Company History
Sturtevant was founded in the state of Maine in 1883 by Thomas L. Sturtevant, who recognized the need to limit human exposure to harmful fumes and acids common to the fertilizer industry. He designed the Mechanical Den and Excavator, a machine which revolutionized the batch processing of super-phosphate.
During the late 1800’s Laurance H. Sturtevant, a son of the founder, and Thomas J. Sturtevant, T.L.’s nephew, joined the Company. T.J. Sturtevant, an M.I.T. graduate, was an engineer and inventor whose genius, coupled with the design, and application talents of the other Sturtevants, provided the company with its initial thrust.
In the early 1900’s, designs were made for crushing, grinding, blending, mixing and related material handling equipment. Venturing into the automotive field in 1904, T.J. designed the first automatic transmission. Other diversifications included a Bale Pulper for the paper industry and stainless steel control valves for industrial purposes.
In 1920, the company took over the Newaygo Screen Company. In redesigning those products, Sturtevant added to its line a vibrating type of screen for the fertilizer industry. During the 1930’s, the Sturtevant Air Separator represented a cutting edge technology, developing the predominant method of making cement. In the 1940’s, the firm participated in the WWII effort by servicing Navy yards and the chemical industry. The post war era created massive demand for cement in the construction industry, to which Sturtevant responded. In the 1950’s, Sturtevant introduced an ultra-fine grinder, the Micronizer®, and developed pulverizers that introduced a new concept of fine grinding by impact.
For decades the Company continued to innovate and advance technology while remaining a family institution. The tradition of family management has continued from its inception to the present and is currently in its fifth generation.