Lake Shore Cryotronics Celebrating 50 Years

Lake Shore Cryotronics (CSA CSM) is celebrating 50 years in business this year, and in May it recognized the people who helped it become a worldwide leader in precision measurement over a wide range of temperature and magnetic field conditions.

As part of the festivities, the company chronicled its history and achievements in a new book published on its website. “In celebrating this milestone, we are pausing to show appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the employees and customers who have been partners in our success,” said Michael Swartz, Lake Shore president.

Michael’s father John and uncle David Swartz incorporated the company in May 1968 after John successfully built a batch of innovative cryogenic temperature sensors for Argonne National Laboratory (CSA CSM). In the early years, John was a professor of electrical engineering at The Ohio State University. He built the Argonne sensors in the kitchen of his Columbus OH home while his brother David managed Lake Shore’s business and sales operations in Eden NY.

After a brief period manufacturing sensors in a space leased from F.W. Bell in Columbus, Lake Shore consolidated operations in the Columbus suburb of Westerville in 1978, moving into a building that once housed a Kroger grocery store. The company continued to grow in the years that followed, and in 1997 moved to its current Westerville location, a 55,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art metrology, production and clean room facilities.

David Swartz left the company in 1981 and later operated a technology company in Arizona before passing away in 2016. John Swartz stepped down as president and CEO in 2004, though he continues to serve as chairman of the board and remains actively involved in product R&D for the company. He appointed his son Michael his successor and his daughter Karen (Swartz) Lint as COO. Susan (Swartz) Ruhl, John’s youngest child, is supply chain manager for the company.

Lake Shore Cryotronics now employs around 150 people. Over the years it has expanded its product offerings, introducing material characterization systems, magnetic test instruments and precision current sources. Its product line now includes cryogenic probe stations, vibrating sample magnetometer systems and Hall effect measurement systems used to explore the electronic and magnetic properties of novel materials.

More than 1,800 colleges and universities worldwide use Lake Shore technology. Its products are also used in many of today’s most advanced high energy and plasma physics experiments—including the CERN Large Hadron Collider—and projects undertaken by NASA and other aerospace leaders.

The Cryogenic Society of America salutes Lake Shore Cryotronics for this achievement and for the company’s contributions to the cryogenics and superconductivity industries. Its steady growth and strong involvement in the betterment of science have been exemplary.

CSA is extremely grateful to Lake Shore co-founder Dr. John Swartz, who was one of our very first Corporate Sustaining Members, giving us his support in 1985, shortly after the society’s reorganization in Illinois. Laurie Huget, CSA’s Executive Director, said, “We personally always look back to Dr. Swartz with great appreciation for his faith in our mission and his generous support of our efforts. It meant a lot to us and inspired us in the early days when CSA was getting started.

“Since that time Lake Shore has been a steady and strong supporter of our work. Lake Shore employees have provided help whenever we asked, teaching short courses for us, and today serving on our board in the person of Dr. Scott Courts.

“A company does not survive in the marketplace unless it is well-managed, hires excellent people and has outstanding products. The founders of Lake Shore laid the foundation for the excellent organization of today. We at CSA wish you happy anniversary and many more years of success.”