• Superior Tube Company founded near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Clarence A. Warden Sr., Clarence A. Warden Jr., S. L. Gabel, and Richard H. Gabel (1934)
  • Our first order for nickel tubing was received from the National Union Radio Corporation of Newark, New Jersey
  • Superior became one of the nation’s largest producers of seamless, stainless steel hypodermic needle tubing
  • 1st US Patent granted Superior for "Cathode for Thermionic Valves"
  • Exhibits "World's Smallest Tube" at the New York World's Fair sparking a 25 year "smallest tube" race with British firm Accles & Pollock Ltd.


  • Installed two tube reducers for integration with cold drawing operations
  • We opened our second plant, which became the nation’s major source for vacuum tube parts used in ordnance proximity fuzes
  • Superior Tube produced the first beryllium copper aircraft antenna for Northrop’s P-61 Black Widow, the first aircraft specifically designed to use radar
  • The company won the Army-Navy E Award for excellence in the production of war equipment
  • Following WWII beryllium copper "antenna" tapered tubing was produced for fresh and salt water fishing rods
  • Superior Tube signed an agreement with Air Material Command to survey European cathode producers, leading to our first visit to Fine Tubes Ltd, then based in Surbiton, United Kingdom


  • Superior Tube Inc and Fine Tubes Ltd formed an affiliation
  • 200,000 feet of cladding were supplied to for Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania. It was the world’s first full-scale nuclear power station devoted exclusively to producing electricity for a civilian population, and opened in 1957.
  • We established our Nuclear Product Division to manufacture vacuum welded zirconium and hafnium fabrications for reactor fuel and control rod assembles
  • Zirconium reactor components were manufactured for the world’s first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus, and the first nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise
  • Superior Tube established its Photo-Forming Department to produce aperture masks for color TV tubes and photo-formed numbers for Nixie tubes
  • The company acquired Magnetic Analysis Special Equipment (MASE) electronic flaw detection devices for the nondestructive testing of tubing


  • Superior Tube supplied 80,000 feet of fuel cladding for Argonne National Laboratory’s EBR-II - Experimental Breeder Reactor-II - in Idaho
  • North American X-15 rocket-powered aircraft used Superior tubing in its ballistic control system
  • Bell Telephone Laboratories used Superior Tube’s tubing in the world’s first communications satellite, Telstar 1, launched in 1962
  • Superior Tube initiated the design and development of an advanced tube rolling process leading to 14 patents in the US, Japan, the United Kingdom and Sweden
  • Surveyor 1, America’s first probe to land on an extraterrestrial body, surveyed the lunar surface for the upcoming Apollo missions. It used Superior Tube products in its TV cameras


  • When McDonnell Douglas developed its new F-15 Eagle fighter plane, Superior Tube supplied the Ti-3Al-2.5V hydraulic line tubing used in the aircraft
  • Superior Tube developed and patented an integrated tube rolling process with manufacturing facilities to produce tubing from reactive metals and other high value, hard to work alloys
  • US Atomic Energy Commission gave Superior Tube qualified status as a supplier of fuel cladding for the FFTF/LMFBR (Fast Flux Test Facility/Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor) in Hanford, Washington
  • Superior Tube began collaborating with Fine Tubes in the UK to develop a process to produce Ti-3Al-2.5V hydraulic line tubing for the Concorde program
  • In 1976, as a major supplier to Rolls Royce, Superior Tube was represented in the first west to east flight of the British Airways Concorde


  • The NASA Space Shuttle program’s life support system relied on high pressure stainless steel tubing supplied by Superior Tube
  • 2,000,000 feet of thin-wall stainless steel heat-exchanger tubing were delivered for the USAF Rockwell B-1B supersonic strategic bomber fleet
  • Superior Tube also supplied Ti-3Al-2.5V hydraulic line tubing for the McDonnell Douglas Northrop F/A-18 multirole fighter
  • Miniature stainless steel tubes were manufactured at Superior Tube for Raytheon’s portable FIM-92 Stinger, an infrared homing surface-to-air missile
  • Thin-walled low-carbon stainless steel tubing for vacuum tight transition couplings were made for MRI scanners with a helium leak rate below one billionth of a cubic centimeter per second


  • Superior Tube purchased VMR 25 CPM equipment from Valinox Nucleaire of Montbard, France
  • The company received its first order for advanced cobalt-chromium alloy tubing for prototypes of new coronary stents
  • Superior Tube developed a process to produce thin-walled zirconium (Zr4) fuel cladding for Battelle, the US Department of Energy’s tritium production program


  • Superior Tube’s proprietary tube rolling process was used to produce titanium alloy tubing for artificial heart valve frames
  • The Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers were launched with Superior Tube’s tubing on board
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear reactor facility received tritium producing fuel assemblies using Zr4 tubing made by Superior Tube
  • Superior Tube purchased the world’s smallest 10-roll straightener from Turner Machine after a joint design effort for coronary stent tubing
  • Employees past and present celebrated 75 years of innovation and tradition at Superior Tube in 2009


  • Author Frank H Winter was commissioned to write a book chronicling the company’s history, entitled Superior – Land, Sea, Air, and Space
  • Superior Tube Inc sold to the Watermill Group along with affiliate Fine Tubes Ltd
  • Superior Tube received the "2014 Industry of the Year Award" from The Tube & Pipe Journal, an industry publication produced by The Fabricators & Manufacturer's Association, Int.