Vernon EstesVernon Estes founded the model rocket company Estes Industries.
Estes's family produced fireworks before G. Harry Stine and Orville Carlisle approached him in 1959 to produce model rocket motors for their company Model Missiles Incorporated. Vern created a machine he called "Mabel" which was able to produce almost a dozen model rocket motors in a minute.
After Model Missiles went out of business, Estes formed Estes Industries to manufacture and market rocket kits and motors.
Estes is the largest model rocket company. Although Vern Estes sold his interst in the company in 1969, he has remained active in model rocketry.