Headquartered in the Boston area, American Biltrite Inc. began as a small family-owned enterprise when Miah Marcus and Frank Bernstein jointly founded the Ewell Rubber Company in Trenton, NJ.
Two years after its founding, Ewell Rubber’s business was brisk enough to warrant the addition of a second manufacturing facility, known as Panther Rubber Mfg. Co., in Stoughton, Massachusetts
Panther Rubber Co. (PANCO) purchased the plant in Sherbrooke for the sum of $2,500 (former Iron Works plant that is now the press department) and had 27 employees during the first year of its existence. Originally, rubber soles and heels were manufactured for the footwear industry. The expansion to Canada in 1913 was successful in conquering the local footwear industry. This gave rise to the current firm, American Biltrite, located at 200 Bank St., in Sherbrooke.
The production facility in Trenton, NJ was expanded and revamped to produce Amtico Rubber Flooring, giving birth to the American Tile and Rubber Company. From the production of rubber floorings, the company later established additional facilities to manufacture vinyl floorings, eventually becoming the world’s largest
producer of floorings made with both materials.
The Panther Rubber Co. plant started
manufacturing rubber flooring. At that time, this
was considered to be one of the most serious
factors in the industrial development of the Townships.
The company had approximately 90 employees; the average salary ranged from $0.25 to
$0.35/hour (minimum of $0.13/hr and maximum of $0.50/hr). The weekly payroll was
approximately $1,400 and the average number of hours worked was 55 to 60 hours/week.
Pressed vinyl tiles production started
Rubber tile production started.
As if to signal the arrival of exponential growth and the ascension to global leadership in its markets, the company changed its name in 1951, adopting the corporate title “American Biltrite Rubber Company.” Under this banner, American Biltrite moved forward during the 1950s, recording resolute growth as the postwar rebirth of the nation’s economy invigorated manufacturing industries across the country
Approximately $600,000 invested to build a new building
Started production of rubber flooring; a revolutionary product.
Rotocure production started.
Work was undertaken to expand the plant, almost doubling the surface area.
American Biltrite became a publicly traded company, making its initial stock offering in April 1959
Started fire hose production which continued on until 1982 when the line was sold to Niedner in the United States. A $2,000,000 expansion program to build the second part of the V.A. Line (Duravinyl department).
Production started on vinyl tiles in the Duravinyl / Amtico (V.A. line) department.
Started to manufacture Sheet Rubber product.
Started the production of mud flaps.
$1,000,000 invested to start manufacturing rubber cove base for the flooring market.
Production started on vinyl composition tile (VCT).
Duravinyl production in 12-inch width for the year was equal to 198,000 km long.
Launch of the Fortress Color-thru and Granite Marathon tile collections, in addition to the Durasport and the rubber dissipating under-padding (static control).
Launch of high abrasion resistant sheet rubber sheet (Dura-Shield).
Marathon product line is launched; become first flooring manufacturer to be ISO 9000 certified in North America.
Investment of $4,000,000 for various improvements to the plant.
Development and production of sheet rubber flooring (Oasis – new product) primarily for health care institutions.
A 100,000-square-foot distribution centre opened on Pépin St. in Sherbrooke at a cost of $5.5 million.
Introduction of the Mirra commercial flooring collection.
Import of vinyl tiles from China started. Stonescape flooring listed as one of the ten most innovative environmentally-friendly construction materials in 2004 (launch).
Introduction of Transeal, premium nitrile for transformer gaskets.
Logos for flooring division revamped.
Launch of BLAST Sheet Rubber, for ballistic applications.
Introduction of ABPure, the new rubber flooring line with superior colorfastness.
Introduction of Sonata LVT collection and new unified American Biltrite logo that is used today.
Introduction of groutable residential LVT.
Launch of AB-576 - NSF/ANSI Standard 61 certified EPDM suitable for potable water.
Addition of Skirt-Shield to the DuraShield Family for skirtboard and conveyor containment applications.
Nfuse technology Introduced to ABPure line of products making American Biltrite the first to develop an occupancy ready pressed rubber tile.
Launch of Guard-Rite products: Engineered rubber linings for the mining industry and Atlas Bearing Pads: AASHTO grade bearing pads in Natural Rubber and Neoprene.
With a 380,000 square foot facility, American Biltrite has some of the most advanced equipment in the industry, including its own R&D department and facilities for environmental testing. With an extensive distribution network and a sales force covering every region of North America, it is now aiming for the rest of the American continent.