Lewis Card, Sr. and Roy T. Card
Over more than six decades, Joseph L. “Lewis” Card, Sr. and Roy T. Card have been remarkable partners, merging their talents to transform the world beneath our feet. They were true pioneers, blazing the trail for today’s multibillion dollar, global carpet industry.
Combining mechanical ingenuity, innovation, imagination and leadership, these brothers labored together in developing technology to produce carpet that today rivals the best designs, textures and quality that looms for weaving carpet could ever produce.
In 1939 Lewis, the older brother, left Fort Payne, Alabama, the day after graduating from high school to join Cobble Brothers Machinery Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he worked for his uncle, Joseph Cobble. Lewis soon was promoted to manager at Cobble Brothers. Roy, following a tour of duty in the U.S. Coast Guard, joined him in 1950, literally learning the business from the ground up.
Starting with single needle tufting machines used for making “chenille” (tufted) bedspreads, the brothers and a team of craftsmen they assembled began expanding the capabilities of the machines. First they added multiple needles and then built bigger, stronger frames to hold wider needle bars. Before long the machines were being utilized to create scatter rugs, and eventually the Cards made the first attempts to tuft carpet of various sizes.
Those initial samples were crude, but the Card brothers could see the potential and gradually advanced the efficiency of their machines and the quality of the product, one step at a time.
Over the years these men started and acquired a succession of tufting machine companies, including Super Tufter, Card & Co. Inc., Southern Machine Co., Tuftco Corp., all in the Chattanooga area, along with Gowin-Card in Dalton, Cobble Brothers, Ltd. (England) and British Tufting Machine (England), before joining their son and nephew, Lewis Card, Jr., and son-in-law, Charles Monroe, at Card-Monroe Corp. Today both Lewis and Roy serve on the board of directors at CMC. Together they hold more than 100 U.S. and international patents for tufting technology.
These remarkable men, without the benefit of a college education, applied principles of physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry and other disciplines to accomplish their objectives in advancing the craft of tufting and leaving an indelible mark on carpet manufacturing.
Lewis and Roy Card serve as living examples of the American work ethic – seeing problems and obstacles merely as opportunities to refine their craft, while combining vision, hard work and determination to achieve the inconceivable.