Armstrong’s history dates back more than 150 years. The company began in a tiny two-man cork-cutting shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when America’s national frontier barely reached beyond the Rocky Mountains.
Thomas Armstrong, the son of ordinary Scotch-Irish immigrants from Londonderry, started Armstrong Cork Company in 1860. Four years later, he was putting his name on every bag of Armstrong corks with a written guarantee tucked inside – branding his product and standing behind it. And it wasn’t just a piece of paper; Tom walked the walk.
There’s always been a philosophy at our core, an attitude and way of doing business set forth by our founder that thwarted the maxim of his day, “Let the Buyer Beware,” and replaced skepticism and suspicion with trust and integrity: “Let the Buyer Have Faith.”
There’s a true story about a special soft drink that had been supplied by one of Tom’s customers for a street festival in Pittsburgh. The soft drinks went bad, and Tom’s customer blamed Armstrong’s corks. Tom replaced all of the soft drink – even though the drinks going sour likely had little to do with the corks. That decision cost a pretty penny for a new business in the late 1800s, but he did it to preserve his reputation. To stand behind his product and make his name synonymous with trust and responsibility. The news spread all over Pittsburgh and people learned if the supplier was Armstrong, the buyer could have faith.
That resilience of spirit and commitment to customers is in our DNA. We have not only endured, we have flourished, in times of prosperity but also crisis, because we continue to be the company that can be trusted to deliver quality products when we say we will. It set us apart then, and it sets us apart now, along with our ability to collaborate with and innovate for the people we’re here to serve – our customers, our shareholders, our communities and our employees.