The Anchor Packing Company - Background and History
Canadian owned and operated, The Anchor Packing Company’s roots date back to 1909 when its Canadian location was established as an associate company of the American division of the firm located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Manufacturing at the Canadian location initiated in 1917 and moved to increasingly larger accommodations in Montreal in 1921, and again in 1935 when the factory was designed to manufacture a wide array of standard type packing. The years 1939-1945 witnessed an expansion in manufacturing—to meet the needs of wartime industries—coupled with the development of a variety of molded products not yet available in Canada. Anchor was recognized for its manufacturing of products including hydraulic packings, seals, rings, soft packing, and gaskets. In 1979, Anchor sold a mechanical seal line under their own label that was produced by the company Robco. Anchor became a subsidiary of Garlock Sealing Technologies from 1987-1993, when Anchor discontinued its operations.
Products Made by Anchor Packing Company that Contained Asbestos
The Anchor Packing Company manufactured and distributed industrial sealing products, namely packing and gasket materials, some of which contained asbestos. Among the products produced by The Anchor Packing Company that may have contained asbestos are:
- Anchor Packings (1908-1984)
- Anchor Packing VY-Flex Ring Packing
- Anchor Packing VY-Flex Spiral Packing
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Cloth
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Mitts and Gloves
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Rope, Wick and Cord
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Tape Folded
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Tape Insulating
- Anchor Packing Asbestos Tape Woven
- Anchor Packing Braided Packings Asbestos
- Anchor Packing Gaskets-Folded Asbestos (Folded woven asbestos boiler manhole and holdhole gaskets)
- Anchor Packing Gaskets-Metallic Asbestos
- Anchor Packing Target-A Superior Gasket Sheet
- Anchor Packing Tauril Sheet Packing
- Anchor Packing Blue Asbestos-Style 4250
- Anchor Packing Ankoprene Bonded Sheet-Styles 450, 550
- Anchor Packing Ankorlok Braid Packing-Style 1309 Ring, Coil
- Anchor Packing Blue Asbestos Rope
- Anchor Packing Braided Packings for Acid Service-Style 888 Ring, Coil
- Anchor Packing Virgin Anklon V-Sets-Style 1110-TA
- Anchor Packing Virgin Anklon Sheets-Gaskets-Washers-Discs-Rings Style 1181; Style 1189; Style 1188 and 1188-X
- Anchor Packing Virgin Anklon Braided Packings Style 1108 Ring and Coil; Style 1109 Ring and Coil; Style 1101 Ring and Coil; Style 1102;Style 1104; Style 1129TL
- U-Packings, Cups, Flanges-Style 1152-TA Piston Cups
Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure from Anchor Packing Products
Asbestos was widely used in the United States in industrial operations for the majority of the 20th century due to its relatively low cost and resistance to heat and corrosion. As a result of this use, millions of Americans experienced exposure to asbestos, mainly in their occupations, at levels significant enough to result in adverse health effects such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Sheet packing, which often required alterations to ensure a proper fit, was often sanded or cut resulting in the release of asbestos dust. Since inhalation appears to be the primary means by which individuals experience exposure to asbestos, sheet packing was particularly hazardous in terms of occupational exposure to asbestos.
Naval shipyards were known as an occupational setting with a high rate of exposure to asbestos. During World War II, it was estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 pounds of asbestos products per month were used in naval shipyards for the construction of new ships. Asbestos gaskets and packing materials were commonplace items on these ships as components of machinery parts requiring heat resistant properties and as a means to prevent the spread of fires that frequently occurred on ships.
Throughout the course of history, asbestos gaskets and packing were commonly used on pipes and machinery in industrial settings such as naval ships and shipyards, powerhouses, chemical plants, and refineries. Within these industries, those most likely exposed to asbestos with regard to products manufactured by The Anchor Packing Company may have included:
Individuals who worked in close proximity to packing materials, including the manufacture, installation, distribution, and delivery of these products
Sailors in the Navy, as well as any individuals who conducted work in naval shipyards or aboard naval ships
Individuals, such as steamfitters and boilermen, who were employed in trades working with products requiring parts appropriate to withstand high-temperature applications (e.g., furnaces, boilers, steam traps)
Garlock Sealing Technologies, along with former subsidiary The Anchor Packing Company, had incurred approximately $387 million in legal fees and paid $1.37 billion in settlements as of the year ending 2009. These costs were a result of the more than 850,000 asbestos claims filed against these two companies.
In June of 2010, Garlock Sealing Technologies in conjunction with The Anchor Packing Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to create a trust aimed at the resolution of all pending and future asbestos claims.
1956 Anchor Packing Company catalog