From Pasta to Plastic to Pillow Speakers

Curbell’s history began in the 1940s in the industrial heart of Buffalo, N.Y. and has since been marked by an ability to identify new opportunities and to adapt to a changing marketplace and customer needs. That flexibility, along with an entrepreneurial spirit, has led our company and its two subsidiaries, Curbell Plastics, Inc. and Curbell Medical Products, Inc. to continue to grow and thrive.

Brothers Edmond and Leonard Leone founded the original company as a macaroni producer that included a small machine shop. Local aerospace manufacturers approached the company to fabricate parts for their businesses, which led to experimenting with a relatively new material called “plastic.” As their expertise in plastic fabrication grew, so did their customer base and a new company, Curbell Machine Company, was formed, taking its name from a combination of its two original customers: Curtiss Wright and Bell Aircraft.

After World War II, chemical manufacturers expanded their experimentation with plastics and introduced new polymer materials into the industrial marketplace. Curbell was approached to become a distributor for the new materials and quickly grew across New York State. Curbell continued to expand, and by the late 1970s, the company embarked on a major effort to create a national distribution network.

Curbell Plastics is now one of the nation’s premier suppliers of plastic sheet, rod, tube, and related materials, supplying hundreds of plastics products from over 22 sales and distribution centers strategically located throughout the United States.

Curbell Medical (formerly Curbell Electronics) grew out of the company’s Plastics business when Curbell began to fabricate parts for General Electric’s line of wired remote control units for its hospital televisions, commonly known as “pillow speakers.” When Curbell began fabricating as well assembling the units, a new company was born. The company leveraged its assembly expertise to build relationships with other television manufacturers, including Zenith, RCA, and Admiral, until Curbell became the industry’s largest supplier of replacement pillow speaker units.

Today, Curbell Medical is the largest manufacturer of signaling devices and related accessories for hospitals and nursing homes throughout the United States. In addition to our own products, Curbell Medical manufactures a variety of privately-labeled products for most of the major hospital communication system manufacturers in the country, and also distributes many other healthcare products.

Still privately held today, Curbell Inc. employs more than 500 people who embrace our pioneering spirit at our headquarters in Orchard Park, NY, and at our plastics distribution centers throughout the United States.