Jack and Heintz

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Jack and Heintz award text

This is a definite work in progress, and a sequel page to the Heintz and Kaufman pages.

In 1940 Wm. S. "Bill" Jack  and Ralph M. Heintz founded Jack and Heintz Co. in Palo Alto, CA.

Bill Jack was an experienced machinist while Ralph Heintz, for almost a decade, had been manufacturing radio transmitting tubes under the Heintz and Kaufman (H&K) partnership and supplying radio equipment for diverse applications as described in ethw.org/Heintz_and_Kaufman  (link1).

Clearly the two men came together at the right time, especially for Ralph Heintz.  Up to this time, H&K had as its first large customer the Robert Dollar Co., one of the most profitable shipping companies in the world. The Dollar Co. used H&K Gammatron tubes in their communication systems. Dollar even acquired a controlling interest in H&K as has been documented in the excellent "How Silicon Valley Came to Be" (link 2) but by 1938 the Dollar Co. was bankrupt and the US Maritime Commission took over the firm and H&K lost its prime customer.  

Furthermore, the expanding market for high power tubes would soon fall into favor of a small firm formed by two ex-H&K employees, William Eitel and Jack McCullough who left H&K in 1938 to start Eitel McCullough and within a few years Eimac would begin its rise to become one of the largest tube companies in the world.  

Associated Press Photo 3/23/42 William S. Jack (left) president of Jack and Heintz, Inc. and Ralph Heintz, Vice President of a Cleveland Ohio Company manufacturing airplane parts, study the plaque they received from workers with whom they shared war contract profit last year. House Naval Committee was to study the .. (not readable). Clevelanders know the place as where workers lengthened working days, have lunch "on the house" and work to phonograph music. Jack says plant is way ahead of scheduled production.

Jack and Heintz award plaque

caption a special plaque was presented to Mr. Jack and Mr. Heintz by company employees in 1942, as thanks for them sharing company profits earned during the war effort.

The War Brings Opportunities

Then, in his famous speech to Congress in May of 1940 (link 3), President Franklin Roosevelt asked for $1.28B for funding a new defense production and he stipulated that must include 50,000 new aircraft, an unheard of volume at a time when the economy was just coming out of the Great Depression. Clearly Bill Jack and Ralph Heintz saw an opportunity and acted quickly.    

Jack and Heintz Co. (JAHCO) started up in a yet-to-be-completed building near Maple Heights, OH (link 6). From 37 employees in 1940 the company grew to 8700 by 1944, thanks to quick implementation of designs for starter motors. New military requirements added autopilots, flap actuators and other specialized parts. JAHCO also designed and built small gasoline engines for WWII target drone aircraft and these engines were later used in Marman motorbikes (link4).

JAHCO employees were treated to free coffee, no-charge meals were brought in and from a large library of  records music was played in the plant almost constantly while workers did 12-hour shifts 7 days a week.  Bonuses were given all workers evenly when deliveries were met and they often exceeded contractual completion dates. This is well-documented by Case Western Reserve University's history (link to Lear Siegler, Inc) (link5)

Mr. Jack didn't allow any discrimination and women were treated equally. JAHCO set an example for an organization built on benevolence  that hadn't been seen in any industry at that time and very few since.

Success Brings Changes  

JAHCO reported a net profit of $4,185,560 for 1943. The company sold common and preferred shares and investors included many of the employees. Seeing the post-war slump, in 1945 an entity named Precision Products was formed to acquire Jack and Heintz Inc.  On March 5, 1946 Precision acquired most of the outstanding shares of Jack & Heintz Inc. from taxpayers for $5M.  On March 6th Precision merged its newly acquired subsidiary with itself and the name was changed to Jack & Heintz Precision Products. 

The firm continued to work as it diversified, making electric motors for industry, competing with Industrial giants like General Electric and Westinghouse. Then,  in 1961, it became the Power Equipment Division of Lear Siegler, Inc.(Ref 6)  

Then, in 1988 after some financial problems, that firm was acquired by Britain's Lucas Aerospace Industries for $32.2M and is now operating as Lucas Aerospace Power Equipment Division at 8380 Darrow Rd. in Twinsburg, OH.


Numerous patents were filed by Ralph Heintz, the most notable are the following:

2,330,121     Sept 21, 1940    Motor Cooling System (Heintz)

2,323,135      Feb 21, 1942     Hand Crank Mechanism (Heintz)

2,452,047      Oct 19, 1948     Engine Starting System (Heintz)

CA444170A  Sept 16, 1949    Automaic Pilot Turn Rate Control (Heintz)

2,600,762      Aug. 4, 1952      Starter Generator  (Heintz for J&H Precision Ind.)

A purely conceptual design for a small airplane was presented by Bert G. Carlson and assigned to Jack & Heintz Precision Industries March 24, 1952.

Airplane design.jpg

US Patent Office Des. 145,880 "Design for an Airplane" and although somewhat futuristic, this shows a departure from producing aircraft parts to a potential aircraft. One can only wonder if it was planned to use a small die-cast engine JAHCO was working on. Jack Erickson described this in his great work on engines at http://www.enginehistory.org/Piston/HOAE/JH.html (ref7)