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About Us - Company History : StrykerStryker’s history is rooted in innovation. When Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopaedic surgeon from Kalamazoo, Michigan, found that certain medical products were not meeting his patients’ needs, he invented new ones. As interest in these products grew, Dr. Stryker started a company in 1941 to produce them. The company’s goal was to help patients lead healthier, more active lives through products and services that make surgery and recovery simpler, faster and more effective.Stryker’s history is rooted in innovation. When Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopaedic surgeon from Kalamazoo, Michigan, found that certain medical products were not meeting his patients’ needs, he invented new ones. As interest in these products grew, Dr. Stryker started a company in 1941 to produce them. The company’s goal was to help patients lead healthier, more active lives through products and services that make surgery and recovery simpler, faster and more effective.

Today, Stryker is a global leader in the medical technology industry. Company growth is based on an unparalleled variety of high-quality, innovative products and services that create cost-effective solutions and improve people’s lives – which we achieve through the dedication of our over 20,000 employees worldwide.

The spirit of bringing innovation to healthcare began with Dr. Stryker when he founded the company in 1941 and it continues today. Stryker is well-positioned to continue serving the worldwide medical community for generations to come.  We think Dr. Stryker would be pleased.

Stryker History

November 04 1894:

Dr. Homer Stryker, company founder, is born in Athens, Michigan on November 4, 1894.

June 01 1925:

Dr. Stryker receives his medical degree from the University of Michigan.

January 01 1936:

Dr. Stryker invents the turning frame and walking heel while completing a degree in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Michigan. 

January 01 1940:

Dr. Stryker begins his medical practice in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and establishes offices in Borgess Hospital. He uses a room in the basement of Borgess for research and development, which turns out to be the first manufacturing line for the turning frame. After writing about the turning frame in the Journal of the American Medical Association and demonstrating it at the Fourth Annual American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Stryker starts getting inquiries and accepting purchase orders.

January 01 1941:

Dr. Stryker begins selling his inventions and hires his first full-time employee, Marshal Morrison.  Mr. Morrison works in the Borgess basement assembling and packaging turning frames and also assists Dr. Stryker in surgery. World War II creates a heavy demand for Dr. Stryker's products.

February 20 1946:

Once considered just an extension of his medical practice, Dr. Stryker's inventions - the turning frame, the cast walking heel, a surgical traction device and cast cutter - are the first products to be offered by the Orthopedic Frame Company. Dr. Stryker incorporates his manufacturing business and holds all 5,000 shares of the company stock, which is worth $20,000.

November 16 1947:

A patent is issued for Dr. Stryker's oscillating saw. As a result of a late-night brainstorm, Dr. Stryker hit on an idea for a powered cast cutter. The first prototype, created on the premise that an oscillating saw blade cuts hard material but not soft surfaces, incorporates a motor from a malted milk mixer. The once long and laborious process to remove a plaster cast now takes only minutes with the cast cutter. The saw cuts hard cast material, but not human tissue, and is the forerunner to a broad line of surgical instruments.

January 01 1955:

Dr. Stryker's son, Lee Stryker, takes over as general manager of the Orthopedic Frame Company

January 01 1958:

The Orthopedic Frame Company posts record earnings of $1 million.

January 01 1958:

The Orthopedic Frame Company launches the revolutionary Circ-O-Lectric bed.  A decade in development, the Circ-O-Lectric bed capitalizes on the legacy of the turning frame. Now with 60 employees, nearly 90% of the Company's products are a result of Dr. Stryker's innovative ideas.

January 02 1964:

Dr. Stryker retires from his medical practice and the Company name is changed to Stryker Corporation.

January 01 1968:

The 1960s usher in a new era of product development with the micro reciprocating saw.

January 01 1969:

Lee Stryker becomes the Company's president.

January 01 1972:

Stryker International, Inc. is organized and begins to develop sales forces in Canada and overseas.

July 25 1976:

Piloting his own plane, Lee Stryker, his wife and two companions perish in a crash while on vacation in Wyoming.  His children Ronda, Pat and Jon, were not on the plane and survived.  Lee had helped boost the company to 280 employees and nearly $10 million in sales by the time of his death.

December 31 1976:

Thirty years after its incorporation, the Company's sales grow to $17.3 million in 1976.

February 01 1977:

An extensive search by the Board of Directors and a unanimous decision yields Tennessee native, John Brown, as Stryker's new president and chief executive officer. John sets three goals that will significantly impact the future of the company - to take Stryker stock public, to grow earnings per share 20% every year and to drive growth via a combination of acquisitions and operational excellence.

January 01 1979:

The first international direct sales office is established in Germany.

