Business Profile: The Extraordinary Legacy of Riverbank Laboratories, Inc.

Business Profile: The Extraordinary Legacy of Riverbank Laboratories, Inc.

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series looking at the some of the businesses that make Kane County great. The series begins with profiles of businesses recently selected as part of a Metro Chicago Exports and Kane County Exports Grant programs that encourage local companies to expand their markets, improve business outcomes, provide more jobs and help grow the local economy.

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Riverbank Laboratories, Inc.

The history of Colonel George Fabyan is the stuff of local and even national and international legend — a story so rich that it seems more likely to have been spun from a Hollywood sound stage than the solid ground of sleepy, enchanting Geneva, IL. Take a trip through Fabyan Forest Preserve, with its villa and windmill and Japanese garden and cages left over from a full-scale animal menagerie, and it’s not hard to conjure images of Xanadu from Citizen Kane. Or for a more contemporary reference, the German code-breaking done at Riverbank Laboratories brings to mind the drama of a world at war and the “tidy, entertaining narrative” of The Imitation Game.

But in addition to the historic structures that stand as reminders of the world’s first private research laboratory, the legacy of the Fabyan estate includes an active, vibrant business that’s as remarkable as its storied past — to this day among the best of its kind in the world.

Riverbank Laboratories is one of the first to apply for and to be awarded a $5,000 grant from the Metro Chicago Exports initiative that is aiming at growing exports in the seven-county Northern Illinois region. The winning of that grant also makes the company eligible for a matching $5,000 incentive created through a Kane County initiative.

Presented here is a little bit more about this company, which makes precision-crafted tuning forks that are used today not only in music, but in the professions of medicine, research and law enforcement.

As Riverbank Laboratories notes in its promotional materials, “We manufacture products of the highest quality without compromise, keeping faith with our founder’s vision to discover new applications, new benefits and new markets.”

About Riverbank Laboratories

We Think of Our Company as 102 Years Young.

While such a statement sounds a bit unusual, we know that our founder, George Fabyan, would be very pleased by it. As a barrier-shattering businessman in every sense, his extraordinary and remarkably successful life never stopped pushing limits. Among his many accomplishments was establishing what is considered the first private research laboratory anywhere and, at the time, the world’s most advanced acoustical test chamber.

Mr. Fabyan, perhaps best known by his honorary title of “Colonel”, was also recognized for extraordinary service to his government and its military and for pioneering modern cryptography; credited for that by no less than the National Security Agency. Along the way The Colonel built a financial empire and at its foundation was Riverbank Laboratories, founded in 1913. His was a lifelong passion for acoustics, and since 1921 is best showcased by the production of what for nearly a century has been the gold standard of aluminum tuning forks.

A Commitment to Quality and Unsurpassed Innovation.

Our tuning forks are US FDA registered and CE certified in Europe with manufacturing processes that set a truly higher standard. What once was used primarily by musicians are found today in medicine and alternative medicine for diagnostics for healing and therapy; in research and academic settings in experiments and teaching; in law enforcement for speed calibrations, and still trusted by the most demanding musicians the world over. We manufacture products of the highest quality without compromise, keeping faith with our founder’s vision to discover new applications, new benefits and new markets.

Different in the right ways, for the right reasons.

Holding fiercely to an ideal that binds the present and the future to the past, since 1921 no shortcuts – ever. Riverbank tuning forks are manufactured to exacting standards using the finest corrosion and rust resistant aerospace-grade non-magnetic aluminum. Time-tested products that perform tirelessly, flawlessly and, with proper care, look bright and clean after years of service. Our success over the years predictably met with a procession of eager imitators around the world willing to cut corners. We never have, never will. We guarantee our tuning forks for life against manufacturing defects.

Made to your specifications not our convenience.

Our tuning forks are precision crafted to meet your needs, for any frequency from 30 Hz. To 6000 Hz. Riverbank Laboratories will never substitute inferior, cheaper materials, use machinery that’s not quite precise enough, eliminate quality checks or seek out ways to automate time-honored best practices. We deliver a product that is the finest in the world, by staunchly refusing to cut corners and sacrifice quality to save on labor and materials. It’s not our way.

Aluminum tuning forks manufactured as we always have from where it all began in Geneva, Illinois, back in 1913.

Over a century later, we know The Colonel would approve.

SOURCE: Riverbank Laboratories

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