The History of Royal Products

1946 Bob Curran in front of Royal Products

Royal Products has been a leading American manufacturer of metalworking performance accessories for more than 75 years. The company was founded in 1946 by Bob Curran, who had an idea for a changeable-point live center with a combination taper/thread interface that would ensure near-perfect accuracy when points were interchanged.

After being awarded a U.S. patent for his concept, Bob convinced a friend who owned a small machine shop in lower Manhattan to rent him some evening machine-time so he could make his first “production run”, which only totaled enough bodies, points, and seal retainers to make ten complete live centers.

Bob assembled his first live center and drove out to Long Island to visit an industrial distributor for feedback on his design. The distributor liked what he saw and said he’d take two, so Bob left his very first center with the distributor and headed back to Manhattan to assemble the second one. Curran Manufacturing Corporation was born!

Within a few years Bob had sold enough live centers and had earned enough money to buy several used machines and rent a small shop of his own, along the way adding additional live center models to Curran Manufacturing’s offering. Having emigrated to the United States as a boy from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Bob had always had an interest in the British Monarchy. This was reflected in his early live center model names, including “The Regal” and “The Monarch”, and eventually led Bob to rebrand the company as Royal Products.

As Royal Products began to grow, Bob added a second key product line to the company’s offering – 5C collet closers for manual engine lathes. These collet closers became extremely popular for small diameter turning jobs, finding their way into virtually every machine shop in North America and cementing Royal’s position as a trusted American manufacturer of precision workholding products.

Today, more than 75 years after Bob Curran designed, built, and sold his very first live center, Royal’s modern, highly automated factory operates around the clock, producing thousands of metalworking performance accessories designed to optimize CNC machine tool performance, productivity, and profits.  

While Royal Products has certainly evolved considerably from its humble beginnings, its founder’s dedication to delivering solutions and being an easy company to do business with remain core values upon which the company continues to build.