Carbide Products Inc.Carbide Products, Where Craftmanship & Technology Meet


From Germany To Georgetown, Strippelhoff Legacy Lives On

Henry August Strippelhoff came to America from Germany in 1929. Unfortunately, he was greeted by the Great Depression. Undaunted, Henry's skills and resolute determination to succeed allowed him to begin his journey with the American Dream realistically within his grasp. He quickly became a student of the English language and American manufacturing prowess.

Long before he arrived in the United States, Henry Strippelhoff displayed a great aptitude for all things "manufacturing." He began his career by applying for, and successfully completing, a four-year apprenticeship training program in tool and die making. This was a career path that seemed to have already been defined, his father and grandfather having been involved in German manufacturing. Both of those gentlemen worked for Krupp, a huge, diversified manufacturing company.

With his journeyman's card in hand, Henry's first 12 years in America were spent working in Detroit where his skills were in great demand. Within a short time, he received a letter from his parents suggesting that he plan to stay in America until the political turmoil at home calmed. It was then that he decided to become an American citizen. During this tenure, he was responsible for developing several new companies while employed by large tool and die makers in the Detroit area. So impressed was his last employer, Wesson Metals, by Henry's knack for successful start-ups, they asked him to launch a new plant in Lexington, Kentucky - a city hungry to attract industry. In 1939 the Wesson Company, Lexington Division, was born. Henry became the Company's vice president in 1942, establishing himself as the youngest vice president of a Fortune 500 Company at the age of 32.

It didn't take long for Henry's entrepreneurial spirit to rise again. In September of 1943, with his brother-in-law, Pete Whipple, he established Georgetown, Kentucky's first modern industry. They rented and eventually purchased a downtown general store at 224 E. Main Street from a man named George Herring, giving birth to Czarnek & Czarnek.

Two brothers, Ed and Merle Mulligan, became Henry's new business partners in 1947, having purchased Pete's shares in the Company. The new partnership renamed the precision tool-making business, Carbide Products, Incorporated. - the banner under which the Company has now operated for more than 70 years.

In 1954, Henry Strippelhoff bought out his two partners. By 1958, an 11,600 square foot manufacturing facility opened its doors in Georgetown - the same plant, modernized and expanded, that the Company still calls home.

In 1985, Henry's grandson, Danny, became a full partner in the business and, today, oversees the day-to-day operations of the Company as President/CEO. Danny began his association with Carbide Products in 1976, working for his grandfather part time and during summer vacations. He gained all of his experience under the watchful eye of Henry. He worked as a gopher, floor sweeper, and shipping clerk but, soon, a tool-maker, specializing in precision grinding and becoming expertly familiar with all machining processes and plant operations. Danny is responsible for bringing the Company into the modern age of CNC machining and EDM technology.

In 1987, another of Henry's grandson's, Paul, joined the business and, today, oversees all manufacturing operations as Vice President. Paul began his career in similar fashion, working in all of the Company's machining departments as he earned his journeyman's certificate in a formal four-year apprenticeship program. Paul soon became proficient in precision grinding, working his way up to department supervisor and then plant manager. Over his tenure he worked closely with several machine tool builders to develop process specific software systems and is responsible for implementing all of the Company's CNC grinding technology.

The Company continues to grow under the Strippelhoff brothers' leadership, providing an amazing variety of tools, parts, gauges, and component parts for industries ranging from automotive suppliers to pencil makers. In 1984, Carbide Products began utilizing computer-controlled machines and, over the years, has deservedly earned its reputation for innovation in harnessing today's most advanced manufacturing technologies while maintaining the invaluable mantle of master craftsmanship.

Carbide Products, Inc. specializes in high-precision machining, grinding, and EDMing of made-to-order cutting tools, boring tools, wear parts, and machine components from any machinable material. The Company's strength is in manufacturing complex special tools and parts that require multiple machining disciplines, assembly, and specific quality targets. Currently boasting a client list of over 160 active customers in 15 countries representing a dozen or more industries, Henry would be very proud.