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Memorial plaque for J.U. Adams and I.M. Pease

Surgical Appliance Industries (SAI) got its start in 1893, founded as the Ohio Truss Company (“OTC”), by Joel Adams and his son-in-law Isaac Pease. The two had become partners some years earlier by manufacturing livery items like leather saddles and bridles and selling them in the bustling Port of Cincinnati to settlers on their way west. However, the advent of the automobile meant the end of the line for many businesses like this.

Looking around for another opportunity suited to their particular talents and expertise, Joel and Isaac came upon the idea of manufacturing hernia trusses and abdominal supports. The pair would pack their wares into trunks and travel by train throughout Ohio, selling off their goods along the way. Real growth for their company was jump-started, however, when they engaged the services of a sales group from a defunct candy company who had excellent contacts among pharmacists.

Cut-and-sew operations

Over the years the company’s product line has evolved with the times, with emphasis shifting from trusses to orthopedic garments since the 1940s, along with mobility and convalescent aids since the ‘50s, mastectomy products since the ‘60s, and compression therapy products since the mid-‘90s.

Compression products manufacturing

    Today SAI’s products are divided into
    four major brand categories:
  • Truform Therapeutic Compression Hosiery: A sensible mix of the most commonly prescribed styles at a price point significantly lower than leading brands.
  • Truform•OTC Orthotics and Prosthetics: A complete line of prescription off-the-shelf products for the spine and extremities, including the OTC Professional Orthopaedic brand of retail packaged supports.
  • Airway: Products for women who have had surgery for breast cancer, including breast forms, bras and accessory items.
  • PCP-Champion: Manufacturer and distributor of mobility and home convalescent aids, and including the Champion Professional Neoprene brand of retail packaged sports and orthotic supports.

Since the late nineteenth century SAI has prospered through five generations of family ownership. The company's mission has never has been to simply "stay the course", rather it has been to expect and respect change in the industry and be prepared to act quickly on what you hear, see, and most importantly, feel.

Company headquarters and manufacturing, Cincinnati, Ohio

Not only is this what SAI has done consistently in the past, it is what continues to guide it toward the future.