Don Brookfield Sr. built and sold his first working dial reading viscometer in 1934. Later, with his father, Gordon, and brother, Bernard, Brookfield incorporated the business and launched the Brookfield Dial Reading Synchro-Electric Viscometer, which would become the standard throughout the world. Brookfield passed away May 24 after an extended illness. He was 93.
Brookfield graduated from MIT in 1932 with a degree in Electro-Chemical Engineering and went to work for Gillette in Boston, where he worked until 1939, leaving to pursue his viscometer enterprise full time. In those early years, Brookfield sold his viscometers with free upgrades for the latest improved models to build his business.
During World War II, Brookfield Engineering Laboratories Inc. was able to continue its viscometer development while making significant contributions to the war effort with such projects as the cathode, which was the heart of airborne radar, the coaxial connectors for radio research at Harvard and MIT, and other defense components.
After World War II, ASTM developed standards for viscosity measurement using the Brookfield Dial Reading Synchro-Electric Viscometer. Simultaneously, Brookfield launched an extensive marketing campaign, and production expanded significantly. Since then, many more instruments have been developed. In 2002, Brookfield was among the first in its field to achieve ISO 9001:2000.