This fast-paced industrial film profiles LTV Electrosystems, Inc. and their work in creating advanced communication systems, computer systems, warfare systems, navigation systems, radar systems, and much more. Following a breakdown of all of Ling-Temco-Vault, Inc.'s divisions, the film shows how LTV's How-To Men--scientists, engineers, technicians, and specialists--approach and conquer various missions. "How to do it? The How-To Men found a way."
Ling-Temco-Vought became a large conglomerate, though it began with just one man. James Ling started with Ling Electric Company in 1947, a small Dallas contractor business. He marketed his stock door-to-door and at the State Fair of Texas until 1956, when enough money was raised to buy L.M. Electronics, his first acquisition. Altec Electronics was added three years later. Ling merged with Temco Aircraft in 1960 and bought Chance Vought's aerospace firm later that year. The trio was renamed Ling-Temco-Vought. The company built itself up as a conglomerate that decade, adding a wire and cable company, golf equipment, medicine, resorts, electronics, and steel manufacturing, among other businesses. In total, the conglomerate consisted of 33 companies, 29,000 employees, and 15,000 products or services.
The death of this giant came when it was discovered that individual companies had grown at a higher rate before acquisitions, creating much down in the conglomeration. Ling was demoted and eventually left the company. Several divisions were slowly sold off. Ling-Temco-Vought became the LTV Corporation in 1971. The Vought portion was eventually sold, yet retained its name as a new company. LTV sold off more portions until its focus remained on steel manufacturing. It survived as LTV Steel for some years until going bankrupt in 2000, breaking up railroad divisions and selling all remaining inventory by 2002.