Manufacturing Industrial Brakes & Clutches for Over 100 Years

Carlyle Johnson Clutch Manufacturer

Carlyle Johnson has played a significant role in American industry since the very beginning of the twentieth century. The technological advances introduced by Moses Carlyle Johnson and the company he founded, have improved both the efficiencies of production and the health and safety of factory workers nationwide.

Innovation from our Beginning

In 1884, Moses Carlyle Johnson, an apprentice machinist at Pratt & Whitney, invented a friction clutch to permit engaging and disengaging individual machine tools from the factory line shafts that powered them. This device revolutionized the machine tool industry. His friction clutch was small, efficient and able to handle high torque.

Moses joined forces with Henry Stanbaugh and Frank Simon shortly thereafter. Their interest in Johnson's clutch led to the creation of The Helix Gear Company in Hartford, Connecticut in 1900. By 1903 they had changed the name to The Carlyle Johnson Machine Company and moved to Manchester, a suburb of Hartford. The foundation of more than a century of brake and clutch manufacturer innovation had been created.

A Driven Brake & Clutch Manufacturer

Carlyle Johnson designed and manufactured a marine reversing drive in 1902. Within the decade they began incorporating a new alloy of steel into their gears and shafting, producing a lighter marine drive, and in 1911 producing a new lightweight marine motor. These innovative drives were widely used by leading producers of the day, including Evinrude Motor Company, Frisbie Motor Company and Koban Manufacturing Company. In 1914, CJM Co. became the first power transmission / clutch manufacturer to incorporate ball bearings on the main drive shafts of their reverse gear.

By 1928 Carlyle Johnson began manufacturing a new line of clutches, the "Super-Johnson" type clutch. The new design was smaller, and had a special heat resistant facing on the friction ring surface. It allowed for quick, efficient starts and stops, and also offered substantial noise reduction and increased safety.

Carlyle Johnson became known as the brake and clutch manufacturer for parts used in manufacturing facilities across the nation - such as electric utilities, textile producers, packaging and mining / drilling companies.

Early Customers
Auto Manufacturers The International Motor Company (Mack Trucks) Cadillac Hudson Chrysler Packard
Printers U.S. Bureau of Engraving New York Times Ingersoll-Rand
Tool Manufacturers Stanley Works American Tool Giddings & Lewis
Food Processors Kellogg    

A History of Military Collaboration

During World War II, Carlyle Johnson's products became a vital part of the war effort. The company was directed by the war department to exclusively function as a brake and clutch manufacturer. Chrysler's production of tanks and aircraft required Carlyle Johnson products for their manufacturing facilities. The motto - "Tooling up for Victory" became the theme for industry during that period. From rolled steel to ammunition producers and aircraft manufacturers, Johnson clutches and brakes were there.

Clutches, Overload Clutches & Electric Clutches

After World War II, Carlyle Johnson continued to primarily operate as a brake and clutch manufacturer, and in the 1940s developed its industry-leading design for the multiple disc clutch. This clutch provided as much as six times the torque handling capability of single disc clutches and brakes of the same size.

In 1946, overload clutches were designed and marketed. The positive automatic disconnect of these devices saved time and money and provided increased safety to production workers.

Electric clutch & brake designs were introduced during the 1950's. Compact and with high torque capability, these clutches provided superior performance and reliability. Continued improvements in materials and design have made the electric clutch an important component incorporated into a wide range of applications including military vehicles, aerospace, medical equipment, machine tool manufacturing, power generation and oil exploration.

Continued Industrial Brake & Clutch Manufacturer Growth

In 1980, a subsidiary company - Metronics Inc. of Bolton, Connecticut - was acquired. In 1998, the company built new facilities in Bolton at the Metronics location, and consolidated all of its operations there. In 2009, Carlyle Johnson purchased Artic Tool & Engineering Company, which allowed us to expand our manufacturing capabilities and make in-house many of the metal parts found in our clutch and brake products.

Throughout more than one hundred years, Carlyle Johnson has produced quality engineered power transmission solutions for its customers. This proud engineering tradition continues in the twenty-first century, as does our commitment to servicing and supplying components for older equipment. We regularly provide parts and upgrades for clutches which are over half a century old.

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CJM Co - Powering Our World

Carlyle Johnson power transmission products are found in many industries and in many products. They are used:
  • In the sky above and deep in outer space
  • 15,000 ft below the surface of the ocean
  • To make our everyday lives more enjoyable, safer and healthier
  • To protect our freedom by helping our military forces whenever and wherever the need arises

Brake & Clutch Manufacturing Applications

Industrial and commercial markets all benefit from Carlyle Johnson's engineered power transmission solutions, and you can find our components in an array of applications including:

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