Cheshire, Conn. — Tom McGwire, former president of Industrial Heater Corp., died peacefully in his home on Dec. 1. He was 84.
After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1954, McGwire joined the U.S. Army. He served from 1954 to 1956. McGwire began his business career as a fuel oil salesman for Esso Oil Co. He eventually became a district manager and finally, joined the mergers and acquisitions group buying and selling fuel stations.
In 1970, McGwire took over Industrial Heater Corp. in New York and ran it from 1970 to 1991. He built the company into a major supplier of band and cartridge heaters for the plastics industry. Working with major original equipment operators, he helped create many of the standards in heater design that are still used today. He also initiated extensive energy testing on heaters used for plasticizing in plastics machinery, making them more efficient.
He patented a flexible heating blanket used to de-stress welds on the hulls of large shipping vessels.
McGwire also was a founding member of the Eastern Region Group of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., now called the Plastics Industry Association.
Industrial Heater, now based in Cheshire, also makes immersion heaters, steam generators, inline water and air heaters, ovens and furnaces, radiant heaters, strip heaters, temperature sensors and tubular heaters.
McGwire is survived by his children, Tad McGwire, the current president of Industrial Heater, and Polly Cosmedy, as well as seven grandchildren.
Services were held Dec. 4 in Cutchogue, N.Y.