TheHytrolStory_19 (1)

Rigmor Loberg continued to encourage her husband. She often loaded up the children in their car, including their latest arrival, baby Daniel Henry Loberg, and drove to the company. She brought meals to Tom when he was working late and even helped out, sweeping the shop and office floor while Tom waited on a customer. More than once they were there until after midnight. Although Rig didn’t get too involved with the business aspect of the company, she and Tom would talk, and she would make suggestions. Many times, these little talks would spark ideas for Tom. One morning, Tom got up and decided to re-work his conveyor. His first objective was to find a way to fix the bag-tearing problem. That was the whole reason he had been unable to market his conveyors. Since the chain was the reason the bags were being torn, he designed this new model with a trough to conceal the chain. He designed this new model with a large sprocket so the angles of the flights would travel over and under the drive. (Editor’s Note: Hytrol’s Model B is very much like this original design.) On December 19, 1949, Tom was visited by two gentlemen who worked in the tobacco trade. This visit would be a turning point in Tom’s life and in the future of Hydro-Controls. One man was from the Viroqua Tobacco Leaf Company of Viroqua, Wisconsin. The other from King Edward Cigar Company based in Florida. They had heard of Tom’s conveyor and came in to see just how it worked. Tom wheeled out his conveyor and demonstrated it; folded it in half and unfolded it; pumped it up with the hydraulic jack. There was also one of the first models with the unconcealed chain. Tom explained about the bag- tearing problem, but the man from Viroqua wasn’t concerned about that. He would be using it to convey 50 pound bundles of tobacco so there wouldn’t really be anything the chain could harm. The gentleman from King Edward asked Tom, “Could you put a rough-top rubber belt on that conveyor?” “Sure!” Tom answered enthusiastically. “How much extra would that be?” The man asked. Tom thought for a minute and answered, “$175.” When the men left that day, Tom had an order for two of his old design conveyor from Viroqua, 3 $ 1 7 5 . 0 0 e x t r a