Tirey L. Ford Jr.

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Tirey L. Ford, Jr.
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Personal details
Born(1898-11-07)November 7, 1898
San Francisco, California
DiedFebruary 27, 1972(1972-02-27) (aged 73)
San Mateo, California
CitizenshipUnited States of America
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)
  • Elizabeth Boit Howes
  • Helen Elizabeth Morrison
Children2
Occupation
  • Businessman
  • Aircraft pilot
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America 1917
Branch/service
  • United States Merchant Marine
  • United States Navy
Years of service
  • 1917–1919
  • 1941
RankLieutenant 1917

Tirey Lafayette Ford, Jr. (November 7, 1898  – February 27, 1972) was an American businessman, Aircraft pilot, vice president of Swayne & Hoyt Lines, co-developed the Carmel Valley Airport, Carmel Valley Village, California, and started the Insul-8 Corporation, which exists today as Conductix-Wampfler. His career in manufacturing, shipping, and aviation stretched more than fifty years.

Early life

Ford was born in San Francisco, California, the third child of state senator and former attorney general Tirey L. Ford and Mary Emma Byington.[1]

Ford attended the preparatory high school at the Santa Clara University from 1915-1916.[2] After high school, he went to the University of California, Berkeley but left to enter the United States Merchant Marine as a Lieutenant during World War I. He spent most of his time at sea. After World War I, Ford went back to college to get his degree from the University of California, graduating in 1921.[3][4] During World War II, he was a Lieutenant commander (United States) for the Port Director of the United States Navy in San Francisco.[5]

Marriage and children

Ford was married on January 23, 1929, in New York, to Elizabeth Boit Foster of Boston.[6] They had one child, Elizabeth Boit Ford.[7] On August 14, 1946, Ford married his second wife Helen Elizabeth Morrison of New York. She had one child from a previous marriage, Holley Cameron Gales.[3]

Career

Swayne & Hoyt Lines (1923-1939)

In 1923, Ford worked for the United States steamship company Swayne & Hoyt Lines, based in San Francisco, California, that operated a fleet of steamships and were agents for American and foreign steamship companies. Ford started out as a dock worker and was a seaman and then as a second mate on the Gulf Pacific mailship.[8] In 1928 he became vice president of Swayne & Hoyt's Gulf Pacific Mail Line in San Francisco.[9][10] In 1930, he became Executive Vice President, Director and Partner of the Swayne & Hoyt Lines. He was a principal stockholder of the company. In his Swayne & Hoyt office, Ford owned a ship model of the Point San Pablo, built by Captain E. W. Groeper, a San Francisco Bay Pilot.[11]

In March 1940, Ford and his associates sold the steamship business to the Yamashita Line.[5][3][12]

Ford was president of the San Francisco based Propeller Club from 1939 to 1940, which represented shipping interests for the port of San Francisco.[13] On July 20, 1939, there were one hundred charter members of the Propeller Club under the chairmanship of Tirey L. Ford, president of the port of San Francisco.[14]

Hammond Aircraft Company (1940-1941)

In September 1940, Ford became president of the Hammond Aircraft Company of San Francisco. Hammond Aircraft was a subsidiary of Hawley Bowlus, Inc.[15]

In 1941, he bought controlling interest in the Hammond Aircraft Company at the San Francisco International Airport, which for four years produced components for the Navy and the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.[16][3] Specifically, subassemblies for Douglas Aircraft Company and the Consolidated Aircraft Company.[17]

Monterey Peninsula (1940-1950)

Ford lived in the Monterey Peninsula and had a home in Pebble Beach, California and a working ranch in Carmel Valley Village, California. He raced a Mercury Class sloop at Pebble Beach and had a twin-engine pilot's rating. Ford's sister Relda Ford, was married to Samuel Finley Brown Morse, the developer of Pebble Beach.[8][5]

Ford was involved in several Monterey Peninsula businesses, including being vice president and director of the Pebble Beach, California Properties Company until 1951;[18] proprietor of the Lobos Lodge in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (1940-1945); president of the Capital Lease Corporation that was sold to the Ryder Truck Leasing Systems in 1959; chairman of the Board of West Winds, Inc., a ship repair facility in San Francisco (1957).[5] Ford spent time in Washington, D.C., negotiating the sale of the Hotel Del Monte to the Navy, now called the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.[3]

Carmel airfield and village (1941-1946)

Tirey Ford pictured with a Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing airplane, circa 1945.

