A Family Business for over 100 Years
On September 25, 2012, Pacific Machinery & Tool Steel Company celebrated 100 years as a local independent steel service center. Co-founded by Orin J. Ulrich and others as an agency of Columbia Tool Steel Co. of Chicago Heights, Illinois, the company's purpose was to provide tool bits, chisel and tooling steels for the neighboring machine shops, sawmills and iron works scattered along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. O.J. Ulrich, having just finished law school, decided he preferred calling on machine shops and sawmills more than practicing law. He became salesman for the fledgling steel company, making his rounds in his Model T and on logging trains.
In 1922, O.J. succeeded his father, John G. Ulrich as President. O.J. Ulrich was succeeded by his son, Warren J. Ulrich Sr. in 1949. After the unexpected passing of Warren J. Ulrich Sr. in 1954, Pacific Machinery was co-managed by his brothers-in-law, Rex E. DeLong and W.T. (Bud) Williamson.
Warren J. Ulrich Jr. became President in 1978 and served until 2005, passing the presidency to his son, Warren J. Ulrich III who is currently the company's fifth generation President.
A Short History of Our First 100 Years
The company is now in its fifth location. Most of Pacific Machinery & Tool Steel's previous warehouse buildings are still in existence today. The first location, from 1912 to 1916, was on NW Glisan and stored items of tool and machinery steels. In 1916, the warehouse moved directly across Ankeny Alley from the Dan & Louis Oyster Bar restaurant.
The third facility was also in Old Town, at 1st and Ash, and featured cast-iron columns. This site was occupied from 1921 to 1935. The fourth location still stands at 7th and Belmont in southeast Portland. In 1961, the company moved to its present location in the Guilds Lake Industrial Park. Each successive move afforded PMTSCO additional space - graduating from 1250 sq. ft. in 1912 to over 111,000 sq. ft. today.
Pacific has always specialized exclusively in steels for tooling and engineering applications. Its inventory of thousands of special steel items is the largest and most diversified in the Northwest. Originally aimed at the forest products industry, it is now a major supplier to the aerospace, agriculture, construction, electronics, food processing, hydraulic, metal processing, mining, material handling and transportation industries.
PMTSCO has spanned many years of historical events, but one valued lesson has been learned: to remain focused on the basic principles established at its founding. Pacific looks to the future using the same business philosophy as it has for the last 100 years - concentrate on what we do best and work hard to anticipate and meet customer needs.
It is very important to note that our past success would not have been possible without the support of our loyal customers, our dependable suppliers and competent and dedicated staff. As in the past, we will continue striving to merit and enhance these valued relationships.