"I design a radio coil. I make it with sweat and blood and it's the ne plus ultra coil. Then I give it to a producer and tell him to make it just so. Then that bum makes it wrong. So I get into the coil business."

Thus Glenn Edward Swanson, a slim, nervous man with an autocratic air and computer-like mind, described how he got into the coil business in a Chicago loft 15 years ago. In its first year, his Standard Coil Products Co. barely broke even. Five years later, it was...

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