In 1963, Jack Moran was
employed in Oklahoma City, traveling and selling electrical supplies. One
day Jack was calling on the Rural Electric Cooperative in Lindsay, Oklahoma
when he noticed several electric meters on the workbench in the meter shop.
They were being repaired
because the glass covers had been shot, apparently with a B.B. gun. The
glass had chipped off inside the meters; these fragments stopped the meters
from registering. This vandalism also left a small hole in the glass
exposing the meter workings to the elements. Jack briefly discussed
remedies with the technician but could not come up with a solution.
For some reason, Jack couldn’t get this problem off of his
mind. Finally he arrived at the idea to make a cover from some sort of
transparent material that would not break or shatter from the impact of a
B.B., a rock from a slingshot or any other similar calamity. Namely,
Traveling to Bartlesville,
Oklahoma, Jack visited with several of the scientists at the Phillips Oil
Companies’ plastics research lab. The scientists informed him that at that
time they knew of no plastic material that would do the job. Jack also
visited a plant in Shawnee, Oklahoma where he got the same story.
A short time later, Jack
contacted a company in Oklahoma City that did injection molding, a process
of forming plastic, which Phillips Oil said he would have to use to make
this work. At that time, there wasn’t a material on the market that could be
used to fit the product. However, some time later, Jack received a call to
come back to Oklahoma City to see a new product that had just been
It was a “saucer shaped”
piece of transparent plastic, about an eighth of an inch thick. Jack
placed it on a workbench, hit it with a hammer, and to his surprise, it did
not break! The General Electric Co. had perfected a new material, Lexan®, a
polycarbonate resin that was “tough as nails”!
Jack’s first idea was to
make plastic meter covers instead of glass, but was soon discouraged by
“seasoned” meter men relating their stories of people who drilled minute
holes in the glass with a “jewelers drill”, and then by inserting a small
wire stopped the meter from registering.
After much thought, he
decided on a cover to enclose and protect the entire glass of a meter. This
new Cover would seal under the same ring as the glass cover on the meter
base. Thus, the idea for the Meter Mate was born!
A local attorney had a
draftsman draw prints of Jack’s cover, and submitted them to the D.C. patent
firm for application. The resulting patent search by the D.C. attorneys
ended with favorable results!
By this time Jack was
spending considerable effort on research, and working hard at getting
everything ready to start. He painstakingly researched the entire process
nailing down every detail, from the price of the mold, to manufacturing
costs, down to the cost of shipping.
M-R-S Inc. borrowed $18,000
from a bank in Oklahoma City, instructed the patent attorney to proceed with
the new patent application, had a mold made, and ordered 10,000 Meter
When the Meter Mates were
ready for marketing, Jack came to Oklahoma City with one of his partners,
calling on mostly municipalities. At the outset they made sixteen Sales
Calls and received fourteen purchase orders. Judging by this initial
reception, the partners knew they’d launched a winner!
In 2002, M-R-S, inc., moved
to its current location in Oklahoma City. We now manufacture 127 products
and have many of the same customers we’ve had since the company was formed.
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