During his years of experience as an Aeronautical Engineer for Beech Aircraft and Curtiss-Wright Aircraft, our founder, Mr. Paul H. Taylor, became aware of the work of Sir George Dowty in the field of fluid compression compressibility, and similar work by Amagot, Constaninesco, and Bridgeman.
These early studies of compressibility phenomena led to the development of various compressible fluid devices during Mr. Taylor's tenure as Vice President of Research at the Wales-Strippit Corporation, a machine tool manufacturer. The highlight of these developments was a mass-produced liquid spring. Over 20,000 of these were built and sold for commercial uses for dies, aircraft, ordnance, etc., during the early 1950s.
In 1955, Mr. Taylor formed Taylor Devices, Inc. for the purpose of developing a liquid spring landing gear design for aircraft that combined a spring and shock absorber into a single package.
One of the first inquiries the company received was from the U.S. Navy for an arresting hook centering spring, which would snag the cable of a jet as it lands on an aircraft carrier. After finding the solution for the Navy, Taylor Devices thrived.
In the early 1960s, NASA was preparing the Saturn V rocket to launch the first human mission to the moon. The challenge was making sure the umbilicals—bundles of fuel- and electricity-carrying cords and tubes connected to different parts of the vehicle—were removed from the rocket quickly but safely during launch. Taylor Devices stepped up to the plate and delivered dampers to Marshall Space Flight Center that were capable of controlling the unwieldy umbilicals. The collaboration marked the beginning of a long engagement between the company and NASA.
The end of the Cold War in 1990 heralded a restructuring period for the American military and defense industry. While many defense firms found very few new opportunities in their traditional markets, Taylor Devices found success in transitioning military technology for the commercial marketplace.
The U.S. Department of Defense proved very cooperative in allowing Taylor Devices to disclose the origins and applicable design concepts for the damping devices used in military research. Steel building structures were tested with fluid dampers being produced for the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Concrete building structures were tested using Tomahawk missile dampers. Bridge structures were tested with dampers from the CIA’s famed Glomar Explorer Research Vessel. Other bridge structures were fitted with spring-damper units from submarine-based torpedoes.
It became increasingly evident that there were no barriers towards commercial implementation of Taylor’s damping products, and by 1993, an order was received for 186 dampers to be used on all five buildings of the new Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California.
More than 700 additional building and bridge projects followed the Arrowhead Medical Center order over the subsequent 20 years. The transition of fluid dampers from military to civilian has proven to be the quintessential example of literally “turning swords into plowshares.”
In 2015, Taylor Devices seismic dampers were inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame by NASA and the Space Foundation for Commercialization of Technology from the Space Shuttle.
To date, over 90 U.S. patents in the field of compressible fluid technology have been issued to members of the firm. The superior design qualities and reliable operation of Taylor Liquid Springs, Liquid Spring Shocks and Shock Absorbers are well known throughout the world.