Thermcraft Founder Crafton Dies at 93
Crafton continued to drive himself to work well into his 92nd year, making mail runs and performing various other tasks.
Thermcraft has announced that its founder, Morris L. Crafton, passed away recently at the age of 93. Nearly 50 years ago, in January 1971, Crafton and his wife Clara reportedly founded Thermcraft on the principal of providing the best customer service available in the thermal processing industry.
Crafton served in the United States Navy during WWII. When he returned home, he attended Wingate College and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. After college, he was called again to serve his country during the Korean War.
His military service complete, Crafton eventually moved his family to Washington, Pa., where he managed a popcorn territory. He distributed popcorn machines and the consumables that went along with them. During his time in Pennsylvania, he also became a partner in a business that manufactured replacement heating elements for industrial and laboratory furnaces.
At the age of 45, Crafton took a big risk and decided to start his own company. With the full support of Clara, they secured a small warehouse in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., and began making replacement heating elements for industrial and laboratory furnace applications. Crafton handled the manufacturing duties, while Clara managed the financial and administrative tasks.
Thermcraft moved a few miles south to its current facility on the edge of Winston-Salem in 1979. Through new product development and various acquisitions, the Craftons began to grow Thermcraft into the company it is today.
Crafton lost Clara to cancer in 1995. He eventually turned the reigns of Thermcraft over to his son Tom, but that didn’t stop him from being involved in the day-to-day business. Crafton continued to drive himself to work well into his 92nd year, making mail runs and performing various other tasks. He enjoyed a daily walk through the factory, talking to his employees and staying on top of what was going on within his company.
Thermcraft’s website is located at www.thermcraftinc.com.