Murphy & Read Manufacturing Co. was established in 1917 by Alexander Murphy and John Read in Philadelphia, PA. Read had been trained as a locksmith in England but was unable to find work in his native country. He immigrated to America as an indentured servant to a butcher. He later met Murphy, also a locksmith, and they started a small service company specializing in locks, keys and springs. With the foundation of standardized locks by Yale, Murphy and Read changed their concentration to manufacturing springs. Read’s son-in-law Charles Seemuller later took over the business. The story has been handed down through the family that during the Great Depression Charles reduced his salary to 1 penny so that he could continue to pay his employees and keep the company going.
Charles’ son John served as a pilot during World War II. After the war John attended Drexel University with the intent to become an aeronautics engineer. It was not long before his father Charles passed away. He left Drexel to take over the business. John made the first serious investments into modern manufacturing equipment. It was under his leadership that the company started to attract the business of several area original equipment manufacturers. John retired in 1985. After retirement he was a frequent visitor at the plant. In April of 2009 John passed away. All of the Murphy & Read staff attended his funeral.
Today the plant is owned and operated by John Sr’s two sons Karl and John, and his grandsons, Ted and Steve. Karl and John have the unlikely backgrounds of a wood craftsman and a musician. Both share the unique gift of creativity. Karl has recently retired but can often be found tinkering around in the shop of various projects. Ted holds a physics degree from Franklin and Marshall and a Masters in Engineering at Drexel. Steve holds an engineering degree from Lehigh University. There have been three major expansions at the plant in the past few decades and countless upgrades in systems and equipment. Murphy and Read became ISO certified in 1999.
Part of what makes Murphy & Read such a successful supplier is our ability to adapt to an ever-changing market. We service virtually every industry. From small one-man machine shops to world-renowned manufactures, packaging machinery to applications on the Hubble telescope and Space Shuttle, our quality and dedication to our work has benefited millions. Our customers are found on every continent on the planet. If there is one policy that defines our philosophy it is the conviction that there is no substitution for quality workmanship and superior customer service.