Mr. Brookfield, working with his father Gordon, developed his first viscometer in the 1930s and sold his first dial-reading viscometer in 1934. In 1939, he left a position with the Gillette Co. in Boston to pursue the viscometer business full-time. During World War II the company continued the development of viscometers while contributing to the war effort with technology introductions that included the cathode used in airborne radar, new radio instrumentation and other defense components.
After the war, ASTM developed standards for viscosity measurements using the Brookfield Dial Reading Synchro-Electric Viscometer. The company also experienced rapid expansion with the introduction of new instruments. Today, Brookfield viscometers and rheometers are used in a variety of industries, including paint and coatings, adhesives, petroleum products, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.
The company, based in Middleboro, MA, is currently headed by Mr. Brookfield's sons David, who is president, and Donald Jr., executive vice president. Mr. Brookfield is also survived by three daughters, Beverly Kinraide, Jane Curran and Susan Cowan; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Phyllis, died in 1997.