Peter T. Schurman, who invented the double-wall carrying case and founded blow molder Plastic Forming Co. Inc., died April 13 after a brief illness. He was 77.
Schurman held more than 50 patents in plastics machinery and packaging.
A graduate of Exeter Academy and Cornell University, he began his plastics career in 1954 in Rochester, N.Y., as a resin salesman for Union Carbide Corp. In 1960, he started Airmold Plastics in Buffalo, N.Y., where he invented the process for blow molding double-wall carrying cases and toolboxes. He sold Airmold in 1965 to W.R. Grace & Co.
The following year, Schurman founded Plastic Forming Co. in Woodbridge, Conn. The company began as a machinery developer and custom blow molder, then in 1969, the company entered the market for double-wall carrying cases using a new process he developed.
The market grew quickly in the 1970s as the cases were used to package power tools, chain saws and a range of consumer and industrial products.
PFC opened other companies, then spun off and licensed them to make double-wall cases, including Custom-Pak in Clinton, Iowa; Southern Case in Raleigh, N.C.; and Western Case in Tustin, Calif. The company licensed existing molders in the United States, Canada, France, Spain and Taiwan.
Schurman sold PFC and retired in 1998. He continued to work as a consultant, focusing on patents for new products.
PFC runs plants in Massillon, Ohio, and Woodbridge.