The Cherry Rivet Company was founded in Los Angeles in , after four years of development, hard work and faith in an idea first conceived by Carl Cherry.
In , Cherry's stepson worked as a riveter at the Douglas Aircraft plant. He told Carl, an MIT graduate and mechanical engineer, about the difficulties encountered in many riveting assemblies. At that time, solid rivets were installed with one worker on each side of the application; one with a rivet hammer and the other with a bucking bar, in order to expand and set the rivets. However, some of the applications were accessible from one side only. These areas required intricately shaped bucking bars to allow proper riveting. A solution to this problem was long sought by aircraft manufacturers and maintenance facilities.
Carl Cherry started working on this problem from his kitchen. He obtained solid aluminum rivets and experimented with different methods to expand them from the insertion side. Drilling a hole through the rivet and expanding it with a nail-shaped steel mandrel seemed to hold promise. Follow-up tests, modifications and retests were conducted throughout the summer of .
That fall, a U.S. Patent application was filed. In , the original U.S. Patent for the Cherry Rivet was issued. Continued product refinement and tooling development followed, and finally the first Cherry designs were introduced to the aerospace market.
The new Cherry rivets could easily be installed into blind holes (i.e. accessible from one side only). Aircraft manufacturers quickly adopted the new system. The advent of World War II promoted the demand for Cherry rivets at an even greater pace.
In , the Cherry Rivet Company moved to Santa Ana, California. The company was purchased by Townsend in and then by Textron in . In , Textron Inc. also acquired Avdel, a UK-based fastener manufacturer. The following year, the aerospace component of Avdel was combined with the existing Cherry Aerospace operations to form Textron Aerospace Fasteners. In , Textron Aerospace Fasteners was consolidated with the other components of Textron's fastener companies to form Textron Fastening Systems, later known as Acument Global Technologies.