Author Archives

Dave Ballew

Throwback Thursday: Leggett & Platt’s Artistic Spirit

Leggett & Platt is into art (and we’re not just talking about cat photos).

Old Stoney by Bill Freeman

Our former CEOs, Harry Cornell and Felix Wright, have long enjoyed and collected fine art, especially works depicting nature and the American West. Many of these original paintings and sculptures grace our corporate headquarters.

Among the paintings are several works by Andy Thomas, an accomplished professional artist and former Leggett marketing director. Andy’s vivid and carefully researched historical paintings have been commissioned and acquired by state and national parks around the country. Leggett is fortunate to own more than a dozen of Andy’s early works, including murals of major events in our company’s history.

The art certainly beautifies our campus, but it’s also intended to inspire an artistic spirit in our people; to encourage the passion and care that will make our work an enduring success.

Below is a small sample of Leggett’s collection (okay, so we might not own all of these; see if you can tell them apart): Continue reading

L&P Revives 1960’s Marketing Strategy: The Cat’s In That

1. Cat in Coil - Small

We’ve had a cat since 1960.

According to legend, he sneaked into our Texas spring plant, climbed a workbench, and took a catnap atop a coil. After that temporary rest on the shop floor, he found a permanent home, job, and even icon status in the marketing department.

For decades, the cat in the coil helped advertise the comfort of L&P bedding products to the outside world, but in recent years, he had retired indoors to spend his days snoozing or making occasional appearances on company t-shirts and ball caps…until now.

Strong forces are drawing him out again: the Internet’s perennial cat craze; hipsters’ affinity for all things vintage; and L&P’s broad range of non-bedding products which have never enjoyed the competitive advantage of an animal mascot. For these reasons and more, we felt it was time to get the cat out of his comfort zone and give him a chance to be the symbol for a new generation of products.

Here are the results so far: Continue reading

Employee Spotlight: Matt Blunt’s No Dummy

Matt Blunt - Intro Photo

No one can test a mattress like Leggett & Platt’s International Technical Center (ITC). Discovering how beds will hold up to years of wear and tear is their full-time job. And no one at ITC is closer or more involved in testing than Matt Blunt (no relation to the former Missouri governor, though they have met).

I sat down with Matt for an interview, but it became immediately and awkwardly apparent that he’s not a talker. In fact, I had to get most of my information from his managers and co-workers. Continue reading

Eco Initiative Highlights – Spring 2015

LP-Ecoiniative-3410-300x134-colorfixedHere are two recent examples of Leggett & Platt’s commitment to be a good steward of our resources and environment. (Items in italics might be slightly embellished.)

Saving Energy by Reducing Horsepower

With a goal of energy savings, our Houston Foam facility (in Mississippi, not Texas) evaluated every motor in the plant and found they could cut some unnecessary horsepower. By replacing an over-sized motor for grinding equipment and removing an auger and drying fans that were no longer needed, they reduced total horsepower by 180, or 8%.

According to latest reports, the 180 liberated horses are now running wild and free across Mississippi.

Putting an Old Boiler Out to Pasture

Our Sponge Cushion facility in Morris, IL, which makes carpet cushion, has reduced fuel consumption and emissions by retiring a half-century old piece of equipment.

Working with their natural gas provider, NICOR, the plant found that their 1950s boiler used to cure synthetic rubber was, not surprisingly, a bit of a gas guzzler. While the boiler had served them well (and certainly shows they know how to maintain plant equipment), Sponge Cushion estimated they could reduce fuel usage 53% by upgrading to a modern unit.

Once installed, however, the new boiler performed even better than expected, using 65% less fuel. This is saving 104,000 therms of natural gas and eliminating 500 tons of CO2 annually.

With its replacement sweating away, the retired boiler is cooling off poolside in Palm Springs.