Editor's note: This is the 68th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.
HUNTINGTON - After attending Marshall College for two semesters in 1924, Huntington native Henry Ray Ellinwood moved to California, where he went into business making camera equipment.
While taking flying lessons, Ellinwood noticed how loosely the wires in his plane fit together. He devised a better way, designing an aluminum and rubber clip that held the wires in place.
In partnership with a man named Adler (his first name has been lost in the mists of history), Ellinwood opened a Burbank plant to manufacture his clip design.
The two men named their company Adel, taking the first two letters of their last names. Adler parted with the company shortly after its inception. The company struggled in its early years, but with the outbreak of World War II, Adel found it couldn't produce its clips fast enough.
In addition, military leaders worried that the California plant was in danger should there be Japanese air attacks. They urged Ellinwood to build a second plant somewhere inland.
And so in 1942, Ellinwood built a plant in his hometown of Huntington. At the height of the war, the plant at 1444 Adams Ave. employed as many as 500 workers on three shifts.
After the war, the plant had its ups and downs. Meanwhile, it had passed out of Ellinwood's hands. In 1965, Adel was acquired by Tansamerica Delaval Inc. In 1993, the company closed its Huntington plant, returning all operations to California.
Left suddenly jobless, many of Adel's veteran employees had never worked anywhere else.
Enter Huntington businessman Rick Houvouras and other local investors, who teamed up and raised $800,000 to start a new company - Star Technologies.
The new venture began operation by hiring a half-dozen former Adel employees and pledging to them that, once the company reached a given level of profitability, they could become partners in it.
Today the Star Technologies plant, located in the 2400 block of Fourth Avenue in East Huntington, produces millions of aircraft fasteners and other precision parts each year.