Sampo Manufacturing Company, Inc. was founded in 1954 in Redwood City, CA by Oney A. Johnson. The company manufactured the original patented (U.S. 2466243) ball bearing swivels in its factories in California and Puerto Rico. In 1957, Rome Specialty Company, Inc., led by J.L. Butts and Jack Spriggs, purchased the company and moved all of the manufacturing operations to facilities in Barneveld, NY and Forestport, NY. The Sampo division was led by Jack Spriggs until his retirement in 1980. Mr. Spriggs added many new product lines during those years including marine products, gaff hooks, leather goods, fighting harnesses, and leaders.
In 1980, Brian Butts took over the helm of the Sampo division until 1997 when the division split from Rome Specialty Co., to become Sampo, Inc. with Brian as the sole shareholder. Under Brian’s leadership, the Forestport, NY manufacturing facility was closed and all production was moved to the Barneveld plant. In 2001, Sampo Inc. acquired Washington based Donnmar Enterprises, Inc., manufacturers of high quality tactical fishing pliers.
In 2016, Brian sold Sampo Inc. back to Rome Specialty Co., owned by John H. Butts III (Jack). Jack closed the Barneveld plant and moved all the ball bearing swivel and plier production to the Rome Specialty Co, facility in Rome, NY. He has discontinued all of the additional product lines and put more focus on the ball bearing swivel and plier lines.
Rome Specialty Company, Inc. is proud to continue carrying on the tradition of producing the highest quality fishing tackle on the market.