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Power Grip

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Power Grip belts are shown on this page -Generation 1 with the start at Castle Mills under the guiding production hand of Sandy Kay and the Sales training of Ron Chalk in Philadelphia--then moving to Dumfries and the development of  the Synchronous belt --still going strong under the Gates Company 

Please click the name below to go to the story

Two Letters
Mechanical Handling Exhibition 1956

USRI PowerGrip Conference
Continental Introduces Camshaft Drive
PG Belts on the BRM
Use with Johnson Dumper
Kenwood Chef

Exclusives for Power Saws
Powergrip Timing Belt is Unique
How the first belts came to be made at Castle Mills
Development of the Synchronous belt
Power Grip Start
PowerGrip Salesmen attend Training Course in Philadelphia

November 3 2015


These two letters show how much initial work had to be done by

 Ron Chalk to get the company started supplying P G Belts to 

London Transport


January 23 2011

This is from the NB News of 1956 which was early in the development 
of the British an European markets

January 16 2011
This was one of the big steps forward for PGB

January 15 2011

January 5 2011
USRI holds a PowerGrip Conference for Overseas Distributors

the use of samples, unusual Timing Applications examples. Mr Chalk gave a review of the growth of Timing
 belt sales in the UK. He also detailed future pricing policy as applied to Domestic Sales. Finally Mr Chalk 
dwelt on pulley development in this country.
Mr Roberts in his talk, outlined the expansion plans now being undertaken at Castle millsto meet the 
increasing demand for Powergrip Timing belts. In addition to increased production facilities for the existing 
range of belts, the range itself is to be extended. More testing equipment has also been installed.
The conference was summed up by Mr Parker dwelling briefly on all points covered, stressing certain 
important aspects.
Mr Palmer, Managing Director of USRI in closing the conference, thanked all present for having given up 
their time to attend, particularly Mr Talipsky, who had traveled the furthest distance. He had no doubts that 
the conference had been of tremendous value to all present and felt certain that we could look forward to 
increased and ever increasing sales of PowerGrip Timing Belts


December 5 2010
Here we have another story of the great success the synchronous Timing belt has proved to be
November 7 2010
Another brilliant example of Timing Belts--1960
November 2 2010
From the NB news of 1959
One of the multitude of uses for power grip Timing belts replacing chains

Kenwood Chef  from NB News Aug/Sept 1960

Please note the story in the middle of the page which refers to the fire in the Reclaim department

May 1 2008

Goggomobile ---


April 30 2008
The article below came from the NBR News of june 1960
Our Exclusives chosen for Power Saws





April 18 2008

The article below is from NB News of 1956

















April 5 2008

How the first belts came to be made at 
Castle Mills

Sandy Kay tells us :

The first belts were called Timing belts developed by Dick Case a development engineer 
in the Gilmer belting company for the Singer sewing machine company a subsidiary of 
the US Rubber Co. Singer also had a factory in Clydebank which imported the belts from 
Gilmer, Singer requested  to have belts produced in the UK, US Rubber choosing its 
subsidiary North British as the company to make these belts.

     I was chosen as project manager and spent over three months the Gilmer plant 
studying the process and equipment, returning to Edinburgh the first problem was to 
shoehorn the equipment into one of the old buildings, the first belts were made and 
approved by Singer before the end of 1955.

Thank you, Sandy

March 27 2008
Development of  the Synchronous belt

Page 2 

March 27 2008
                                                                                                     N B News of  August 1954


March 26  2008

The item below is from N B News of May 1957

PowerGrip Salesman attend American Course

Ten weeks intensive training
In the issue of last June we revealed the introduction to this country of the PowerGrip Timing belt, described in the States as the greatest development in transmission in the past 50 years. Last autumn two of our Mechanical Sales force-- R. Chalk and W. Kerr-who had been assigned to PowerGrip Sales-spent some ten weeks on a training course in America.
Here is their story;

"Among those in our company who have been given the opportunity to visit United States Rubber Company in America , we were probably the first to attend such a comprehensive training course as that held in Philadelphia last autumn. This course which ran for ten weeks was organized by the United States Rubber Company School of Power Transmission, and we were the second group of students to attend.

