The Legend of J. Walter Becker

The LegendJ. Walter Becker was born August 18, 1885. He was one of six sons born to his parents who were German immigrants. J. Walter was a boy destined to a great future. Through determination and hard work, J. Walter received his college degree, which in itself was a great accomplishment for the period.

J. Walter developed into an accomplished salesman and an entrepreneur. He was always looking for new and exciting products. As business and industry grew, J. Walter saw a need for a product that had not been addressed. In 1916, he developed the first commulator stones. These stones were used in almost every motor in the world. A year later he formed a business with his brother Lou Becher. the company was named Ideal Commulator Dresser Company. J. Walter was responsible for the development of the business and Lou was in charge of the financial matters.

In 1924, J. Walter found a new home for his growing business in Sycamore, Illinois. It was here in this perfect small American town that Ideal would prosper and create his vision for the company.

As the depression approached, Ideal was looking to diversify their customer base. As a result, J. Walter moved the company into a stable growth products that would be able to withstand market swings. He created a direct sales force and also used agent salespersons.

It was during these hard economic times that Ideal recognized the importance of new marketing strategies such as… direct mail, print advertising and improved customer service.

In 1931, ideal was granted the first patent for “screw on wire connectors”. This patent firmly established Ideal’s future.

During the war years of 1940 through 1945, Ideal like many companies responded to the needs of our country. Ideal was producing rechargeable flashlight batteries for utility companies. During the war, all these batteries were sold to the military. There was still a need for batteries at home, so Ideal developed the wet cell battery. These were used until the end of World War II.

Over the years Ideal was guided by J. Walter’s philosophy, that… a good deal was a deal that would be good for both parties. Through incorporation and diversity, Ideal has grown to be an important partner in today’s electrical industry.

J. Walter Becker died on February 1, 1961 leaving behind a great legacy of an American businessman.

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