Throughout time, women have made significant contributions to society and have shaped important events in American history. On this International Women’s Day, while we celebrate the progress women have made in the workforce, we also want to highlight our own trailblazing woman who paved the way for future generations, Husky’s co-founder, Hazel Sutcliffe.
In 1947, Hazel and her husband, Eugene (E.G.), began the Sutcliffe Specialty Company when they invented and manufactured the first gas-nozzle guard in their home. E.G. held sales meetings at the kitchen table while Hazel served as the company’s accountant.
Hazel, a talented artist, also handled all company related advertising, including painting Husky’s first logo, which still hangs in Husky’s headquarters today. In addition to starting and managing a business, Hazel raised four children, two of whom also eventually would work in the business.
While selling their simple rubber strap “guard” from station to station (with a Samoyed in the passenger seat), E.G. began picking up nozzles and bringing them home to rebuild and sell. As business expanded, the name of their company was changed to Husky Corporation.
Hazel’s contributions to the industry were numerous and significant. She personally held several patents, including a patent for the first one-hand hold-open latch, which is still widely used today. Hazel and E.G. later decided to sell this patent, and used the proceeds to develop their own, uniquely designed nozzle, the Husky 1+.
75 years later, from Hazel’s kitchen table, Husky has grown into a state-of-the-art designer and manufacturer of fuel dispensing equipment with a worldwide distribution network. Hazel’s accomplishments are a testament to the power of determination, perseverance, and hard work, and also grace, good humor, and faith. Her legacy serves as a testament to the great things women are capable of achieving.
So, on this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the incredible achievements of Hazel Sutcliffe and all the women who have worked tirelessly to make a difference in their industries and communities.