In the 1941, Ford co-developed the 29-acre Carmel Valley Airport with his brother Byington Ford, for pilot-owners who wanted their home to also serve as a hangar for their plane. During World War II, the airfield served as an alternative landing field for military planes flying out of Watsonville, California and King City, California. A nearby road was named after them called Ford Road.[19]

In 1946, Tirey and his brother, Byington, developed the Carmel Valley Village, California and Airway Market, which were in walking distance of the Airpark.[20] In the 2010 United States Census Carmel Valley Village had a population of 4,407.

Pacific Aircraft Company (1945-1946)

From 1945 through 1946, Ford was president of the Pacific Aircraft Company in Oakland, California, which had a five state Beechcraft distributorship for California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Washington. They had sizable hangar and office space at the Oakland International Airport.[21][8][7]

Del Monte Aviation company

In 1947, Ford owner and co-founder of the Del Monte Aviation company at the Monterey Regional Airport. He was a Fixed-base operator that provided charter, maintenace and training services.[5][17]

Sea-Air Committee (1946-1949)

As chairman of the Sea-Air Committee, Ford acted as an advisor and spokesperson to support the operation of scheduled air services across oceans for major passenger steamship lines, including the Matson, Inc, APL (shipping company), United States Lines, and the W. R. Grace and Company.[22]

On May 6, 1947, Ford representing the Sea-Air Committee, testified in Washington D.C. at the United States House of Representatives, that steamship companies have the right to operate aircraft for oversea air routes.[23][17]

Insul-8 Corporation (1950-1967)

In 1950, Ford sold his holdings on the Monterey Peninsula and became president and director of the Benbow Manufacturing Company, of San Carlos, California, which he renamed to the Insul-8 Corporation in 1952. He was the largest stockholder of the company.[3][5]

In December 1957, Insul-8 Corporation established an electronics division to manufacture closed-circuit television systems that were the first used at airports to monitor airplane traffic. The trade name was "Insul-8 Vicon."[24] Sales of the Vicon system included Lockheed Martin Space , United Airlines, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Radiation Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory Aviation and Space Administration.[25]

At Insul-8 Corporation, Ford developed the Insulated 8-bar, which became the industry standard in crane electrification. Insul-8 Corporation created the first aluminum rail used as the Disney monorail, San Diego Zoo people mover, and the Las Vegas Monorail. He co-developed several patents, one called the “Collector and insulator for electrical trolley apparatus,” No. US2860198A, which was granted on 11 November 1958.[26]

Ford was also president of the Super-V Aircraft Corporation in 1961. He was involved in a new aviation division that provided all the parts (except engines) for the conversion of a single-engine Beach Bonanza into a twin-engine, called the Super-V airplane. Parts for the conversion were manufactured by the Insul-8 Corporation. Super-V conversion centers operated under franchise from the Super-V Aircraft Corporation. The Bay Super V was an example of this kind of twin-engine conversion.[27][28]

In February 1962, Insul-8 Corporation acquired the Sterling Manufacuring company of Belmont, California.[29]

In July 1966, Rucker Company of Oakland, acquired Insul-8 Corporation for 138,000 shares of the Rucker stock valued at $5 million.[30] Ford retired from Insul-8 in 1967, but stayed on at Rucker as director and consultant.[8] Insul-8 Corporation was later acquired by the Delachaux Group in 1975. In 1997, Delachaux merged with Conductix and in 2007, acquired Wampfler, creating Conductix-Wampfler that still exists today.[31]

