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Business

August 3, 2013

Firm takes innovation to new heights -- literally

(Continued)

The automobile company was acquired by General Motors in the early 1900s and the building sat empty for a couple of decades.

In 1924, a group of Swiss entrepreneurs, called Scintilla Magneto Company, came to the United States looking for a business opportunity. The group searched Wall Street for investors as well as a location to manufacture an efficient magneto – a mechanical device that provided a fat spark at high speeds needed to fly early aircraft. 

“The reason we are here is because of the D&H railroad,” Aiken said. “Some of our town fathers wanted to find a new industry, so they went to Wall Street. The Swiss listened to them and got on the train to see Sidney. When they saw the countryside, they said it looked a lot like home — so this is where they decided to stay.”

In 1929, Bendix Aviation Corporation purchased Scintilla.

Over the years, many companies invested and changed Amphenol. The company was known by many different names as its concentration focused on the leading technology of the time. General Electric purchased a division of the company in the early 1980s, and moved many of the jobs to Florida.

But the research division remained in Sidney, where the engineers continued to invent mechanisms that helped the United States lead the world in technological advances.

Amphenol is a diverse company with many interests. There are manufacturing plants in Mexico and China, but the impetus of design and creation continues to come out Sidney, where Amphenol is committed to the ideal of its founders — precise Swiss mechanical engineering.

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