How It All Started

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Patrick McGrail, founder of Patrick Manufacturing, began his industrial career with Ford Motor Company and was trained in Tool and Die via their apprenticeship program.  The Ford plant he worked at designed and manufactured B-29 aircraft engines. The plant was actually built by the government and Ford was the first one to have the contract for aircraft engines in that plant early in the war.

His departure from Ford was where his love for and expertise in spring manufacturing began.  He worked for Accurate Spring in River Grove, as a Tool Maker, Department Foreman, and then became Plant Manager. After 15 years and buyout by United Greenfield TRW, they closed the plant and Pat went on with a partnership. Pat held the position of President for 8 years at the partnership, before going on his own in 1984 to form Patrick Manufacturing, originally in St. Charles, IL.

Pat had many friends and associates who respected his integrity and commitment to everything he did. It was an ITT purchasing agent who entrusted Pat, issuing a purchase order for 150,000 dial return springs and that was the start of our successful corporation Patrick Manufacturing.


This one item grew into many items. That one customer grew into hundreds of long term satisfied customers, most of them we still have today. We hold this one item dear, as it was the first job of Patrick Manufacturing. The dial return spring was fussy and also had a dim future as solid state was taking over telephones at that time. Pat forged forward and conquered. His tooling background has always been an asset and this was a perfect example. He developed secondary tooling to do the form and the hook at the same time. The dial return springs required special packaging as well. Because they were delicate and very easy to tangle, we packaged them in cardboard "egg crating" dividing each spring individually.The dial return job ran for another 8 years and we had produced 75+ different telecommunications items.

Pat’s extensive experience in spring manufacturing generated a successful team with his wife and his daughters, who had joined the company early on, and were vital to growing the company to what it is today.  

Patrick Manufacturing had grown from a tiny unit of 4,000 sf to a unit over 60,000 sf in a few short years. Key tooling and spring coiling experts had also joined the company and are an integral part of the successful day to day efforts of Patrick Manufacturing.

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