The founder of ROSS CONTROLS®, Charles A. Ross, was employed by the Detroit Seamless Steel Tube Company as a process engineer when this major fire occurred in 1919. He had been working on a new steel tube piercing process which used air valves for several of the operations. Unfortunately, the raging fire melted the air valves he needed to continue this work. Mr. Ross needed to replace these valves for the factory, but he was at a loss because the valves were made in Germany. World War I had hurt Germany badly, so any attempts to obtain the needed replacements would have been hopeless. Mr. Ross, or “Charlie” as he was known, decided to design and make his own hand valves in order to get production moving again.

When other companies became interested in this new piercing process and visited the mill, they noticed his air valves. Not satisfied to simply replicate the German valves, Charlie had changed the design to make it more durable and more suitable to the company's needs. He made the new and improved valves out of cast iron, which can withstand high temperatures. Charlie's design was a six-ported, poppet-style, hand-operated air valve. He made the patterns and core boxes, and cast his own bodies and handles... Get the full history here