Exacting Timetable of Study

"On Monday 1st October we assembled in one of the convention rooms of the Benjamin Franklin Hotel to meet J. Stevenson, Sales Manager of the Transmission Division, who was responsible for the organisation of the school.

" We were introduced to our fellow students, two of whom we knew from correspondence in USRI. The remaining 5 were all new employees of the Company, and were mainly graduates of Engineering colleges such as Georgia Tech ETC.and who were engaged as Power Transmission Engineers.

In session at Philadelphia listening to one of the lecturers
on the technicalities of PowerGrip . Mr Kerr is on the right of
the front row and Mr Chalk on the right of the second row

The introductions over we spent the remainder of the first morning discussing the timetable for our course, and the syllabus of the subjects to be covered. Lectures started at 8am each day, and continued until 5pm with a break of one hour for lunch. The subjects to be covered commenced that afternoon with a lecture on the history of power transmission and moved on next day with the development of various engineering formulae such as horse power, torque, tension, and tension ratio, kinetic energy, moment of inertia etc.

Having established these fundamental principles of engineering, we studied each of the mediums of power transmission used in industry such as flat transmission belting, Vee belts, gears, chains, gears, and PowerGrip timing belts . In addition, clutches, gear and speed reducers, shafting , bearings and bearing loads were all discussed , so that in the test examinations , which would be given two or three times per week, we could be asked to draw up a specification for a drive to meet given conditions, first of all selecting the medium of transmission to be used, belts, chain, or gears, then deciding its size or type, size of shafting, type of bearing etc.

This is the handsome  "Certificate of Proficiency" presented
to both North British Salesmen and much treasured.
H.G.Kieswetter, General Sales Manager, US Rubber International ,
made the presentation at the graduation ceremony

Administrative Course in New York
"Where the drive medium being discussed was one which was manufactured by US Rubber , then the lecturer was one of the staff of the Philadelphia Factory. However for such items as chains, gears, electric motors etc. visiting lecturers from companies engaged in the manufacture of these products gave the instructions.

"In addition to these lectures we made visits to factories to see these various products produced. We visited our own factory at Tacony on several occasions, of course, studying manufacturing techniques of flat belts. Vee belts and PowerGrip belts. One such visit involved a plant survey, and for this we were warned to wear old clothes. The survey consisted of a study of the power source and transmission medium on certain selected machines in the factory, and as a result we were all literally smeared with grease and oil at the end of our day.

"Of our six weeks' stay at Philadelphia the last two were spent studying the PowerGrip belt, a U.S. Rubber patented product which enjoys a tremendous demand throughout America, and a demand which is still increasing rapidly.

R Chalk and W. Kerr snapped during
one of the sessions


"Our last four weeks were spent in New York, most of the time studying administration methods and branch systems.

"It should be mentioned here that each of our American colleagues was to be appointed to a branch where he would control sales of power transmission products, and in particular build up PowerGrip timing belt sales. As his first task he would give a training lecture to all his general mechanical salesmen, teaching them how to calculate PowerGrip belt drives. In order to fit us for this task we were each called on to give an abbreviated training lecture, lasting approximately one hour, to the rest of the class, who then joined in general discussion, giving a constructive critique of product knowledge, presentation, mannerisms, etc.

A Wonderful Experience

"Finally, Graduation Day arrived, and each student was presented with a diploma certifying that he had satisfactorily completed the course at the U.S. Rubber Company's School of Power Transmission, and wesoon had to say good-bye to our friends, and return to Britain. However, we would not wish to give the impression that our ten weeks' stay was 'all work and no play.'

"We found that our American colleagues believed in 'work hard and play hard', and we experienced that overwhelming hospitality and friendship that is so characteristic of the American people. Our fellow students were determined that we should enjoy our stay, and also see as much of the American way of life as was possible, both by entertaining us I their homes, and also showing us everything of interest.

"We know that we made some very good friends while we were in America, and the weeks we spent in their company will be remembered for a very long time. Above all, we are very grateful to have had the opportunity of visiting America and attending this wonderfully organized course, a course which has been fully reported in technical journals as the 'most comprehensive course in power transmission ever organized by any company in America