Essex Industries began as a family
affair 70 years ago in Saint Louis. Returning
home from his service in World War II, Harold Guller recognized a business
opportunity in jet aircraft—a new mode of transportation back in 1947. In his father’s basement, he developed and
sold a Radio Noise Filter for the F-214. Harold’s brother Sidney did accounting for the business while earning his
degree and then he joined the company.
That first product laid the foundation for the company’s
future. Decades later, Essex offers a wide
variety of Platform Controls, including hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS)
grips, control wheels and weapons system officer (WSO) hand controllers for
fixed-wing, rotary and land combat vehicles. The company manufactures thousands of Aircraft Components to meet
demanding applications, such as hydraulic, pneumatic, fuel and anti-gravity
valves, hydraulic pulsation dampeners and flame arrestors. This expertise has made Essex a part of
virtually every major military and commercial aerospace program since 1947.
Essex entered the cryogenics market in 1963, with designs
and the capability to manufacture liquid oxygen (LOX) converters, a highly
efficient method of oxygen storage and delivery. Originally used by aircraft pilots and crew,
this technology has readily transferred to air and ground-based medical
life support equipment. Essex has
provided over 100,000 new LOX systems for military and commercial applications,
ranging from a 5 Liter Converter to the new 500 Gallon LOX Trailer.
In 1991, Essex acquired the Portable Breathing and Rescue
Products Division from The DuPont® Corporation, which enhanced the company’s
offering of Emergency Breathing Equipment. Thousands of units are in service worldwide, with Essex smokehoods
standard equipment for the United States Air Force, all major domestic airlines
as well as many international commercial and military fleets.
Essex has also established a significant presence in the
US healthcare market by supplying oxygen regulators for patients. Essex premium and integrated regulators are
engineered to be safe, durable and easy to use in homecare, hospital, clinic
and emergency response applications. High
quality standards have made Essex regulators a preferred product for major OEMs
and gas companies throughout the world.
Today, seventy years after it was
founded, Essex remains family owned and operated. Sidney Guller is still active in the company
as Chairman of the Board. Second
generation Keith Guller serves as CEO and Mickey Waldman is President. Five members of the third generation are also
currently engaged in the business.
The company’s commitment and leadership
extends outward to the Saint Louis community. The Guller Foundation, the charitable arm of Essex Industries,
contributes to scholarships at the Olin Business School, research at Barnes
Jewish Hospital and many other worthwhile causes. Members of the executive team
are active in organizations that include the National Kidney Foundation, ALS
Association, Boys Scouts of America, National Defense Industry Association
(NDIA) and Association of the United States Army (AUSA).
Today, Essex employs over 250 people in
Saint Louis, serving local, national and international customers, both military