The History of Katy Spring | Leaf Springs & Coil Springs

The History of Katy Spring
The history of companies is built by many short stories; some boring, some not. We’re going to try and tell the not-so-boring ones (in our humble opinion) about Katy Spring & Mfg., Inc.; a company in Katy Texas that started with a conversation that ended something like this; “Why not.”
These are the stories about Katy Spring, small bits of a bigger story that started in 1999. The stories are still unfolding new chapters every day, thanks to our wonderful customers. It’s written for our customers and future customers so that they can get to know our company, our employees, some historical background and philosophy a little better.
The stories are not told in chronological order. This blog is more of a “Readers Digest” about Katy Spring, written in whatever random order they appear. So without further ado, let’s get started with the next read which is titled; “The History of Automotive Springs”
We make springs for many types of industries. Quite often, we’re asked if we make springs for the automotive industry. The short answer is, “yes.” The long answer is to follow. While automotive springs are not Katy Spring’s main industry that we serve, the history of automotive springs is an interesting topic.
The modern automobile suspension system was developed in 1904. Automobile suspension was quickly upgraded in 1906 when front coil springs were mounted on a flexible, hickory axel that dampened spring bounce.
Leaf springs were first used on carriages. In 1804, the stackable leaf spring was invented and used primarily in rear suspension systems.
Coil springs were experimented with further, but car makers stood behind leaf springs, because leaf springs were less costly and could support varying weights by simply changing the roundness of the leaf spring.
Coil springs were first invented in 1763.
In 1908, Henry Ford used leaf springs mounted on each axel as opposed to having one mounted to each wheel. Ford later discovered he could gain more strength by using vanadium steel in the Model T.
Coil springs were not used in the front suspension again until 1934 when all the major auto makers reintroduced coil springs into the front suspension, this time with each wheel having its own, independent spring. Around the same time, cars also begin to use shock absorbers and low pressure tires to further improve suspension systems and lessening spring bounce.
Rear-end coil springs were first introduced by Buick in 1938. The larger cars generally had leaf springs, while smaller cars had coil springs.
Even today, car suspension systems are being constantly improved and the leaf and coil spring still plays a vital role in the automobile suspension system.