon thereafter, World War II loomed and the business became a full time job. By the time of Pearl Harbor in late 1941, there were 20 employees on three shifts. Military work included spring rings for .50 caliber machine guns and clamp-style shaft collars for bombsights and guidance instruments. Fred F. Ruland found tremendous satisfaction working to close tolerances and providing value added design work. This led to a reputation for innovation and precision along with many proprietary processes and patents. Tire Pump A familiar product from late 1940s.
After the war, all government work ceased and Ruland Manufacturing turned to civilian products, such as tire pumps, in an effort to survive while other "war babies" became business failures. Survive the Company did, but the emphasis was soon back to precision products. One such specialty was high pressure valves used in aerospace applications. This led to a proud moment when a Ruland valve pressurized the spacesuit of the first American to walk in space. Old Help Wanted Sign During WWII Help wanted in 1942.
Times have changed. In the mid-1970s the decision was made to devote all of our expertise to a product line, shaft collars and couplings. We had been making these products for nearly 40 years on a custom basis and had already developed a number of proprietary processes to ensure that they met applications needs. Soon, Ruland was known for having the best looking, best performing shaft collars and rigid couplings available. Innovation and careful manufacturing continued thereafter and more proprietary processes such as special surface treatments, anti-vibration coupling hardware, and precision honing were developed to improve product appearance and performance.
Product line expansion and a commitment to same day delivery led to a reputation for availability and service. Our commitment to the values which brought 70 years of excellence continues. In the past several years we have expanded our line of metric shaft collars and added metric rigid couplings, step bore rigid couplings, and motion control couplings. All of these products are thoughtfully designed and carefully made in the tradition that makes us proud.