Lehigh Fluid Power
In the late 1940's 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.
During these years Lehigh also developed the first dynamic lip cushion seal principle. Independently, Tomkins Johnson developed the identical cushion design and applied for and received the patent. However, both companies agreed that both companies would use the patent, since Lehigh proved prior disclosure date. Since the patent has long expired, most cylinder companies are now using this superior concept instead of the old type requiring ball checks and springs.
Lehigh Fluid Power, Inc. continued to use the manufacturing and office space of the Easton facility until 1970. At that time, the operation was moved to the current facility in Lambertville, New Jersey.
Ownership of the company changed in 1977 when two longtime friends from Boston and their sons purchased the company. The primary interest in Lehigh evolved from John Taplin, the founder of Bellofram Corporation, as a result of his long association with the Fluid Power Industry.
In 1983, Lehigh purchased state of the art CNC machinery which added new dimensions to the manufacturing of our cylinder component parts.
A major expansion of our manufacturing and warehousing facilities was completed in January 1997. Additional investment in capital equipment and plant facilities is ongoing.
Lehigh’s product offering has expanded over the years to include a line of NFPA self-lubricated air cylinders ranging from ¾" to 24" bore, linear air motors, plus medium and high pressure NFPA hydraulic cylinders.