RdF Corporation was founded in 1939 when Professors Arthur C. Ruge and Alfred V. deForest, both of M.I.T., formed a partnership to pursue the development and industrial use of the bonded resistance wire strain gage that Professor Ruge had invented in 1938.
The partnership later became Ruge-deForest Inc., specializing in fine wire technology as applied to strain measurement and to force, pressure and torque measurement.
These products were marketed through the Southwark Division of The Baldwin Locomotive Works. A minor part of the business, using the same fine wire technology, was devoted to surface temperature measurement. These temperature measurement products carried the trademark RdF Stikon® and were marketed directly to the consumer.
In 1955 Ruge-deForest, Inc. was bought out by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation, (formerly The Baldwin Locomotive Works) and moved to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become part of the Electronics & Instrumentation Division of BLH. The temperature measurement portion of the business was not included in the sale and remained in Cambridge, Mass., under the same ownership, but named Arthur C. Ruge Associates, Inc. The trademark RdF Stikon® was also retained.
The company relocated to Hudson, New Hampshire in 1959 as one of the first industries to move into the town. Professor Ruge later decided he preferred to devote his time to other interests and sold his stock to the other shareholders. A new company name was required and RdF Corporation (borrowed from the trademark) was selected to show continuity of the product line and to honor the original founders.
RdF is still a closely held corporation and the major stockholders are involved in daily operations.