Page 18 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
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continued from page 16
         the U.S., Jim and Barbara continued to
         grow their family with the addition of
         their fourth son, Philip, and their only
         daughter, Christine. They had a total
         of five children.
           In 1962 Chant was hired as the Chief
         Engineer at Boonshaft and Fuchs Co.,
         a small  but well-known  Government
         testing equipment and machinery
         manufacturer. Jim was one of the de-
         signers of the human centrifuge at the
         Johnsville Naval Air Station, where
         NASA astronauts  Alan Shepard and
         John Glenn,  part of the renowned
         “Mercury Seven,” came to Bucks Coun-
         ty, PA to train for the early 1960’s Mer-
         cury Space Missions.  The Johnsville
         Centrifuge was the largest and most
         powerful  human centrifuge  ever con-
         structed and is now on public display
         at the Penn State Anechoric Chamber
         in Warminster, PA after being hidden
         from the public in  the Smithsonian
         storage facility for more than 45 years.
         (see photo on page 20).            Jim Chant, Engineer, Footscray, Kent, England. Working on a project c1956.
           For eight years he was also the U.S.   rented garage, a technician was hired   Jim even designed the first Chant test
         Representative of  the  British  Institu-  to help out and the name was changed   beds to be introduced into the market-
         tion of Engineering and Technology,   to Chant Engineering Co. Inc. The com-  place with touch screen controls. This
         one  of the world’s  largest and most   pany remained unchanged until 1986   was during a time in history which was
         prestigious engineering institutions.   when Philip Chant, Jim’s fourth and   before cell phone technology. Custom-
         He regularly attended board meetings   youngest son joined the company as a   ers initially didn’t like the technology
         in both the United States and England.  full-time employee.           and wanted to revert  back  to manual
           After working for other engineering   Jim  had  an  entrepreneurial  spirit   controls  because they couldn’t under-
         companies, Jim founded L. J. Chant and   which allowed him to take his knowl-  stand it.  They  thought  touch  screens
         Associates in 1970 in the basement of his   edge, expertise, and experience  from   were too hard to use. Today all Chant
         Hatboro home. This company later be-  his previous jobs in the space program   machines are touch screen  controls.
         came Chant Engineering Co., Inc., from   and start his own business. He foresaw   His innovations were decades ahead of
         where he just recently retired as CEO. A   an industry need, so he used his for-  their time.
         serial entrepreneur and developer, Jim   ward thinking  intuition and vision to   In 1988, Chant moved its location to
         was  always  involved  in  something  and   create a company to design and manu-  New Britain, PA where they built their
         constantly seeking his next project.  facture testing machinery for the wire   first new 10,000 sq. ft. facility. Chant
           In 1976 the company  moved to a   rope industry. He was a true inventor,   products are still to this day manufac-
                                                                               tured in the U.S.A. in a larger 55,000
                                                                               sq. ft. facility just a few blocks away
                                                                               from the original factory. His employ-
                                                                               ees saw Jim as a great person, men-
                                                                               tor and teacher and their testimonials
                                                                               reflect  the  impression  and  impact  he
                                                                               made on each of them, both profession-
                                                                               ally and personally.
                                                                                 “Mr.  Chant,  “Call  me  Jim”  is  what
                                                                               he  said  whenever  I  called  him  that,
                                                                               he  was  a  wonderful,  kind  and  caring
                                                                               man.  He  honestly  cared  about  every-
                                                                               one who worked for him, and you knew
                                                                               it. You wanted to go the extra mile for
                                                                               him.  He  understood  what  it  took  for
                                                                               you to do your job, because  he lived
                                                                               and  breathed  it.  He  was  a  brilliant,
                                                                               multi-disciplined  engineer,  company
                                                                               founder, mentor and genuinely a good
                                                                               person.  I  am  grateful  to  have  known
                                                                               him. He has done so much for so many
                                                                               and  he  will  be  missed.  But  more  im-
         Jim and his family boarding the Hanseatic Ocean Liner. c1959                           continued on page 20

         18     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   August 2017
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