Tackling 4,000 years of pump technology and evolution in only eight pages of magazine space has been like trying to summarize War and Peace in one sentence. It has been a challenging task at best, daunting to say the least. And although it is perhaps impossible to provide a completely comprehensive account in that space, we have tried.

It has been an absolute blast!

A close look at this illustrious history helps us appreciate the genius of innovators like Henry Worthington, Jens Nielsen, Seabury Gould, Milton Roy Sheen, Jim Wilden, Robert Blackmer, J.C. Gorman, Herb Rupp, Frank Weis and so many others. The glorious old photos bring the legendary pump stories to life.

It is difficult to imagine that some of the earliest pumps were made of wood, used leather seals and were powered by steam. These leather seals were most likely bearing housing seals and not liquid end seals and produced by the Chicago Rawhide Company (now CR Industries, a division of SKF).

Through the years, the pump community has found a way to unlock the physics behind each industry challenge. No matter the application or viscosity of fluid, today there is a pump that will move it.

With the greatest respect and humility, we are proud to present to you our version of “The History of Pumps” in our January issue. We fully expect that this piece of pump history will spark memories and encourage further research from you. We welcome your comments and insight and will add them to this version of our historical timeline. As a web-exclusive, we offer you some interesting slideshows on this topic.  Be sure to explore interesting images from pump history and the great pump innovators.

As we take this special look at the past, it is a Pumps & Systems tradition to use the January issue to take a look at the future of our industry. We also are proud to bring you our annual focus on the “State of the Industry.” Check out our SLIDESHOW for insight from industry executives and our yearly market recap. This year, we also bring you a wastewater industry outlook.

We look forward to hearing from you about the past, present and future of this great industry.  Happy New Year!