At the start of the 20th century, Claude Foster started a company that he named after his first invention, a multi-tone automobile horn called the Gabriel. However, it would be another invention of his that would assure the company's place in the history books. In 1907, he invents the very first shock absorbing device for automobiles.
Inventing and innovating shock absorbers
Here's a brief look at all the innovations to these suspension devices that the Gabriel company has pioneered:
- 1907 - Foster invents a direct acting shock absorber, the "Gabriel Snubber."
- 1918 - Gabriel begins selling the first hydraulic shock absorber.
- 1956 - The company unveils the "Strider/Adjustamatic," the very first adjustable shock absorber.
- 1967 - Gabriel engineers invent the "HiJacker" the first air-adjustable shock absorber.
Even after Gabriel turned a century old in 2007, it showed no signs of slowing down. In 2009, it was acquired by an independent investment firm, OpenGate Capital. It revived Gabriel into a sustainable and growing business. In 2012, the company became allied with MAT Holdings, a global automotive products manufacturer and distributor.