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Copeland Corporation

Copeland Corporation, a division of Emerson Electric, has been a fixture on the local scene since 1937. The firm traces its origin to Edmund Copeland (pictured at right), a Michigan inventor, who founded his own company in Detroedmundcopeland.gif (29843 bytes)it in 1921. The company made compressors for the refrigeration industry. The first successful mechanical refrigeration system developed by Copeland is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. After financial problems developed during the Great Depression, Edmund Copeland went into the railroad business while Dallas Winslow bought the company assets and moved the business here.

Mr. Winslow was a ‘liquidator’ who specialized in bankrupt firms. He was also involved in two other Sidney companies, Peerless Bread and Prima Washing Machine. Seeking only to eventually resell the assets, by 1937 the firm, (because it had not invested in new engineering), was left with an obsolete and expensive product.

Oskar Buschmann, Frank Gleason, Harry Thompson, and Charles Curtis - four young, aggressive Copeland managers, wanted to buy the company from Mr. Winslow in 1939. The four could raise only $15,000. Mr. Winslow made the deal on the promise of the 'Four Horsemen,' as they were called, to pay him back. They did.

Copeland has grown steadily since, and became a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Company of St. Louis in October, 1986. The company once again set an industry standard by producing the new Compliant Scroll Compressor in 1987. It was the first and only American manufacturer to produce scroll compressors for the residential air conditioning and heat pump market. "Popular Science" magazine recognized the company for the first significant development in the HVAC industry in many year.

Today Copeland employs over 6,000 workers at five U.S. and several international facilities. The Sidney locations include the main plant at 1675 Campbell Road, the Shelby Mfg. operation on Adams Street and a facility on the south end of Brooklyn Avenue.

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The Four Horsemen -- Oskar Buschmann, Frank Gleason, Harry Thompson and Charles Curtis.

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Industry segment written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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