Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr..

Litton Industries
FateAcquired by Northrop Grumman
SuccessorNorthrop Grumman
HeadquartersMilwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Edit this on Wikidata

During the 1960s, the company began acquiring many unrelated firms and became one of the largest conglomerates in the United States. At its peak, in addition to many defense related companies, it also owned both Royal Typewriters and Adler, Moffat major appliances, Stouffer's frozen foods, and various office equipment and furniture companies.

Like many conglomerates, the company suffered significant declines in the 1970s, selling off many of its unrelated brands and had largely returned to its defense roots by the 1980s. The company continued to shrink after the ending of the cold war and by the late 1990s was a corporate takeover target. The company was purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2001.


Litton started in 1953 as an electronics company building navigation, communications and electronic warfare equipment. They diversified and became a much bigger business, with major shipyards, and manufacturing microwave ovens.

In the early 1990s, Litton Industries split into separate military and commercial companies. The US$2 billion commercial business, which included Litton's oilfield services, business and automated assembly line operations, was named Western Atlas, Inc.

The early "li" logo was designed by Robert Miles Runyan, but was modified in 1986 by designer Gregory Thomas after a worldwide comprehensive study and analysis of the corporate identity. For much of the early 1980s and 90s, "li SWEDA" and "li COLE" were commonly found on product goods but it was modified to bring emphasis to the parent company, whose name was little known.

In 1998, Litton Industries bought TASC, Inc.. In 2000, TASC sold three stand-alone commercial operations: Adesso Software, WSI (Weather Services International) Corporation[1] and Emerge. In 2001, Northrop Grumman bought Litton Industries.


  • Litton Industries, Potentiometer Division, Mount Vernon, NY
  • Litton Airtron, Morris Plains, NJ (microwave waveguide, subsystems and components, AMDL-Advanced Material Development Laboratories for solid state crystal and substrate material growth and marketing and Diamonair gems and jewelry... As a by-product of AMDL crystal material.
  • Litton Airtron-SYNOPTICS (Synthetic Optics and Crystals). Airtron purchased Allied Chemicals crystal growth facility in Charlotte, NC and merged AMDL into that facility eventually becoming Northrop Grumman-Synoptics after NGC acquisition.
  • Litton Guidance and Control Systems
  • Litton Aero Products
  • Litton Computer Services
  • Litton Electron Devices → now L3 Technologies, Electron Devices: Torrance CA & Williamsport PA
  • Litton Data Systems
  • Litton Space Systems
  • Litton Integrated Systems
  • Litton Ship Systems
    Litton Marine Systems logo
    Litton Automated Marine Systems (AMS)
    • Sperry Marine
    • C.Plath
    • Load monitoring System for Spanish Product Carriers (IMP-16 based embedded system w/real-time monitoring and calculation of shear forces and bending moment for load officers)
    • Decca Radar (formerly a division of Racal)
      • Decca Navigator, a historical VLF navigation system
  • Litton Systems Canada
  • Litton Italia
  • Litton Encoder
  • Litton Network Access Systems
  • Litton PRC
  • LITEF (Litton Technische Werke Freiburg, Germany)
  • Litton Kester, a manufacturer of electronics grade solders, particularly the "eutectic" Sn63Pb37 alloy (lowest melting point of any purely tin-lead alloy)
  • Litton Advanced Systems (formerly Litton Amecom)
  • Litton Life Support Systems (formerly Bendix Instruments and Life Support Division) Davenport, Iowa
  • Litton Datalog (formerly the New York Times Facsimile Company and the printer part of Monroe Calculator; merged into Amecom 1982)
  • Litton Westrex (Formerly Western Electric, provider to the film industry of magnetic and photographic sound recording systems. Credits on nearly every Columbia, Fox, M-G-M, Paramount and Universal features, and several independents, including Quinn Martin. Developer of the 45-45 system of stereo phonograph recording, StereoDisk.)
  • Litton Bionetics, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD
  • Western Atlas, a joint venture formed with Dresser Industries, including former Litton subsidiary Western Geophysical. Spun off in 1994.
  • Litton Revenue Control Systems, formerly Taller and Cooper on Front Street in Brooklyn, manufacturer of highway toll ticket dispensing and reading machines.

Consumer and office products:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ aviation week, February 14, 2000
  2. ^ "Stouffer Corporation". Ohio History Central. Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved December 1, 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Robert Sobel The Money Manias: The Eras of Great Speculation in America, 1770–1970 (1973) reprinted (2000).

External linksEdit