The Topog-E Story

 

The Topog-E® Gasket Company has been manufacturing rubber gaskets for steam, air and water applications since 1956.

 

The company was started by Frank Maxwell Thomas, a combustion engineer born in Batavia, New York. Frank formed Thomas Engineering in 1948, selling steam boilers, hot water heaters and combustion engineering services.

 

The company’s move into rubber gaskets was prompted by a customer’s question to Frank: “why couldn’t a boiler gasket be made out of rubber, then it would not leak?” The fibrous gaskets used at the time frequently leaked, which lead to lengthy and expensive downtime whilst the gasket was removed and the shell and plates were cleaned by chiselling and buffing.

 

Frank set to work, and Thomas Engineering gave birth to the Topog-E® Gasket Company. Frank began with a jigsaw and sheet rubber, and he named his invention Topog-E ® (from Topography and Engineering) because the gasket was able to conform to the topography of the mating surfaces.

Having established a compound that worked in the hostile steam environment, he hired a rubber technologist to refine the proprietary mixture. He created Topog-E’s own rubber laboratory and acquired manufacturing equipment to begin production of the first molded rubber boiler gaskets.

 

Today, Topog-E still mixes its own compound and manufactures the gaskets on site, making approximately 1 million gaskets per year in over 300 different stock sizes. Two generations on, Frank’s family is still running the company, with the same focus, commitment and passion as the day Frank started. Future plans include global expansion, with a drive into new markets and territories, supported by additional investment in the latest technology to significantly increase capacity.

Frank Maxwell Thomas

 

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“why couldn’t a boiler gasket be made out of rubber, then it would not leak?”

 

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