Thomas "Tom" J. Morton, Jr.

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Thomas "Tom" J. Morton, Jr.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Hoosier Cardinal Corporation; Fiberfil

Laureate 2014

Thomas J. Morton Jr. is widely regarded as the father of the modern plastics industry who helped to establish Evansville's renowned "Plastics Valley" as the national center for plastics manufacturing. As a pioneer, investor, and innovator, Morton founded Hoosier Cardinal Corporation, a stamping company that jump-started the modern plastics and metal industry in Evansville in 1937. The company invented and manufactured a revolutionary plastic refrigerator shelf stud that was used by Sears Roebuck and Co., among others.

He also purchased a Warsaw company called Fiberfil and moved it to Evansville, where it eventually led to the creation of DSM Engineering Plastics, and Matrixx. Today, there are more than 50 plastics manufacturing businesses in the Tri-State employing several thousand individuals, and it can be traced back to Hoosier Cardinal Corporation and Morton's innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit.

During his esteemed career, Morton was a passionate supporter of the local business community, serving on the board of directors for more than a dozen local businesses, including Old National Bank, the Warrick Corp., International Steel Co., Interstate Finance Corp., Evansville Morris Plan Co., and Hotel McCurdy Building Co. Morton also served as president and director of Acme Tool & Die Co. in Evansville, and was director of the Evansville Manufacturers and Employers Association, the Evansville branch of the National Metal Trades Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

His principal hobby was showing thoroughbred show horses competitively which he developed a lifelong involvement in working with local 4H clubs. He brought to these activities the same innovative vision that characterized his business ventures.


Thomas "Tom" J. Morton, Jr. (1900-1993)

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