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Brand Commitment Video

Learn how our founder, Thomas Armstrong, used the circle “A” logo to show customers they could have faith in his products.

Several factors have contributed to our success and longevity including our people, our products and, of course, our customers. But also, our brand name and our circle-A logo. This brand name and circle-A logo over the years has come to symbolize quality, integrity, dependability, and reliability in the eyes of our customers for the products that we've manufactured. Now when you think of major companies that products that you know and use and different brand names that you're familiar with. Companies such as The Jolly Green Giant, from La Sueur, Minnesota, Pillsbury, Coca Cola, Singer, Morton's Salt, and Quaker Oats, you may be surprised to learn that Armstrong's brand and circle A logo was around before any of them. In fact back to 1864. Now 1864 was a pivotal year for Armstrong. Our business of manufacturing and selling cork bottle stoppers had grown, since our company was founded by John Glass and Thomas Armstrong in 1860 to the extent that, again in 1864, we purchased and invested $1,000 in a brand new cork cutting machine that had been invented over in Philadelphia. So we automated the hand cutting process of our corks. Another significant event that happened in 1864, tragically, was John Glass passed away, and, of course John Glass and Thomas Armstrong were our founders back in 1860. John Glass passed away and his interest in Armstrong was purchased by Thomas's brother, Robert. Robert was a financier, a banker. So he purchased John Glass's interest and we renamed the company, Armstrong Brother and Company. It was the John D. Glass and Company, John D. Glass and Company. It now became Armstrong Brother and Company. Now the, the demand for cork bottle stoppers was fueled in large part by the heightened atrocities occurring in the Civil War. As you may recall, the only way to seal off bottles, including pharmaceutical bottles and medicine bottles, was with a cork bottle stopper. Now, when you look back in the 1863 - 1864, there were several key battles that were occurring. In September of 1862, he had the Battle of Antietam or the Battle of Sharpsburg, where 25,000 casualties occurred in a very short period of time along Bloody Lane and Burnside Bridge. In December of that year of 1862, you had 20,000 casualties at the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Mary's Heights. Moving on into 1863. In May of 1863, you had the Battle of Chancellorsville, where Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire on one of early mornings of the battle. There were 30,000 casualties at the Battle of Fredericksburg. And then of course, move forward a couple of months, July 1st to July 3rd, about 60 miles to the west of Lancaster, The Battle of Gettysburg raged. In The Battle of Gettysburg, there were 50,000 casualties. 50,000 casualties among Union and Confederate soldiers. That's almost a third, almost a third of the troops that were involved in that campaign at Gettysburg. Well during this time, there was such an increased demand for these cork bottle stoppers, that many competitors began to compromise on the integrity of the manufacture of a cork, of their products. And they failed to meet the specifications that were outlined at that time by the US government. The US Sanitary Commission, which was the fore runner of the American Red Cross, spelled out specific guidelines and specifications for the manufacturing of these corks. Think of in your home if you have a bottle of wine, and you have a bad cork. The ingredients go bad. So on top of the atrocities that were occurring on the battlefield, just getting medicine to the front lines, getting medicine to treat the wounded soldiers, and the wounded and the dying soldiers was difficult. But then much of the medicine that was making it to the front lines was bad. So, the U.S. Sanitary Commission, again a forerunner of the American Red Cross, exposed this unscrupulous profiteering by our competitors. And Armstrong was the lone manufacturer that was singled out for its adherence and to the manufacturing specifications, for our conforming to the requirements. This was published widely back then among the industry and to signify and to tell our customers that they were getting a quality Circle A product from Armstrong, a Circle A logo was imprinted on the top of every one of the corks that was produced and manufactured. In addition, we were one of the first manufacturers to issue a written guarantee, a written warranty, attesting to the quality and integrity of the product. Attesting to the fact that it met all the specifications required by the government. Here's one of the earlier bags that was used for our corks. And I'm just gonna take a couple of seconds and read this guarantee that's stapled to the bottom of this bag. This sack of corks is fully guaranteed, if found defective in any respect, return it at once with this slip and it will be replaced immediately and without questions. Counted by a number four, inspected by A.S. and then guarantee is written across there and then Armstrong Cork Company, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. So, even over 150 years ago, back to 1864, Armstrong with its circle A brand, circle A logo and Armstrong brand and our inserting a written guarantee, attesting to the quality and the integrity of our products, into every bag of corks that we manufactured, we truly, from that time on, were telling our customers that they could truly have faith in our products. Where up until that time, unfortunately, in many businesses and industries, it was let the buyer beware. But now, with the circle A logo, and our written guarantee attesting to the quality of our products the buyer could truly have faith and that continues to this day.
Show Transcript

History of the Armstrong Logo

Learn about the history of the Armstrong logo.
7:36

History of the Armstrong Logo

Learn about the history of the Armstrong logo.

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