A Profile of the F. E. Myers Company

F.E. Myers dominated the water pump business with hand pump designs and the first automatic electric pump
C. S. McNaull
October/November 1993
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A John Deere engine driving a Myers "Working Head" pump. The working head pumps were made in 6, 9, and 12 inch stroke models. They converted rotary motion into reciprocal motion to drive "sucker" rod up and down to operate a cylinder in the bottom of the well. This type of pump could lift water several hundred feet up out of the ground.
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In 1870, the United States was emerging from Civil War and was on the brink of a sweeping industrial revolution.

At that time in Ashland, Ohio, Francis E. Myers left his father's farm to begin selling tools and hardware to the local farm trade. In the basement of a rented building on Ashland's cobble stoned Main Street, Francis and younger brother Philip A. started what was then called "The F. E. Myers & Bro. Company."

One of the early product successes at Myers was the double-acting hand pump that Philip developed. This new water pump delivered water in a steady stream rather than in short spurts like other hand pumps available at that time. With the advent of this popular water pump, F. E. and P. A. suddenly had more orders than they could handle. Two other Myers brothers, Alvah N. and G. Denton, then joined the company and erected their own building to manufacture pumps. By 1884, the original structure was replaced with an extensive factory that covered several city blocks.

Philip's mechanical genius kept the Myers brothers a step ahead in the water pump business, while Francis contributed the financial/management and sales expertise, and the company prospered. P. A. Myers actually held 125 patents on various pump designs as well as such diverse products as porch swings, bicycle stands, hay tools, store ladders, door hangers, etc. All of these products, at one time or another, were manufactured and sold by Myers.

Over the years Myers has designed, developed and manufactured many types of pumps. These include windmill pumps, bilge pumps, de-watering pumps, fire pumps, industrial pumps, power sprayer pumps, etc.

In early 1900, Myers began to design and build fully automatic electric pumps. One of these early models was discovered in Ashland County in 1967 – still operating at the time!

As the pump business grew and became more and more complex, they realized it would be necessary to make some basic distribution changes. In the 1930s, Myers began to market their products through wholesale distributors. This simplified warehousing and gave Myers the opportunity to sell their pumps to an even larger number of dealers nationwide.

The company also became involved internationally with an aggressive "export" sales effort. And now, many foreign sales agents, licensees and distributors sell Myers products all over the world.

In 1960, Myers became a wholly owned subsidiary (later to be a division) of the McNeil Corporation, a world-wide organization with corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio. In 1986, Pentair, Inc., out of St. Paul, Minnesota, purchased the McNeil Corporation. Today, the F. E. Myers Company is part of a 1.5 billion Pentair Corporation.

Product History

After the initial success of the hand pumps and the first automatic electric pumps, Myers began developing other ways to deliver water to homes, farms and commercial customers.

The first family of Myers pumps were reciprocating types: "Bulldozer" shallow well, high capacity pumps; "Working Head" deep well reciprocating pumps; and "High Pressure" industrial pumps. In the 1930s, the first jet pumps were designed. Submersibles were introduced in the 1950s. In the late 1960s, Myers began to manufacture their own design submersible motors.

Other products Myers manufactures today include submersibles and centrifugal jet pumps for residential water systems, environmental waste handling pumps/systems, sump and sewage pumps, reciprocating and centrifugal industrial pumps, plus a wide range of repair parts and accessories. Our pump range is from 1/6 HP to 200 HP with capacities to 2300 GPM, and our high pressure pumps can go to 5500 PSI.

Today, the F. E. Myers Company is located on 100 acres of land in the northeast section of Ashland, Ohio. The facilities consist of a modern, one story complex of 273,878 square feet of manufacturing space connected to a new 19,400 square foot, one story office, with an adjacent, separate, 2,500 square foot training center and a modern all-electric foundry of 120,000 square feet.

Today, the F. E. Myers Company utilizes the most modern equipment, technology and processes available, and is considered a world-class manufacturer.

An excellent product starts in design, where in the engineering office the use of a company-wide IBM computer system with CRT units and PC's used in conjunction with CAD/CAM systems (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) generates all production drawings, parts lists, and plant layout drawings.

To properly utilize the manpower, the plant has many manufacturing cells in operation producing a family of parts with one operator running up to six machines.

For advancements into the future, Myers has the most modern, well equipped laboratory with test tanks to 32,000 gallon capacity and a drilled 220 foot deep test well with the electrical and hydraulic testing capability on pumps up to 200 HP.

Today, the F. E. Myers Co., with its 600 employees in a world class manufacturing facility with vendors from around the world, stands ready to serve its customers. Its product is recognized for its quality throughout the world. The sales and distribution network is established worldwide. Myers 'Where Innovation Meets Tradition' with TIMES (This Is Myers Express Service) finds its strength in the exciting future growth of the world's need for water!

C.S. McNaull is the manager at Engineering Services. Contact him at 1100 Myers Parkway, Ashland, Ohio 44805-1969.


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