"It's a changing world all the time," Gutknecht points out. "There's always something new coming along, whether its different customers or new fabrics for new applications. We can do so much more now than we could back then, when our resources were more limited."

"We've established a nice reputation," he continues. "Lots of old companies have disappeared, but there are still plenty around who recommend us to new customers."

Amid all the changes, though, RK Rubber is, ironically enough, a lot like vulcanized rubber: Even when subjected to pressure and stress, it's durable and flexible enough to always bounce back strongly.

"The bottom line is we're the problem solvers," Gutknecht notes. "It's what we do best." For more than 114 years...and counting.