Darling Expands Parts Manufacturing Ten-Fold
Since Firm Started In 1940
Owned and operated by former Greenfield Selectman Herbert M. Darling, Parts
Manufacturing Company, Inc., is another of the small, well established links
in the chain of Greenfield's industrial strength.
Engaged in production of hardened and ground steel parts made to precision
requirements, the company started in 1940 with three employes and now employs
35. Its products are used in textile and glass making machinery, machine tools,
aircraft engines and miscellaneous machine equipment.
Darling, the concern's founder, has long been identified with manufacturing
in Greenfield, staring here as gage supervisor at Greenfield Tap and Die after
four years work as a toolmaker, draftsman and tool designer at various plants
in the mid-west and New England. A native of East Hampton, Conn., he trained
at the Rhode Island School of Design and at the Apprentice School of the world
renowned Browne and Sharpe Manufacturing Company, Providence, R. I.
Also An Author
A skilled mechanic with enthusiasm for his trade he has authored numerous articles
for technical and trade magazines. Early in his career, in 1914, while employed
at Buick Motor Company, he performed the machine work on the first six-cylinder
motor block made by that company. Another note-worthy achievement was his work
in the design field and equipping of tap and die plants in this country and
abroad, a task in which he was closely associated with the late F. O. Wells,
one of the founders and first president of Greenfield Tap and Die. Maintaining
his interest in the trade, one of his hobbies is collecting antique taps and
For many years prominent in Greenfield civic affairs and the local Republican
Party, he has served three terms as selectman, v--s president of the Massachusetts
Selectmen's Association last year, and has been treasurer of the Franklin County
Selectmen's Association for the past sever years. He is presently a member of
the town finance committee, a director of the YMCA, and lists membership in
the Kiwanis Club, the Republican Lodge A. F. & A. M., the Greenfield Club,
the American Society for Metals, and the industrial committee of the Chamber
of Commerce. He attends Second Congregational Church.
Prior to starting his own factory, the manufacturer was for five years' superintendent
of the Bicknell-Thomas Company here, and held the same position for three years
at the Wells Tool Company.
Founded Firm in '41
He started the Parts Company in leased space at the former Kolyon Manufacturing
Company building at 305 Wells Street and a year later, 1941, purchased and improved
The 16,000 square foot factory employs some 30 special machines of the company's
own design, used in various finishing process of grinding lapping and polishing.
Precision is the company's foundation in trade. The machines in its grinding
department, five main types, are equipped for grinding to tolerances measured
in ten thousandths. The late type gas and electric furnaces of the heat treating
department are controlled by precision instruments to maintain minute specifications
of hardening and tempering, and a small laboratory keeps a constant check on
the parts in process. The inspection department is also well equipped for the
Ralph L. Manning is superintendent of the plant, and the department supervisors
are Ralph Hale, heat treating, and Hal Atherton, inspection, Robert E. Shumway
who has been with the firm 10 years is the office manager.
An important factor in maintenance -f the spirit of cooperation which the owner
notes exists between management and employes is the employes' association, called
the Parts Associates. The group, whose president is Austin Moore, sponsors regular
social events, including a Christmas party and summer field day and clambake
and assists members in times of illness or other misfortune.
The corporation's board of officers, still as it was at the beginning includes
the owner as president-treasurer; his wife, Mrs. Adele J. Darling, clerk of
the corporation, and son, Herbert E. Darling, vice-president. The latter is
employed in the engineering department at Greenfield Tap and Die.