Paul Stoner's Legacy
A 3rd-generation family-owned business, Stoner, Inc. was founded in 1942 by Paul Stoner. His persistence and patience are still evident today.
Through helping out on his parents’ farm, Paul Stoner came to appreciate the value of hard work and discipline. When Paul was eight years old, his mother died suddenly of heart failure. His father then remarried but passed away from tetanus and his stepmother had to sell the farm. All of this taught Paul to persevere in spite of hardship.
Friends and family helped to raise Paul during the Great Depression, while he focused on working part-time jobs and doing his very best in school. His exceptional performance in science in math led his employer to suggest he apply to Franklin & Marshall College.
That led to Paul earning a chemistry degree from F&M in 1938, followed by employment with several chemical companies—but he became frustrated after he was laid off by one employer and another claimed bankruptcy.
Paul moved back to Quarryville, where he started the Stoner Ink Company, a printing ink specialty business, in 1942. Sales during the company’s opening year were only $1,200, so to pay the bills, he took several part-time jobs, including one at a tire retread plant that was experiencing difficulty when trying to release tires from their molds.
Something that set Paul apart from others was his ability to listen and solve problems so people’s needs could be met. He used his chemistry knowledge to create a lubricant that made release from those molds faster and easier. His employer was his first mold-release customer, and other rubber molders followed.
By midcentury, Paul Stoner was known as a mold/lubricant innovator serving the plastic and rubber sectors. By the 1960s, he was approached by America’s leading automotive and electronic manufacturers for solutions to their cleaning and lubrication challenges. By the 70s, the company had expanded into the automotive appearance market with a selection of waxes and polishes to protect and shine all types of vehicles.
Robert L. Ecklin, Jr., bought the company in the 1980s, continuing his grandfather’s category-leading brand development, which included Invisible Glass, the country’s top-selling cleaner for automotive glass.
Today, Stoner is a well-known leader in the rubber, plastics, car wash, urethane, composites, electronics, and detailing industries—manufacturing a wide range of branded lubricants and cleaners for national and international service businesses, manufacturers, consumer retailers, universities, and government agencies.
The Stoner family mourned the loss of Paul Stoner in March 1986, but his legacy and core values remain ingrained in our company culture. Team Stoner will always be characterized by Paul’s desire to listen to people’s needs and meet them—and we will continue to pursue his vision of performance and excellence with passion.