The Paul Stoner Story
The life story of Paul Stoner, our company founder, gives us guidance and inspiration to persevere and follow our dreams. Stoner was born in 1914, an only child. Raised on a small farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, he learned the value of hard work and discipline at a very early age. It was during his youth that Paul also learned to persevere through hardship.
At the age of eight, Paul Stoner's mother died suddenly of heart failure. His father remarried but, at age twelve, he experienced tragedy once again. That winter, a neighbor's wagon got stuck and Paul's father offered to help.
While hitching a horse to free the wagon, Paul's father cut himself and developed blood poisoning. Because tetanus shots were uncommon at the time, his illness progressed quickly and he died soon thereafter. Paul's stepmother, unable to manage the farm by herself, was forced to sell the property.
Thanks to the compassion of a few family friends and relatives, the orphaned youngster was cared for, even during the difficult days of the Great Depression. A bright student with remarkable persistence, Stoner directed his energy toward getting an education and working part-time jobs at local businesses.
Stoner attended high school in Quarryville, PA during the late 1920's. Times were tough, but he focused on his schoolwork, excelling in science and mathematics.
A local businessman, Jerome Rhoads, noticed Paul's determination and became his mentor, providing guidance and inspiration at this critical stage in his life. Encouraged by his teachers and his mentor, Stoner applied to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where he graduated in 1938 with a degree in chemistry.
After graduation, Paul worked for several chemical companies but grew increasingly frustrated after experiencing one layoff and another employer's bankruptcy. In 1940, he decided to move his family back to Quarryville, PA to pursue his dream of starting his own company.
Paul founded the Stoner Ink Company in the early 1940's, specializing in printing inks. In his first year of business, the company's sales were just $1,200. To make ends meet, Paul worked part-time jobs and his wife Lottie, picked tomatoes in the local farm fields.
One of Stoner's part time jobs was working at a local tire retread plant. This experience led to his development of release agent lubricants for rubber and other molded materials. During the 1950's, Stoner's reputation grew as an innovator of mold release lubricants for the growing rubber and plastic molding industry.
By the mid 1960's, America's leading automotive and electronic companies such as Ford, GM, and IBM were coming to Paul for lubrication and cleaning solutions. Some of those original formulations are still in use today.
As auto parts manufacturers continued to specify Stoner mold lubricants throughout the 1960's, a logical product extension soon emerged. Paul Stoner began to formulate products to clean and protect automobiles, after they were made.
In the early 1970's, Stoner developed the first aerosol shine dressing called No-Rub Polish. The product restored shine and color to dull or faded auto trim and didn't run or drip. No-Rub Polish was a quick hit with local car dealers because it improved the appearance and resale value of used autos and saved time previously spent wiping and rubbing.
Today, Stoner's company manufactures more than 500 cleaning, lubrication, and coating solutions for over 6,000 manufacturers, service businesses, government agencies, and universities throughout the world. Widely recognized as a leader in aerosol technology, the company makes more than 200 different aerosol products that utilize dozens of proprietary packaging innovations.
People who knew Paul Stoner tell stories of how he was the nicest and most humble person they ever met. They also tell how he loved to solve problems.
Customers who worked with Paul over 20 years ago still remember how he came into their shops and worked for hours to innovate new solutions to their cleaning, lubrication, and molding problems.
Paul Stoner passed away in March of 1986. The business he started was purchased by his grandson, Robert L. Ecklin, Jr.
Having worked in the business since he was 12 years old, Rob learned his grandfather's values first hand.
Through his visionary leadership as President of Stoner, Inc., Rob has empowered today's "Team Stoner" to build upon the Paul Stoner legacy -- and follow your dreams!