Below you will find a glimpse into the rich history of L.H. Thomson, taking you back to the birth of Loronzo H. “Ronnie” Thomson in 1939 and the birth of his first machine shop in 1968.
1939 – Loronzo H. “Ronnie” Thomson is born in Centerville, Georgia on January 17. Ronnie is raised on a farm and establishes a strong work ethic early in his life.
1958-1966 – Ronnie attends and graduates from the Georgia Institute of Technology and begins working for McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis as an engineer. While at McDonnell, Ronnie meets Margaret, his future wife.
1968 – Ronnie and Margaret open their first machine shop, NEMCO (Numerical Engineering Machine Company). NEMCO was primarily a tool and die shop, and they used both manual and numerically controlled machines. The production runs were usually around 50 – 100 parts per order.
1980 – After 12 years of operation, NEMCO competes with over 200 shops to be acquired by Boeing. After selling the company to Boeing in 1980, Ronnie serves as President of Boeing Georgia for one year.
1981 – After selling NEMCO to Boeing, and completing his term as president of Boeing Georgia, Ronnie and Margaret open L.H. Thomson Company, Inc. in the old NEMCO building, which they re-purchase from Boeing. L.H. Thomson transitions from specializing in tool and die at NEMCO, and begins focusing on the manufacturing of precision machined parts using computer numerically controlled equipment (CNC).
1985-89 – L.H. Thomson experiences a growth spurt, requiring additional space to meet growing client demands.
1992 – After operating for 11 more years in the old, 16,000 square foot NEMCO building, Ronnie designs and moves into the new 65,000 SF facility that is still used today. The new facility nearly quadruples the size of the previous building. Additional information on our building can be found on the Facilities page here. L.H. Thomson goes off the energy grid and generates its own electricity for 18 months to qualify for Real Time Pricing electricity.
1994-96 – L.H. Thomson expands to create its own brand of patented bike components using aerospace quality, design, principles, and manufacturing. While in college, Ronnie’s daughter, Amy, began cycling for her University’s team and was unhappy with the current cycling designs on the market. After a trip down to Macon with several of her cycling teammates, she began encouraging Ronnie to expand manufacturing into the cycling industry. Several early cycling patents are created and L.H. Thomson quickly expands their presence in the cycling industry. Thomson bike products set the standard of excellence and are currently available in 30 countries, with 60% of business in exports.
2002-2003 – The recession is hard on the aerospace industry, but the bike side of Thomson helps keep the company financially stable.
2007 – This year brings tremendous growth for L.H. Thomson, offering a spurt of aerospace production.
2008 – Ronnie passes in January and his wife, Margaret, takes over as CEO, with son, Brian, leading as President.
Today – L.H. Thomson still employs three workers from the NEMCO days and continues to grow in the manufacturing industry, leading with innovative design for two primary markets – aerospace and cycling. Thomson is capable of machining any part within their core capabilities.