Eagle-Picher Technologies is a privately held, American, manufacturing company known for its battery technology, energetic devices and battery management systems. The company started in 1843 as the White Lead Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. A merger with the Picher Lead Company of Joplin, Missouri occurred in 1906, becoming Eagle–Picher Lead, which evolved into Eagle–Picher Industries, Inc. and finally EaglePicher Technologies. With its merger with the lead mining company owned by Oliver Picher, it was the second largest producer of lead and zinc products in the world.[1] The company has provided lithium-ion batteries to military aircraft and high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles. EaglePicher also developed the first human-implantable lithium-ion battery. The company has nine North American manufacturing and research and development sites and over 900 employees.

EaglePicher Technologies
FounderEdgar and Stephen J. Conkling
United States
  • Thermal batteries
  • Primary batteries
  • Secondary batteries
  • Energetic devices
  • Implantable medical batteries
  • Medical battery packs
  • Custom battery management systems
  • Charging stations


In 1843, the Conkling brothers, Edgar and Stephen J. Conkling, established a white lead factory, in Cincinnati, Ohio to manufacture pigments for commercial paints.[2] They called the partnership the E. & S. J. Conkling Company. In 1847, Edgar took a new partner, William Wood, and the partnership became Conkling Wood & Company.[2] After the American Civil War the firm was incorporated with William Wood as the majority stockholder. In 1906, the Picher Lead Company of Missouri merged with the Eagle White Lead to form Eagle-Picher Lead.

Eagle-Picher, starting with Picher Lead Company, operated lead and zinc extraction facilities in the Tri-State mining district of southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.[3] Picher, Oklahoma was named for O.S. Picher, the original owner of Picher Lead Company, and large-scale mining started there in 1913.[3] The area became the most productive lead-zinc mining field in the district, producing over $20 billion worth of ore between 1917 and 1947. More than fifty percent of the lead and zinc metals used during World War I were produced around Picher.[3] Extraction ended by 1967,[3] but left enormous waste piles around the town contaminated by lead, zinc and cadmium.[4] In 1983 the area was designated as part of the Tar Creek Superfund site, local residents were relocated out of the area over time, and the municipality of Picher was officially dissolved in November, 2013.[4][5]

EaglePicher's medical grade implantable battery
The battery that powered Mars Lander InSight that launched May 2018, designed and produced by EaglePicher Technologies

EaglePicher Technologies’ history as a battery manufacturer dates back to 1922. The company became a battery supplier to the U.S. Government in the 1940s and was supplying silver-zinc batteries for missiles and rockets in the 1950s. During World War II, Eagle-Picher used diatomaceous earth and zinc to produce storage batteries for the US military. By 1947 they were among the first to adapt a purification system for Germanium for commercial use in the transistor industry.[6] The production of germanium was the first semiconducting material, essential to the invention of the transistor and the development of solid state electronics. In 1953 Eagle-Picher sold its metallic products plant in Dallas to Murdock Lead Products.[7]

In January 1991 Eagle-Picher filed for bankruptcy protection having over $2.5 billion in asbestos-related claims asserted against it,[8][9] as well as other environmental claims. Its reorganization was approved in November 1996 with the ownership of the company going to a trust for victims of asbestos and lead poisoning.[10] In 1998 the trust sold the operating businesses to Granaria Holdings, a consortium of Dutch investors.[11] In 2000, the company sold its last company (subsidiary) that operated in the Cincinnati area, Cincinnati Industrial Machinery, to Armor Metal Group.[11] In 2002, corporate headquarters were relocated from Cincinnati to Phoenix, Arizona.[11]

In April 2005, Eagle-Picher filed for bankruptcy protection a second time, having accumulated more than $500 million in new debt.[11][12] It did not fully exit Chapter 11 reorganization until July 2009.[12] During its reorganization, Eagle-Picher acquired new owners, restructured, moved its corporate headquarters in Michigan, and divested itself of some of its non-core businesses.[12] In 2007, it sold its pharmaceutical division to Aptuit Inc. and its EP Boron subsidiary to Ceradyne. In 2008, Eagle-Picher sold Hillsdale Automotive (Metavation) to Cerion.[6] In 2009 two principal new owners became Angelo, Gordon & Co., a New York investment firm, and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a California investment firm.[12] The owners constituted the EPMC Holdings Corp.[13] In February 2010 Eagle-Picher Corp. sold EaglePicher Technologies, their battery division, and EaglePicher Medical Power to OM Group, Inc., a chemical and metals firm based in Cleveland, Ohio.[13][14] As a result, Eagle-Picher Corp. subsequently changed its name to EP Management.[13][15] In December EP Management then sold Wolverine Advanced Materials to Wynnchurch Capital.[13][16] In 2011, EPMC Holdings Corp. sold both EP Management and EP Minerals (formerly Eagle-Picher Minerals) to Gate Capital Corp. of San Francisco.[13][17]

Chairmen and presidentsEdit

  • 2005 Donald L. Runkle, chairman of the board
  • 2006 David L. Treadwell, president (CEO)
  • 2007 Randy Moore, president (CEO)
  • 2016 Gordon Walker, president and chief executive officer
  • 2019 Richard Hunter, chief executive officer


  1. ^ Knerr, Douglas (1992) Eagle-Picher Industries: Strategies for Survival in the Industrial Marketplace, 1840–1980 Ohio State University Press, Columbus, Ohio, page 77 Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine, ISBN 0-8142-0557-7
  2. ^ a b Knerr page 21
  3. ^ a b c d "Tri-State Lead and Zinc District". Dianna Everett, Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Tar Creek Superfund Site". Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  5. ^ "Last Residents of Picher, Oklahoma Won't Give Up the Ghost (Town)". Dan Shepherd, NBC News, April 26, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Staff (December 2009) "EaglePicher Corporation" Hoover's Company Records
  7. ^ "Grand Prairie Daily News from Grand Prairie, Texas on March 8, 1953 · Page 8".
  8. ^ Sherefkin, Robert (31 July 2006) "EaglePicher to exit Chap. 11" Automotive News page 30
  9. ^ Holusha, John (7 December 1995) "Judge Finds Eagle-Picher Liable for $2.5 Billion in Claims" The New York Times page D-4, column 3
  10. ^ Staff (30 November 1996) "Financial Digest" The Washington Post page C-1
  11. ^ a b c d Newberry, Jon (12 April 2005) "EaglePicher Back in Bankruptcy Court; Firm Says No Daily Changes" The Cincinnati Post page C-6
  12. ^ a b c d Dunson, Melissa; Ostmeyer, Andy (21 July 2009). "EaglePicher, ConAgra announce new owners". The Joplin Globe. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d e "EPMC Holdings Corporation". EPMC Holdings Corporation. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014.
  14. ^ "OM Group Completes Acquisition of EaglePicher Technologies". OM Group Inc. 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Connecticut Post Business Briefs: Mich. company gets GE Cap loan". Times-Union. 24 April 2010. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014.
  16. ^ "EP Management Corporation Agrees to Sell Wolverine Advanced Materials to Wynnchurch Capital" (PDF). EPMC Holdings Corp. 28 December 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Bay Area mergers and acquisitions, July 18". Times-Union. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014.