Corporations: The Wizard of Ozite

It was a classic case of a company that needed to find a better mousetrap —for the second time. Chicago's American Hair & Felt Co. introduced felt carpet underpadding in the '20s and cornered the market, but in the early 1960s it was nearly trampled by the consumer stampede to sponge rubber. Today the company, renamed Ozite Corp.,† is bounding back. Sales rose from $11.7 million in 1964 to $18.8 million last year, and are expected to reach $35 million in 1966. Earnings quadrupled to $892,000 along the way. Ozite's better mousetrap: indoor-out door rugs.

Made of polypropylene fiber, a...