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History of Innovation

From a modest beginning as a one-product company in 1919, LEACH® products have become the standard for the design and manufacture of electrical switches, aircraft relays, electrical relays and control devices for the aerospace and rail industries. Designed for applications as diverse as civil and military aviation, satellites and railway systems, the extensive LEACH® line of products includes a full selection of hermetically sealed relays. LEACH® contactors are available with single or multi-pole contacts in latching or non-latching configurations. A variety of complementary devices provide time delay and power measurement functions. The majority of these products are available in different mounting styles and terminals. Comprehensive lines of push-button indicators, solid state power controllers, limit switches and equipment (power distribution assemblies) also play important roles in the company's product mix.

Today's broad range of products can trace its heritage back more than nine decades to the development of a single product in a small laboratory in San Francisco. As a radio operator in the Navy during World War I, Val Leach conceived the idea for a break-in relay to eliminate many of the frustrations he experienced with the erratic nature of early two-way radio communications. His automatic antenna switch and power relay became the company's first product. Operations were moved to Los Angeles in 1929, and, during the next ten years, the product family was broadened to include other types of relays including time delay relays, aircraft switches, power monitor, power distribution, and aircraft relays for the communications and electrical industries. It was not long before Leach relays became known to aircraft manufacturers and products were developed specifically for aircraft power switching as well as for aircraft communications.

With the advent of World War II, Leach Relay Company, Inc., as it was then called, expanded its manufacturing production to support the military aircraft industry. After the death of Val Leach in 1941, company ownership passed through various hands until it was acquired by the G.L. Ohrstrom Company in 1949 and, in 1952, was renamed Leach Corporation. During the following years, the company recorded many notable achievements, including the development of “Balanced Armature" and "Balanced Force" relays. These designs, established the industry standard for quality, reliability and capability.

In 1962, the company expanded into the international marketplace with the establishment of LRE, a subsidiary based in Europe. Their engineers again displayed their ingenuity when, in the early '70s, they shrank the size of relays by 60 percent. Later in the decade, the company applied its new hybrid technology to the development of miniaturized timing circuits for time delay relays. In the 1980's, solid state power controllers and power control modules used in automatic power management systems continued the company's tradition of innovation.

During the late 1980's and early 1990's, LRE acquired G.E.P.E. S.A. and Les Modeles Francais S.A. to provide the aerospace and rail markets with switching components and systems specifically designed for severe environments. By 1992, Leach Corporation consolidated all of its U.S. manufacturing operations at the present site in Buena Park, California. In 1994, it merged with LRE to form Leach International -- becoming the oldest and largest supplier of aerospace relays and solid state switching devices worldwide. European operations were headquartered at Sarralbe, France.

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