May 02 1979:

The initial public offering of stock on the NASDAQ brings greater awareness of the Company.

August 01 1979:

Stryker purchases Osteonics Corporation of New Jersey, and enters the orthopaedic implant market.

January 01 1980:

Divisionalization brings focus to each of the Company's three major product groups: Medical, Surgical and Osteonics.  Stryker Medical retains the stretcher and bed products, while Stryker Surgical continues to develop cast cutters, bone saws and other surgical instrumentation. The separation of these businesses enables the new divisions to focus resources intensely on their specialties.   Osteonics maintains a separate sales force as well, focused on orthopaedic implants, but does not yet use the Stryker name.  Sales reach $36 million in 1980.

May 01 1980:

Dr. Stryker dies at age 85 and John Brown becomes Stryker's Chairman.

January 01 1981:

The purchase of SynOptics provides expansion into the endoscopy market.

January 01 1982:

Stryker is the first company to offer a fully soakable video camera.

January 01 1983:

Stryker introduces the first high performance cordless heavy duty power tools for orthopaedics.

January 01 1985:

Stryker establishes an office in Australia.

January 01 1987:

Stryker purchases Adel as a complement to its existing line of labor and delivery stretchers.  Adel Medical Limited's line of maternity room beds and hand-crafted hardwood furniture offers new advantages in single-room care.

January 01 1989:

Stryker launches the first 3-chip medical video camera.

January 01 1989:

Stryker opens its first office in Belgium. 

June 01 1989:

The Detroit News ranks Stryker #186 on its list of Corporate America's Top 'Pickens'.

January 30 1990:

Stryker Canada is incorporated.

December 31 1990:

In 1990, annual sales increase to $280 million.

January 01 1991:

Stryker becomes the first orthopaedic manufacturer to receive FDA clearance to market hydroxyapatite-coated products.  This breakthrough allows orthopaedic implantations without the use of bone cement.

January 01 1992:

Stryker is the first company to offer a video Endosuite operating room.

January 01 1992:

Stryker opens its first Latin America headquarters.

October 01 1992:

The acquisition of Dimso, SA opens opportunities in the spinal fixation field.

January 01 1993:

Stryker enters the med/surg hospital bed market with the MPS 3000 bed, offering first of its kind technology to a market that experienced little innovation in recent years.  The MPS (modular patient system) is now known as the Secure bed. Building on its success in stretcher engineering, Stryker develops better bed functionality, with features that still define contemporary critical care and medsurg beds.

January 01 1993:

Endoscopy is the first to launch a digital capture unit called SDC, "Stryker Digital Capture."

January 01 1993:

BDO Seidman/Durocher & Co. ranks Stryker #15 on the list of the top 100 Michigan-based public companies for return on sales.

April 01 1993:

BusinessWeek ranks Stryker #77 on its list of 250 Companies on the Move.

May 01 1993:

The Wall Street Transcript awards Stryker a bronze medal in its Special Report on Healthcare/Hospital Supply.

January 01 1994:

RUGGED ambulance cots are introduced to expand into emergency medical services.  With their distinctive yellow and black design, the first model helps Stryker gain quick access and success in its first non-hospital market.  

January 01 1994:

Stryker acquires shares of Matsumoto Medical Distribution, and this partial ownership significantly strengthens business in Japan.

March 01 1994:

Stryker establishes Stryker China Limited to officially enter the markets in China and Hong Kong.  China's first office was established in Hong Kong.

March 01 1994:

Stryker Medical receives the Society of Business Designers APEX Award for the Renaissance series stretcher.

January 01 1996:

Stryker opens an office in Denmark and establishes itself in the Nordic region.

Sep 06 1996:

Stryker acquires Osteo in Selzach, Switzerland.  This acquisition provides Stryker entry into the orthopaedic trauma market. The Selzach facility is then expanded another 580 m² and reorganized into cell manufacturing.

July 24 1997:

Stryker is listed on the New York Stock Exchange after 18 years on NASDAQ.

December 31 1997:

In 1997, annual sales reach $980 million.  This year also marks the 21st consecutive year of 20% EPS growth.

January 01 1998:

Stryker acquires Bertec Medical, Canada's premier bed manufacturer. 

January 01 1998:

Stryker Endoscopy is the first to offer HERMES voice integration and Infravision, an infrared technology.

December 04 1998:

Stryker Corporation purchases Howmedica, the orthopedic division of Pfizer Inc., for $1.65 billion.  This acquisition brings together market-leading orthopedic products from both companies. Howmedica's $830 million in sales nearly doubles the size of Stryker, with annual sales reaching $1.9 billion.     This acquisition marks the single biggest business decision in the Company's history.  Stryker becomes one of the largest players in the orthopaedic implant business and with its medical equipment and services, the Company becomes a leader in the worldwide medical technology marketplace.