Retirement

In his retirement, Ford became an avid photographer. He wrote technical articles for photographic magazines. Some of his photographs were displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.[3] Ford is listed as showing portrait studies of the dancer Katherine Dunham, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[32] He started a micro-photography project to study various aspects of cancer treatment. Ford was a member of the Pacific-Union Club and the Burlingame County Club.[33][5]

Ford became director of Trader Vic's Restaurant in 1970.[1] In 1972, he helped reorganize the Virginia and Truckee Railroad as a historic project between the two cities.[8]

Death

On February 27, 1972, Ford died at his Hillsborough, California home due to Cancer. He was 73 years old. There were no funeral services. He was interred at the main mausoleum at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, California.[3][8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tirey L. Ford". The Times. San Mateo, California. 28 Feb 1972. p. 24. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  2. University of Santa Clara, Catalogue 1915-1916. Santa Clara California. 1915. p. 16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "Noted Executive Tirey L. Ford". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 28 Feb 1972. p. 45. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  4. The Blue and Gold. Williams Printing Company. 47. 1920. p. 97.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Insul8Corp, Officers and Management", Insul-8 Corporation, p. 2, 1961
  6. "Tirey Ford Weds In New York". Santa Clara. San Clara, California. 24 Jan 1929. p. 4. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Wife of Socialite tirey Ford Jr. Wins Reno Divorce Decree". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 17 Feb 1946. p. 14. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 "Life Style". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 20 Feb 1972. p. 260. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  9. "Pensylvania To Lead Liner Parade". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 29 Apr 1933. p. 7. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  10. "New Shipping Company". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 18 Nov 1930. p. 18. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  11. "The Log. The only West Coast Magazine devoted to Marine Engineering". Miller Freeman Publications. Vol. XiX,No.3. 1932. p. 20. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  12. "Swayne & Hoyt Will Disclose New Plans". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 18 Mar 1940. p. 26. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  13. "Propeller Club Will Have Meeting Today". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 11 Jul 1940. p. 29. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  14. "The Log, Propeller Club Of The United States Charter Formally Presented To Port of San Francisco". The Log Publications, Inc. San Francisco, California. 31-33: 22. 1939. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  15. "T. L. Ford Named to Bowlus Co. Board". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 16 Sep 1942. p. 19. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  16. "Western Flying". Occidental Publishing Company. 22, Issues 7-12: 190. 1942. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Overseas Air Transportation: by Steamship Operators, by a Consolidated Air Carrier". United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Washington D.C.: 747 1947. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  18. "Named to Board". The Californian. Salinas, California. 13 Jan 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  19. "Carmel Valley Vintage Airfield Museum" (PDF). Carmel Valley Historical Society. February 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  20. Fink, Augusta (2000). Monterey County: The Dramatic Story of its Past. Valley Publishers. p. 202. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  21. "Plane Firm Picks Oakland Airport". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 16 Oct 1945. p. 5. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  22. "Ocean shipping interest contemned in Washington". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 24 Sep 1947. p. 3. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  23. "Ship-Linked Airlines Held Vital to Defense". Daily News. New York, New York. 25 Sep 1947. p. 128. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  24. "The West At Work". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 5 Dec 1957. p. 46. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  25. "Insul-8/Vicon Report on Activities". The Times. San Mateo, California. 16 Sep 1959. p. 62. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  26. "Collector and insulator for electrical trolley apparatus". Official Gazette of the US Patent Office. 1954. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  27. "Insul-8 Corp". Flying Magazine. July 4, 1961. p. 104, 222. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  28. "Insul-8-Super-V Plane Project". The San Francisco Examiner. Francisco, California. 1961-05-10. p. 63. Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. "Merger of Two Local Companies". The Times. San Mateo, California. 5 Feb 1962. p. 6. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  30. "Rucker Plans to Buy Firm". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 26 Jul 1966. p. 45. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  31. "Company History". www.conductix.us. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  32. "Women's Board Of Art Museum To Be Host". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 14 Jan 1943. p. 19. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  33. "Ford See Light Ahead for Insul-8". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. 2 Jun 1961. p. 54. Retrieved 2021-01-21.

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