Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

AVM Corp. - Lehman Brothers Collection

AVM Corp.

List of Deals

AVM Corporation and its predecessors were in the voting machine business since 1885 in Jamestown, New York. Rockwell Manufacturing Company acquired the business in 1958, which is when AVM was officially organized as a Delaware corporation. On April 1, 1964, Rockwell transferred AVM, as it had been its wholly owned subsidiary. AVM's stock was then distributed to the Rockwell stockholders through a spin-off.

AVM was the largest producer of mechanical voting machines in the United States and was also a diversified manufacturer and vendor of metal and wood products. Its principal product lines, in addition to voting machines and election supplies, were office, hospital, and marine furniture, actuators, coin-operated checking lockers and locks, architectural plywood and tools, dies, jigs, special machinery, and machined parts.

The voting machine, containing multiple security features and affording greater secrecy than other voting systems, is a self-contained unit that records and counts votes as they are cast. Unlike other types of voting systems, the voting machine does not rely upon computers or optical scanners located at central tabulation centers for tabulation of ballots. It is ready with accurate voting totals as soon as the polls close. Each of the fifty states has its own requirements for voting, which vary considerably, and the company's machines are designed and manufactured to conform to these requirements. The company estimated that more than thirty-four million voters in forty-three states cast their ballots on its mechanical voting machines in the 1968 presidential election, out of a total of approximately seventy-three million votes cast. The voting machine industry has historically experienced a four-year cycle of sales, with the largest volumes occurring in presidential election years, and to a somewhat lesser extent, in the second year following presidential election years.

In 1964 AVM began to diversify its activities from voting machines into other product lines through acquisitions and internal development. Commencing in 1964, the company acquired American Locker Company, Inc., Jamestown Metal Corporation, and Rane Tool Company.

During 1965 the company acquired Jamestown Metal Products as well as Canadian Locker Company, Limited, a Canadian manufacturer of coin-operated checking lockers. In 1967 the company acquired Knowles-Fisher Corporation and its affiliated companies and Signore, Inc. The company acquired certain assets and liabilities of Justrite Metal Mouldings, Inc., and its affiliated companies in 1968. Also in 1968, the company completed its acquisition of Plex O Wood, with the final 40 percent of stock accounted for as a pooling of interests. The company also acquired all the assets and liabilities of Jamestown Veneer and Plywood Corporation.

In late 1967 AVM's wholly owned subsidiary, Marion Metal Corporation, completed and placed in operation a new plant in Marion, South Carolina, where it produces industrial cabinetry for the business machine industry, office furniture, and other metal parts.

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