M.C. Gill Corporation was founded on September 11, 1945 by Merwyn “M.C.” Gill who started the company in a garage in Montebello, California. It remains the oldest, continuously operating manufacturer of advanced composites for the aviation industry in the world.
The company’s original market was post-war consumer items such as laminated place mats, lamp shades, plastic wall coverings, a balsa wood bat and cork baseballs which were popular in the post war era.
After seven years of struggle, an opportunity emerged to manufacture belly baggage compartment wall linings for Douglas Aircraft and the DC-6., The company developed light-weight, high-strength, corrosion-resistant Gilliner™ 1066 for the application and became a principal supplier to Douglas Aircraft. The consumer products line was dropped and M.C. Gill Corporation embraced the science of composites. By the late 1950’s, “Gilliner” was synonymous with baggage compartment liners.
During the early 1960’s, the corporation developed a line of floor panels to withstand the damage caused by women’s spiked heels. Entering the aircraft replacement floor business lead to qualifications to virtually all Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier floor panel specifications.
Throughout their early lives the Gills’ sons worked part time at the company. After graduation from college they joined the company full time and worked in the Operations and the R&D departments. As the corporation grew and relocated, new products, like floor panels and honeycomb, were added to the line of materials manufactured at the El Monte, California facility.
In the mid 1980’s, balsa was replaced by aramid honeycomb core and in the early 1990’s the corporation secured a contract with Boeing for Nomex honeycomb and continues to produce honeycomb core for Boeing today.
In 1991, Stephen Gill became the CEO. Throughout the next two decades, Stephen Gill steered the corporation through an aggressive strategic plan that included acquisitions and organizational enhancements. The company expanded from its original location into a total of 5 buildings and began a series of acquisitions which included: • Castle Industries in California, a manufacturer of metallic sub-assemblies for commercial and military aircraft. • Alcore, Inc. in Maryland and Alcore Brigantine in France, manufacture aluminum honeycomb and machine metallic and non-metallic honeycomb. • Insoleq in Northern Ireland warehouses the corporation’s products and fabricates floor panels.
Each subsidiary offered unique capabilities which complemented the parent corporation. Vertical integration allows the corporation to maximize efficiencies by offering a broad array of products and services to satisfy global market demand.
In 2009, the third generation Gill family member, Jennifer Gill, joined the corporation at the El Monte campus.
In 2010, after 65 years in business, M.C. handed over his keys and officially retired. In 2014, Stephen and Phil Gill worked closely with the shareholders and the Advisory Board to develop a bold plan for the corporation’s future.
On the eve of the company’s 70th anniversary we shared the news that we no longer see ourselves as a company driven by a single man’s vision but we are an organization staffed by experienced, innovative, educated and multi-disciplined individuals under the careful guidance of the Gill Family.
Effective September 2014, M.C. Gill Corporation officially became The Gill Corporation.
Now, more than 70 years later, The Gill Corporation employs people in the United States, France and Northern Ireland. The corporation occupies over 500,000 square feet of manufacturing/office space with over 1,000 employees on payroll.
Middle: Early resin mixing station.
Right: Early lay-up station near press.
Bottom: Installer prepares cargo compartment for panels.