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History of S.S. White Technologies

Dr. White was a visionary and a tireless inventor with ten patents to his name. His products earned eighty medals for excellence from the great industrial institutes in the U.S. and were as esteemed in Europe as they were in the United States. He inspired creativity and initiative in his employees, such as Dr. Eli T. Starr (1834-1904) whose mechanical and inventive genius contributed most to the excellence of S.S. White Company. Dr. Starr had over a hundred patents to his name.

Dr. White was also an enlightened businessman. He embraced a diverse workplace during an era in which diversity in the workplace was uncommon. His company published "Dental Cosmos," a respected chronicle of dentistry, and assumed a major role in educating other dentists. His classmate and later the personal dentist of Napoleon III of France, Dr. Thomas Evans introduced White's innovative techniques in Europe.

During the Civil War, soldiers were required to have six upper and six lower teeth to bite off the end of a powder cartridge. Dr white led the American Dental Association and met with Abraham Lincoln with a proposal to provide dental services to the Union soldiers, though nothing came of it because of logistics issues.

Samuel Stockton White - Founder of S.S. White Technologies

S.S. White Technologies, Inc. started life in Philadelphia over 175 years ago as a tooth factory founded by Dr. Samuel Stockton White in 1844 with a work force of three.

Samuel Stockton White was born on June 19, 1822 to William Rose White and Mary Stockton in Hulmeville, Pennsylvania. By the age of 21 he was practicing dentistry in his uncle's firm and supervising his manufacturing department. The next year, in 1844 young Samuel set up his own tooth factory in the attic of a house in downtown Philadelphia and practiced dentistry downstairs.

Samuel Stockton White's little tooth factory became, over the decades, the largest dental manufacturing company in the world--with sales offices in New York, Boston and Chicago; and catalogues in Spanish, French and German.

In 1874 Dr. Eli Starr first introduced a high speed Flexible Shaft in S.S. White dental engines. He obtained US Patent No. 158,325 in 1874 for his invention. It was so successful that Dr. White continued to buy patents for further improvements in Flexible Shaft thereafter. He encouraged fellow dentists to improve their practices which created a market for tools and supplies he manufactured and sold.

Dr. White died of a congestion of the brain on December 30, 1879 in Paris, France, at the age of 57. He is one of the most revered names in the field of dentistry for transforming dentistry from a secretive trade into a respectable medical discipline.

Dr. White's grandson, Samuel Stockton White III, was a gymnast and an athlete. Prior to joining the company the youthful athlete had visited Paris in 1901 with his wife Vera. They were introduced to the world-renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin by a mutual friend. Young S. S. White III modeled for the sculptor who made two sculptures of the strong man called "The Athlete" which are currently exhibited at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. He joined the company in 1903 and became Director in 1926.

The company continued to flourish after Dr. White's death under a series of strong and creative managers.

In 1881 it became a stock company. Its product Flexible Shaft crossed over to industrial applications and soon became a ubiquitous presence in daily American life.

In 1915, S.S. White Flexible Shafts replaced drive links in automobile speedometers.

In 1931, the company published the industry's first Flexible Shaft hand-book which quickly became 'The Source' for all engineers interested in rotary motion.

In 1937, it established a vast manufacturing plant in Staten Island, NY.

In 1941, S.S. White designed sophisticated Flexible Shaft assemblies for aircrafts of the U.S. military during WW II.

By 1950, S.S. White had become the largest employer in Staten Island, NY.

In 1968, the Pennwalt Corporation, a Fortune 200 company, acquired S.S. White.

In 1972, the S.S. White Industrial Division relocated to a plant in Piscataway, New Jersey; severing its ties with its sister company, S. S. White Dental Manufacturing.

In 1973, a bright young engineer, Rahul Shukla, joined the company. He observed that no definitive scientific formulas to design these complex shafts had ever existed. This void inspired a vision in Rahul leading him to obsessively carry out tireless calculations, countless experiments, and lengthy research studies throughout the 70s.


In 1984, a senior research engineer Adam Black III came on board, and after five years of exhaustive investigation in the field of mechanics of Flexible Shaft, submitted a doctoral thesis to The Stevens Institute of Technology. Based on his research, S. S. White introduced "Perflexion," a proprietary software for designing Flexible Shafts to suit their respective applications.


In 1987, a doctoral degree was awarded to Adam Black by for his groundbreaking research.

The very next year, in 1988, Rahul Shukla (pictured right) purchased the company from Pennwalt and became its president and CEO. He promptly changed the name from S. S. White Industrial Division to S. S. White Technologies, Inc., transforming it from a sluggish division of a subsidiary of a corporation to an independent, innovative and youthful technology outfit. For the first time since the turn of the century, the company had a leader whose commitment to the company and expertise of Flexible Shaft was without equal. He quickly reinforced White's original motto, "to make the best goods, justice to employees, and fair dealing with patrons."


Rahul Shukla introduced a new style of management. He emphasized technological innovation, arduous hard work, personalized customer service, and respect for his workforce. He also encouraged gleeful camaraderie among the employees and introduced numerous social events, cruises, picnics, and more, making work a pleasurable activity.

Under his stewardship the company now focuses on two main product lines:

Flexible Shaft Technology and Orthopedic Revision Surgical Tools

Rahul Shukla - President & CEO

S.S. White Flexible Shafts specialize in rotary motion solutions for the aircraft, medical, automotive, and industrial markets. More than half the cars produced in the US today carry one or more of S.S. White's Flexible Shafts. Most commercial aircraft produced in the world, whether it is a helicopter, military jet, jumbo airliner (except the Russian jets), or prop plane has at least one S.S. White Flexible Shaft on board. We are considered the world leader in the design and manufacturing of Flexible Shafts and related assemblies.

Orthopedic Revision Surgical Tools - Another example of our improvement is with our orthopedic surgical instruments division. In 1999, we purchased "Snap-On Medical Products, Inc." In this division currently, our engineering team creates state-of-the-art hand-held surgical instrumentation for the extraction of orthopedic implants and the removal of orthopedic screws. We sell these products directly to the doctors and hospitals that use them. As an indication of our burgeoning growth, a manufacturing unit has been established near Ahmedabad, India and a second one is planned at a free port on Indian west coast.

For more information about our surgical instruments, please visit

S.S. White Flexble Shaft

Surgical Instruments

True to our founder's credo, S.S. White has been continually developing new processes to make new products and finding new applications for our products. After eight years of research, our Dr. Adam Black worked out the mathematical formulas governing the performance of Flexible Shaft. Based on these formulas, our CEO Rahul Shukla developed a computer-modeling program for designing a Flexible Shaft to precise parameters. This led to the introduction of our new product lines of STEADY-FLEX® and POWER-FLEX® shafts. 

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