The Spinks Atomic Indicator & Scale Company

Located in beautiful (sic) East Point, Georgia, a completely absorbed suburb of Atlanta, Spinks Company was the brainchild of one of the Spinks brothers. Eventually run by a son in law, a Mr. Laird, Spinks Company has grown to a force to be reckoned with in its niche. [1]

One of the Spinks brothers originally set up a business making medical accessories - trusses, orthopedic mattresses, etc. Eventually, he came up with the dashpot indicatorTM which he incorporated into a set of scales. The dashpot indicator was basically an oil-damped scale display mechanism. The market for the scales grew, and soon various other related items came forth, including chicken feeders based on the patented dashpot technology.

Mr. Laird, with a degree in electronics, convinced his father-in-law to let him design some automatic controls for the scales, and soon the automatic chicken feeder was born, followed soon after by the incredible double hopper job.

The company, formed in the 50s, when atomic power was the latest word, incorporated the typical, stylized, three-electron atom into its logo - hence the name given it by Georgia music wonder, Mark Heard.

We worked with Homer, Irene, their son Mike, MayBe (she hated her real name), Ronnie (a wild man), Curtis (who drove the Batmobile - a huge, black, 1960s Pontiac), Warren (who'd lost an eye and maybe some fingers in punch press accidents), and various others, including a number of Laird offspring & relations in the summer.

Spinks Company based its annual bonus pool purely on the years raw materials losses, which were determined via inventory. At year's end, every bolt, every screw, every #14 flat washer was counted, ever linear inch of wood accounted for, even to the amount of sawdust waste from excess cuts. To this end, we spent the last 15 minutes every Friday cleaning up, mostly to catch stray materials. Two people could have done the cleanup otherwise, but no, we all (10 - 15 people) had to sift through the swept up dust with fingers, magnets, etc. Occasionally we found as much as a phenomenal 50 cents to one dollars worth of parts, but usually it was more like 10 to 20 cents worth of washers & nuts.

I miss the people, but I don't miss working there much. Then again, it was an adventure I won't forget!
[1] Of course, it's the only one there.

Last updated: 27 May 1998

Copyright 1994, 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514