"There is more to life than making money," Phillip L. Bannan often said. His life, and the lives of his children, certainly bear out this adage.
An Irish-American, Phillip L. Bannan (affectionately known as "P.L.") arrived in San Francisco with his mother and father shortly after the Civil War. In 1888 P.L. began to learn the machine trade through an apprenticeship at a small shop, which he later owned.
PL. married Teresa Kelly in 1900, and together they had ten children. P.L.'s oldest son, Thomas J., started sweeping his father's machine shop when he was 16. He became a freshman at Santa Clara University in 1919, and he worked at his father's business during the summers. Upon his graduation with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1923, Tom worked full time as a machinist for his father. His brothers, Phillip, Jr., Berchman ("Berk"), Charles ("Charlie"), and Bernard ("Barney"), followed in Tom's footsteps, attending SCU and returning to work in the family business. PL. eventually acquired a gear corporation based in Seattle. A multimillion-dollar manufacturing company that began making gears (or cogs) and expanded to aerospace, marine and oceanography, and other specialized equipment, including printing presses and kidney dialysis machines.
In 1935, PL. made arrangements to pass ownership of the business on to his children. When PL. died in 1944, his son Tom became the President of the company.
In a speech to the Newcomen Society in 1969,Tom said "We do not believe that under our system the door ever was, or is now, closed to those who exercise self-discipline, who persistently practice mutual cooperation, and who are willing to work. It is also recognized that success is a path, not a goal, and that the temporal possessions one has, have been given by a Supreme Being and are retained in trusteeship for only a very short period."
In September of 1997, the business and product line was purchased by Control Flow Inc. Who continues the business with dedication to manufacturing machinery and providing technical service for their Domestic and International customers. The manufacturing facility is located at the Control Flow Inc. Headquarters in Houston, Texas, and have a Hydraulic Repair Facility in Oklahoma City.