Engine and chassis components manufacturer Elgin Industries is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
The company was founded in 1919 by Martin Skok, an apprentice mechanic who traveled alone to the U.S. from his native Czechoslovakia at the age of nine.
Over the decades, Elgin has grown from a single-line manufacturer to a fully integrated, broad-line supplier of components installed by global vehicle OEMs, production engine remanufacturers, machine shops, fleet maintenance businesses, automotive technicians, and performance enthusiasts.
Now under the direction of the third generation of the Skok family, the company operates state-of-the-art engineering, manufacturing, distribution and headquarters facilities in Elgin, Ill., just a few miles from its original plant.
“When I hear people say that no one manufactures parts in the U.S. anymore, I can’t help but remind them that we continue to grow, decade after decade, with operations based right here in Elgin, Illinois,” said Elgin Industries president Bill Skok. “We have never strayed from my grandfather’s commitment to offer world-class products and services and to treat every customer and employee like a member of our family.”
Within a few years of its founding, Elgin had become a preferred supplier of piston pins and other precision-engineered parts to thousands of jobbers, engine rebuilders, auto dealerships and other customers. By the early 1930s, the company was manufacturing water pumps, steering gear sets, king pins and pistons. It also was a pioneer in the production of oil pumps for OE and aftermarket customers.
In 1954, Skok’s son, Martin Skok Jr., became CEO, guiding the company over the next 50-plus years to leadership positions in the OE and replacement industries.
A brief video and feature article documenting the company’s first century are now live at the company website.