AboutHystat Systems Limited
In the late forties, Lehigh, Inc. of Easton, Pennsylvania, a large malleable iron foundry and munitions maker, formed the Air Control Division for the prime purpose of manufacturing the old casting style of hand valves, panel-mounted combinations of valve and F.R.L. units similar to the Logansport type which were quite popular during the post World War II period.
As a foundry type of company, the in-plant use of air and air cylinders was extensive. It was in that atmosphere of dirty, contaminated air, corrosive foundry fumes and abrasive particles that the need for a better air cylinder became evident. Additionally, the current design of lubricators
offered relatively inefficient downstream lubrication, and a more efficient method of providing cylinder lubrication was desperately needed. (Note: Lubricators haven’t improved much over time and are still a source of neglect and maintenance headaches.)
It was at this time (over 55 years ago) that the Lehigh self-lubricated air cylinder with an internal reservoir was conceived by a brilliant engineer named Charlie Keller. Around the same time, the Lehigh slide valve was developed for air use as a modification of an earlier Lehigh design for air conditioning defrost valves.
Awareness of the unique air cylinder spread by word-of-mouth, and Lehigh began to receive orders.
The need for a permanently lubricated, non-polluting air cylinder spread slowly, since air pollution was not considered a major problem until the 1980’s. Additionally, most air equipment used in conjunction with cylinders required lubricators.