In 1936, a young engineer with an entrepreneurial spirit began a specialty machine shop in Philadelphia. Among his early clients was the Pitcairn Autogiro Company in Willow Grove. This young engineer was none other than George M. Pfundt, founder of General Machine Products, pictured here in Washington DC alongside the flying machine (AC-35 Autogyro) that used his precision machined parts.
However, it was the local Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania who approached GMP to make components for their line construction work. This partnership would prove to be the future destiny for the fledgling engineering and manufacturing company. Following his early success with Bell of PA. George Pfundt began offering his specialty services to other utility companies, notably Philadelphia Electric Co. On the recommendation of a Bell of PA buyer, George was introduced to buyers at the Western Electric Company, and so began GMP’s eventual specialization in the utility construction field.
Soon GMP expanded their production shop providing space to begin manufacturing telecom industry equipment and components. At the same time, they were producing equipment for a vast number of clients, doing contract manufacturing of new developments for the war effort, most notably the Link Trainer, an early flight simulator for the US Army Air Corps and Navy.
George’s close relationship with Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. led him to begin designing and manufacturing experimental prototypes for new products that could be used within the Bell System.
In the 1940’s, GMP’s relationship with the Bell Telephone Company was flourishing. In collaboration with engineers from the Bell Labs, GMP pioneered the modern cable lashing machine—a true innovation— to bind telephone cables with the messenger wire in the placing of aerial cable.
The invention was groundbreaking, subsequently establishing General Machine Products as the telephone industry standard in cable lashing technology. Since the cable lasher’s inception, GMP has produced, sold, and repaired over 30,000 lashing machines.
By 1956, business was booming; telephone lines stretched from coast to coast and the first ever Trans-Atlantic submarine telephone cable had just been laid by AT&T, the parent company of the Bell System. Having outgrown the original factory building, GMP found a new home in Trevose, PA (a Philadelphia suburb), and built a 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant. By 1957 in their new factory at this point, GMP was producing over 500 telephone line construction tools, many of which are still in use today.
GMP continues to operate out of Trevose, PA, and is led by George M. Pfundt’s grandson, William. GMP is recognized as a premier worldwide supplier of specialty tools and equipment for the telecom marketplace. The company’s 800+ products are known for their robust design and durability, capable of withstanding years of frequent use by professionals who know them as the “tools of the trade.”
Visit www.gmptools.com learn more about the equipment trusted by thousands of telecom technicians every day!