Ceramic Industry

Norton Celebrates 125th Anniversary

June 25, 2010

The 125th anniversary of the founding of Norton Co. and the establishment of the company’s manufacturing operations in Worcester, Mass., were celebrated at special employee events at Saint-Gobain's Greendale campus in Worcester. Three employee barbecues-one for each production shift-took place to mark the anniversary. More than 1100 employees attended the event, where speeches were given by John Jeppson, II, grandson of one of the company founders and past president of Norton Co.; Worcester City Manager Michael O'Brien; John Crowe, president of Saint-Gobain’s worldwide Abrasives business; and Mark Rayfield, vice president of Saint-Gobain Abrasives North America.

“Throughout our historical ups and downs, the company has endured,” said John Crowe, president of Saint-Gobain Abrasives. “That’s because our employees have always figured out how to meet the challenge of the day, made hard decisions, and brought about the changes that have been necessary to keep our businesses successful. We prosper because it’s in our DNA. It is commitment and a determination that new employees learn from more experienced people and then pass along to the people who follow.”

The company used the occasion to announce the first North American donation of its new international Initiatives Foundation, which makes charitable donations to organizations that support building renovation, energy efficiency, and environmental performance of low-cost housing. Rayfield presented a check to representatives of Matthew 25, a Worcester-based organization that rehabilitates abandoned homes and then rents the properties to low-income families. The Saint-Gobain donation of nearly $53,000 will be used renovate a home on Benefit Terrace in Worcester.

For more information, visit www.saint-gobain.com.