Addison D. Cole, Adcole Corporation’s founder, lead a life of service, innovation, and discovery with his influence being felt on the battlefield, in the Industrial Technology industry, and throughout the known universe. On top of these feats, Mr. Cole built not one, but two businesses. His story is one of a visionary, capable of seeing and solving for the future needs of an infantile industry.
Growing up in the plains of Nebraska during the 1930’s Dustbowl that accompanied the Great Depression, Addison’s childhood could be was marked by the poverty that plagued not only his family, but also the wider midwestern community. It wasn’t until the mid-to-late 1930’s that Addison found his way to the University of Washington to study electrical engineering, a decision that would forever change the trajectory of his life.
Graduating just months before the U.S. formally joined the Allied war efforts of World War 2, Addison was recruited to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s radiation laboratory, notably playing an instrumental role in the development and deployment of one of the first practical American radar technologies. Throughout the war, Addison served in the United Kingdom, training Royal Air Force personnel on the use of that very same radar technology.
Following World War 2, and demonstrating an early and natural bent towards entrepreneurship, Cole co-founded his first company, Laboratory for Electronics, a Boston-based electronics firm specializing in ferromagnetics, which he eventually took public in 1957. From there, it was upon a passion for innovation and progress, a love for the service enabled by his work, and an obsession with quality that Addison began to build what would become his legacy.
Seeing Specs and Suns
Addison wasted no time in moving onto his next venture. In 1957, Cole proceeded with the founding of Adcole Corporation, a business set to become a revolutionary industrial technology manufacturer within the automotive and space exploration industry.
During the early years of the space race, Cole recognized the need for accurate orientation of spacecraft and satellites. With this need in mind, Adcole developed sun-angle sensors capable of precisely recording the location of a craft in orbit based on its position relative to the sun. Mr. Cole, likewise, developed gauges used for high accuracy opto-mechanical measurements serving critical engine component manufacturers.
With Adcole’s major product lines established, it became clear to the broader industrial technology community, that under the leadership of Mr. Cole, this was to be a business dedicated to solving for complexity and pushing the boundaries of precision, accuracy, and overall quality.
A Lifetime of Service, Achievement, and Leadership
In 2014, Addison Cole retired at the age of 95. Artemis Managing Director, James Ward, had the privilege of helping him move some of his things from his office and shared that even in his mid 90s, Addison was still capable of complex ideations and intellectual sketches. After key contributions to decades of international security and over 6 decades of service as Adcole’s CEO and Chairman, Addison had successfully built a business employing over 200 employees. With his devices operating in 21 countries, and hundreds of spacecrafts across the galaxy, it is safe to say that Mr. Cole entered his retirement having firmly cemented his position as one of the most innovative, trustworthy, and visionary founders of his time.