On March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), Bead celebrated 100 years of continuous operation. Though many public events are in the works for the coming months, today was a time for Bead employees to gather together to celebrate the company’s centennial year in their Milford/Orange plant.
Corned beef and cabbage was brought in from a local restaurant, and a beautiful cake was decorated with a representation of a large plaque and the words: "Bead Chain Mfg. Co." (the original company name). The large plaque, which now hangs in the boardroom, has been used to track the number of years in business.
While finishing their cake, employees (several of whom have been with the company for over forty years) recounted stories of their first days on the job in the early 1970’s. Mr. Ken Bryant brought out the stock book of the company so employees could see the very first stock certificate issued by the company on March 17, 1914. The certificate for 25 shares was issued to Waldo C. Bryant and signed by W.G. Bryant and David S. Day.
After lunch, employees were surprised when a huge 100 Year banner was released from the rafters of the factory. Bead Electronics engineers had carefully hidden the rolled up banner several nights before, and it unrolled without a hitch.
The following day, a similar cake was shared with the employees of McGuire Manufacturing Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bead Industries. McGuire employees where shown the first Bead stock certificate as well as the first McGuire stock certificate issued to Hugh J. McGuire on February 8, 1958. Also shown was a photograph of W. G. Bryant cutting Bead’s 50th Anniversary cake.
In May, the company will host an open house at 11 Cascade Blvd. with invitations going out to state and local dignitaries and well as manufacturing associations throughout the Bridgeport and New Haven region. Bead is the Diamond sponsor for the Smaller Manufacturers Association’s (SMA) annual golf outing in August in Watertown, CT. With the income raised from this event, the SMA is able to continue its efforts to provide resources to help Connecticut’s smaller manufacturers thrive.
Learn more about Bead's History.