Thomas E. Wilson
|Thomas E. Wilson|
Picture of Thomas E. Wilson
July 11, 1868|
London, Ontario, Canada
|Died||August 4, 1958(aged 90)|
|Known for||Wilson Sporting Goods, Wilson and Company|
In 1917, he was hired to take over the management of a failing meat packing company in Chicago, which was subsequently named after him, making Wilson & Company the 3rd largest meat packing company in the country. In 1926, he created one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, known as Wilson Sporting Goods. He served as President and Chairman of the Board of Wilson & Co for 35 years.
Wilson was born on a farm near London, Ontario, Canada, on July 11, 1868. He went to the United States as a young man, working as a railroad car checker in the bustling stockyards of Chicago. He spent over 25 years working his way up the ranks of Morris & Co, becoming Vice President of the packing house in 1906, and president in 1913 following the death of its founder, Edwin Morris. In 1916, bankers succeeded in luring Wilson away from Morris & Company, in order to run a failing New York-based meat packing company called Salzberger & Sons (S&S). The company's name changed to Wilson & Co., and its headquarters moved to Chicago's Union Stock Yard. It soon joined Armour and Swift at the top of the American meat industry.
While at Salzberger he ran the Ashland Manufacturing Company which used animal by-products to create tennis racket strings. He renamed the company the Thomas E. Wilson Company and aggressively increased the sports line. The company is now Wilson Sporting Goods.
Thomas Wilson built the company rapidly into one of 50 largest industrial corporations in America by the end of 1917. Wilson was an important influence on the branding of processed meat products, having developed many of today's popular value added beef and pork products. Wilson & Company was responsible for introducing numerous well-known brands, such as Wilson Certified Hams, Wilson's Continental Deli and Wilson's Corn King. He was an important figure in both the American Meat Institute and in the sporting goods industry.
He died in 1958.
- 10,000 Famous Freemasons from K to Z Part Two by William R. Denslow - Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 20, 2004) ISBN 1-4179-7579-2
- Men, Meat and Miracles, Bertram Fowler, Julian Messner Inc. 1952
- International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 24. St. James Press, 1999
- Wilson & Co
- Meat Industry News Service, April 22, 2000
- "Thomas E. Wilson Dies. Meatpacker, 90.". New York Times. August 5, 1958. Retrieved 2010-05-20.