Diversity and innovation have been significant in the history of Independent Protection Company and its Turtle Top Division. The Cripe Lightning Rod Company, a predecessor company, was founded in the mid- 1920's by Henry H. Cripe and his sons, Earnest C. Cripe and Forrest G. Cripe. The company manufactured, installed, and serviced lightning protection systems and began operations out of a barn located on the company's present facilities in Goshen, Indiana. The company was sold to its primary competitor for a very high price thirty days before the 1929 stock market crash.

In 1934 during the Great Depression, Earnest C. Cripe established Independent Protection Co., Inc. in Goshen, Indiana to manufacture and install lightning protection systems. Independent Protection Co. continues to be a leading manufacturer of lightning protection for industrial, residential, and historical buildings and trees. As a highly successful Goshen industrialist and a man of great inventiveness and drive, Earnest, developed the first Turtle Top and Travel Gear Conversion for a cargo van in 1962. A principle part of this conversion was the exciting lift-able roof (Turtle Top) which functioned so well and was so completely free of maintenance or repair that it won universal acceptance. The company recognized the tremendous potential of the travel and recreational market and the role that ordinary passenger vans would play. The development of the Turtle Top Division to its present diversity and innovative success was a joint effort of the late Earnest C. Cripe and his nephews, Robert E. Cripe and Richard D. Cripe who succeeded him as chief officers of the company.

Today, the fourth and fifth generations of the Cripe family are actively involved in the business. Robert E. Cripe Jr., son of Robert E. Cripe, is currently corporate Executive Vice President and General Manager at Turtle Top, overseeing daily operational issues. Phil Tom Jr., son-in-law of Richard D. Cripe, is currently Executive Vice President at Turtle Top, overseeing daily sales and marketing issues. Shane Tom, son of Phil Tom Jr., has joined the Turtle Top sales team.

Thank you for your interest in Independent Protection Company and the lightning protection system products that IPC manufactures.  Feel free to contact IPC for all of your lightning protection needs.




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