December 05 1998:

Stryker Trauma is established after the acquisition of Howmedica by Stryker Corporation to develop, manufacture and distribute trauma solutions worldwide.

December 05 1998:

Stryker establishes its office in Greece after acquiring the office in the Howmedica acquisition. 

December 05 1998:

Stryker enters Italy after the acquisition of Howmedica, with an office in Rome.

December 15 1998:

IndustryWeek names Stryker’s Osteonics plant in Allendale, New Jersey, as one of the ten best manufacturing plants in the U.S.

January 01 1999:

Stryker Instruments enters into the pain management market with the introduction of the Pain Pump.

January 01 1999:

Stryker acquires Infomedix, a medical image communication company, and forms the Communications business unit.

January 01 2000:

Japan builds the NSK Training Center in Shinagawa, Tokyo.

January 01 2000:

China opens four more offices in China: Shanghai in the east, Guangzhou in the south, Chengdu in the southwest and Beijing in the north.

January 01 2000:

Instruments' Kalamazoo facility earns IndustryWeek magazine's Top 10 Manufacturing Plant Award.

August 16 2000:

Stryker acquires Image Guided Technologies and gains access to the surgical navigation market.

January 01 2001:

Stryker enters the surgical waste management market with the launch of the Neptune Waste Management System.

January 01 2001:

Stryker becomes the first company to enter the global market with imageless open platform orthopaedic navigation with the launch of Knee 1.0.

April 01 2001:

The Detroit Free Press ranks Stryker #25 on its list of the 50 companies in Michigan with the largest revenue.

January 01 2002:

In 2002, annual sales reach $3.0 billion and Stryker is listed in the Fortune 500 for the first time at # 493.

January 01 2002:

BusinessWeek places Stryker in the top 15% on its list of 500 best companies for shareholder return versus executive compensation.

February 18 2002:

Stryker Romania is founded.

March 01 2002:

Stryker receives the 2002 Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) national Outstanding Corporate Growth award.

March 26 2002:

Forbes ranks Stryker #343 on its list of Super 500 Companies in America for sales, profits, assets and market value.

April 01 2002:

BusinessWeek ranks Stryker #37 on its list of the 50 best performers in the S&P500 for sales, earnings and return.

April 01 2002:

The Detroit Free Press ranks Stryker #24 on its list of the 50 companies in Michigan with the highest revenue.

May 01 2002:

Fortune ranks Stryker #5 on its list of the most admired companies in the precision equipment sector.

June 01 2002:

Fortune ranks Stryker #51 on its list of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies for EPS growth, revenue growth and total return.

October 01 2002:

IndustryWeek ranks Stryker #652 on its list of the world’s 1,000 largest manufacturing companies.

November 01 2002:

Stryker opens its first office in Ukraine in the city of Kiev.

January 01 2003:

The Endoscopy division develops the Stryker device control system, SIDNE, the first non-discrete voice recognition device, and becomes a booms and lights manufacturer. 

January 01 2003:

Stryker acquires the Dekompressor and creates the interventional pain sales force.  The Dekompressor and Percutaneous Cement Delivery System provide entry into the interventional back pain market.

January 01 2003:

Stephen P. MacMillan joins Stryker as President and Chief Operating Officer.  Stryker's annual sales top $3.6 billion in 2003.

January 01 2003:

Stryker launches the CentPillar hip stem, a product specifically designed for the Japanese market.

January 01 2003:

Stryker's EMS business receives a Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) for the Stair-PRO stair chair.

February 01 2003:

MX magazine ranks Stryker #13 of the top Medtech firms posting strong Q2 gains.

March 01 2003:

Medical Product Outsourcing magazine ranks Stryker #10 on its list of the top 30 global medical device companies.

March 01 2003:

Forbes ranks Stryker #312 on its list of “America’s 500 Top Companies” for sales, profits, assets and market value.

April 01 2003:

Money magazine features Stryker for 26 years of 26% compounded earnings per share growth.

May 01 2003:

Fortune ranks Stryker as the #2 most admired company in the medical products and equipment sector.

June 01 2003:

BusinessWeek ranks Stryker #25 on its list of the 50 best performers in the S&P500 for sales, earnings and return.

January 01 2004:

Stryker's Endoscopy division launches the world's first medical high definition camera and high definition visualization platform, along with the Switchpoint Infinity Control System.  It also expands into the urology market.

January 01 2004:

Stryker acquires SpineCore, Inc. to provide future access to the spinal disc market and clinical trials are started.

January 01 2004:

Stryker launches the NRG knee system, which is specifically designed for the Japanese market.

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