• Early on in the planning for our 100th Anniversary, our Media Partner, Pumps & Systems magazine, approached us with the idea to create a yearbook to commemorate this special occasion.  The planning committee and staff gladly accepted their offer and thus began a 6 month research project into the history of the Hydraulic Institute as well as the history of the pump industry.  Much of the information included in the yearbook was culled from the archival materials at the HI offices in Parsippany, NJ.  HI members contributed their own historical materials in the form of photographs and stories.  Sponsors provided the funding which allowed us to proceed with the project and the completed yearbook will be unveiled at the 2017 Annual Conference.  All members will receive a hardbound copy of this unique collector's item.

    Throughout our anniversary year we will excerpt sections from the yearbook to share the stories that have shaped our industry from its earliest beginnings, more than 3,000 years ago, to the present day.  Our interactive timeline was derived, in part, from the historical content in the yearbook.  We hope you will enjoy learning more about HI, our member companies, and our industry.  View a copy of the yearbook Table of Contents.

    The Formation of the Hydraulic Institute

    1921 photo

    While the official beginning of the Hydraulic Institute is listed as 1917, the history of the organization precedes that date, as groups of pump industry professionals would gather in various ways to promote and improve their industry. Early records show that on July 9, 1873, the Pump Manufacturer’s Association of the United States met at Saratoga Springs at Congress Hall.

    According to Noble Dean Jr. of Dean Brothers Pumps, in a 1974 letter to Lawrence Spence of Allis-Chalmers Industrial Pump Division, the “antecedent of the present Institute was the Hydraulic Club formed on January 18, 1905.”  Spence was the HI historian in the mid-1970s, when he reached out to members asking for information about the organization’s past. “Exhibit B is a copy of the minutes of the first Hydraulic Society meeting, held the 18th and 19th of April 1917, in Chicago. This document is interesting because of its candor and the expressed concern of the Federal Government through the newly established F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission) in the organization of the industry for war,” Dean writes of an attachment to his letter that included the minutes from that first meeting.

    Those minutes recorded that “the members of the Hydraulic Society present partook of a banquet in the parlors of the La Salle Hotel and exchanged experiences in business as well as social matters to the edification of all those present. The banquet was most pleasant as well as most profitable meetings of this character that has ever been held.”

    At that meeting in 1917, the first HI committees were created by those present. The committees included the following: plan and scope, commercial, technical, cost, membership, nominating and publicity. These early committees established much of the structure that still guides today’s Institute.

    Sixteen independent pump manufacturers were part of the first HI meeting.

    While they competed in the marketplace, they had assembled that day largely to lend industry support to World War I production efforts and to coordinate those efforts while following new governmental requirements.

    At this meeting, the following companies were represented: Advance Pump & Compressor, American Steam Pump, Blakeslee Manufacturing, Buffalo Steam Pump, A.S. Cameron Steam Pump, Deming Pump, DeLaval Steam Turbine, Epping Carpenter, Fairbanks Morse, Gardner Governor, Gould Manufacturing, National Steam Pump, National Transit, Platt Iron Works, Worthington Steam Pump and Wagener Steam Pump.

    From the beginning, the group grew. A photo from a meeting in 1921 (seen above) shows a gathering of 44 industry leaders, from companies that included—in addition to the 16 founding businesses—Ingersoll Rand Company, Alberger Pump, Dean Brothers Steam Pump Company, Lea Courtney Company, Dayton Dowd Company and Midwest Pump & Engine Company.

    Also counted in attendance were representatives from the Hydraulic Society of New York.

    Members of this event in 1921 met at Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in South Philadelphia.





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