Simmons Engineering Inc. and Simmons Slicing Knife Company are founded by Harry Gustafson, Sr. Simmons Engineering Inc. begins producing bread slicing blades while Simmons Slicing Knife Company markets consumer cutlery. Both companies utilize the same production facilities in Barrington, IL while Gustafson, Sr. rents office space at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago to coordinate sales efforts and administrative duties.
Harry Gustafson, Sr. passes away. His widow, Gertrude, and son, Harry Gustafson, Jr., begin rebuilding Simmons by consolidating its office and production facilities, relocating both to a single facility in Evanston, IL.
Welded-to-length Scallop edge blades become popular for band slicing of bread. Consequently, Simmons Slicing Knife Company’s assets are sold off.
Simmons relocates from Evanston to a new facility in Mount Prospect, IL.
Harry Gustafson, Jr. authorizes a 5,000 sq. ft. addition to Simmons’ production facility, allowing him to build new production lines to address the need for other blade edges.
Simmons builds its first hard edging machine, paving the way for the reciprocating blades used on bread slicing machines which are still sold today.
Harry Gustafson, Jr. authorizes a second 5,000 sq. ft. addition to Simmons’ Mount Prospect location to accommodate its growing business.
Simmons starts producing Wide Knife edge blades, which are primarily used in foam fabrication.
Bruce Gillilan, son-in-law of Harry Gustafson, Jr., joins the Simmons’ team.
Simmons opens a subsidiary, Simmons Knife & Saw Company, in Santa Fe Springs, California.
Simmons develops its unique Tru-Trak® process for its premium Wide Knife blades and registers it for a trademark.
Gertrude Gustafson passes away, leaving Harry Gustafson, Jr. as the sole stock owner of Simmons.
Harry Gustafson, Jr. shifts his role to Chairman of the Board of Directors and appoints Bruce Gillilan as the new President of Simmons Engineering Inc.
Simmons purchases and relocates to a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Wheeling, IL.
Simmons Engineering Corporation becomes ISO 9001 certified.
Bruce, and his wife Marta, purchase Simmons from Harry Gustafson, Jr. They become the third-generation owners in Marta’s family.
Colin Murphy, son-in-law of Bruce Gillilan, joins the Simmons team as Vice President/General Manager.
Simmons introduces a new generation of CNC grinders, allowing faster throughput and tighter tolerances in blade production.
Multiple government agencies recognize Simmons’ continual increase in export sales with a series of awards, including the Export Achievement Award, the President’s E Award, the 2014 Illinois Small Business Exporter of the Year award, and the 2014 Governor’s Export Award.
Simmons Engineering Corporation is rebranded as Simmons Knife & Saw and relocates to a new facility in Glendale Heights, IL.
The new facility doubles manufacturing floor space, making room for multiple new production lines.
Colin Murphy and his wife, Kara, purchase Simmons from Kara’s parents, Bruce & Marta Gillilan. They become the fourth generation to own and operate Simmons.
Simmons continues to focus on its core values of Respect, Integrity, Passion, and Positive Attitude as it navigates through the complexities of a global pandemic and recessions. During these challenging times, Simmons continues to add employees and invest in new, more efficient machinery.