Texacone was founded in Dallas, Texas on January 11, 1932 by Harley T. Wheeler, who developed and patented the first packing friction testing machine in October 1935. Mr. Wheeler was very proud of his newly adopted state and used “Texas” combined with the “cone” shaped packing he first made to create the name of the company “Tex-a-cone”. In the early years, Texacone produced packings for natural gas engines and compressors used in Texas oil fields, and for valve stems used in the oil and public utility industries. In the late 1930's, Texacone introduced the first neoprene-coated cotton material. These products are still used today in heavy hydraulic and pneumatic equipment. In the 1950s, Texacone began supplying to the elevator industry, which became a major focus of the company.
John H. Wheeler, Harley's son, began serving as President and Chairman of the Board of Texacone in 1963. He gave his time freely to many industry organizations, as well as developing and offering educational programs on packing. John's wife, Martha Wheeler, helped to run the family business as secretary-treasurer. During this time, Texacone enlarged its marketing scope and product range with over 25 new patents obtained by John H. Wheeler. In the 1970's, Texacone developed complete packing sets for after market repair in elevator industry.
The next generation officially took over July 2007 after actively working in the business since the early 80's. Two of John's children, Gina W. Valdez and Wallace T. Wheeler, currently manage the company as President and Executive Vice President respectively. Wallace has obtained several patents for seal design and other product innovations, while Gina remains active in industry organizations.
Developments and Innovations
Over the years Texacone has developed many products and innovative processes that continue to benefit the sealing industry. These contributions include:
The first uncured rubber coated cotton fabric (1950's)
Supplying Complete packing sets for after-market repair (1960's)
Patented process for using Teflon in SUPER SLICK seals (1970's)
Low friction 800 seals for rope and holeless applications (1980's)
Hi temp 900 seals for hot running units (1990's)
Cylinder Identification Handbook (2000's)
Texacone has been involved in the following industry organizations:
Fluid Sealing Association
Energy Rubber Group
National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities
Canadian Elevator Contractors Association
International Sealing Distribution Association (Charter member, Board member)
National Fluid Power Society (Charter member, Treasurer and National President)
National Association of Elevator Contractors (Director)
Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation