In 1911, Major George J. Thomson along with his brother, William started an industrial distribution business in Hamilton, Canada. The initial name of the company was GJ Thomson. Earl Gordon later joined them in partnership. With the incorporation of the company in 1916, the name Thomson-Gordon Ltd. was adopted. By 1936, George, together with partner Earl Gordon, had steered their company, Thomson-Gordon Ltd. into manufacturing in a variety of applications where they felt their technicians could offer superior industrial products and solutions for engineers.
George J.V. Thomson, son of the founder, was an architect graduate from Pratt Institute of New York. After graduation in the depression, he could only find work as a commercial photographer and spent several years working in New York City.
Answering the summons of his father, he returned to Canada to help run the family business.
In 1967 his son, George A. (Sandy) Thomson succeeded George J.V. Thomson. Sandy, who graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Northrop University, Inglewood, California, is presently CEO and sole owner of Thomson-Gordon.
From its early days as a re-packager of mechanical packings and engineer's supplies, Thomson-Gordon has undergone many product developments. The dynamics of expansion and diversification have always been a fact of life at Thomson-Gordon. The non-metallic Thordon bearing business began in a small corner of the plant in the 1960's; a simple experiment in reacting synthetic elastomer chemicals by the firm's third generation leader, Sandy Thomson and production foreman, Arnold Lange. Since that time Thordon has continued to develop, test and introduce new polymers in a search for new products that solve our customer’s most demanding bearing applications and problems.
Thordon Bearings Inc. was incorporated in 1990, the year Sandy also purchased the Russian Deep Sea Salvage steam tug, Rudokop, and converted it to a “floating showcase” of Thordon’s marine bearing and seal products. Over a 14-year period, Rudokop visited more than 200 international ports. Crewed by 6 Eastern Europeans and captained by Sandy, its primary focus was to introduce ship owners to the radically different bearing products produced by Thordon. It was sold to Norwegian interests in 2007 and will continue to sail as a private yacht.
In 2007, current owner and CEO, Sandy Thomson finalized his succession plan and considered the next owner (4th generation) to be his step daughter, Anna Galoni. A Polish-born epidemiologist by training, Anna is fully involved in the family-owned business and planning to help grow the company that has been a family operation since 1911.
(PDF, 726 KB)
Maritime Executive, June 2011