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ETTER Engineering Celebrates 75 Years!

ETTER 75th

75 years – It’s a lifetime. 75 years is a long existence for just about anything, but especially a small, family-owned business. As ETTER Engineering celebrates our 75th Anniversary, we proudly look back to 1940, the year that our company began. Life was different back then, but one thing that has remained the same through the years is our customers’ need for support with the application and control of gas-fired process heating equipment.

1940 saw World War II continue to rage in Europe. Future star athletes Fran Tarkenton and Joe Torre were born, along with stalwarts of the American Media like Tom Brokaw and Al Pacino. Manufacturing in America was booming, both from wartime production as well as standard economic output. With that as a backdrop, Herb Etter, Sr. founded ETTER Engineering in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Originally acting as a Manufacturer Sales Representative, the company focused on selling natural gas equipment such as burners, gas boosters, regulators and meters, controls, flame safeguards, boilers, ovens, and furnaces. A group of traveling salesmen kept busy on the road, supporting ETTER’s client base of industrial customers. As time went on, the company began to evolve, occasionally stocking some of their more popular parts. Soon the company was a multi-line stocking distributor, allowing it to respond to customers needs faster.

The needs of ETTER’s customers came into play again when the decision was made to begin manufacturing its own equipment. In addition to the Hamden, Connecticut Main Office and Sales Offices in Boston, Waltham, and Woburn, Massachusetts, a manufacturing facility was opened in Chelmsford, Massachusetts in 1980. ETTER was now producing its own industrial control panels, as well as packaged gas booster systems which drastically cut down on technical risk and headaches for their customers.

As time went on, modern inventions like the Interstate Highway System, increased computerization and communication tools like the fax machine, and better methods of shipping negated the need for a number of Sales Offices in a condensed area. In 1988, ETTER chose to consolidate their operations under one roof, moving all operations to a new location in Cheshire, Connecticut.

In 1953, Herb Etter, Jr. entered the business full time, eventually rising to President of the company in the 1960s. In 1992, his son Tom Etter joined, marking the third generation of Etter family members to contribute to the family business. With operations in Cheshire, the company began to expand, hiring additional design engineers, sales and marketing professionals, and shop assemblers. Tom Etter became President in 1999, and remains at the helm of the company today.

In 2006, the company saw a market opportunity and began developing its own gas booster, the ENGB (ETTER Next Generation Booster). More products would follow in the coming years, but not before further growth would necessitate another move.

In 2010, ETTER relocated once again, to Bristol, Connecticut. Although slightly overshadowed by their more well-known neighbor, ESPN, ETTER settled in to a new 15,000 square foot facility that provided the option for future expansion. As the calendar turned to 2015 and its 75th Anniversary, the company now employs 31 people, offers six lines of standard ETTER Products, and churns out hundreds of jobs each year destined for locations worldwide.

Though times have changed since 1940, the thing that remains is the pride the Company holds in being the recognized experts in the Combustion and Process Heating industries. Connecticut has not always been the easiest environment for manufacturing, but the company has not only survived, it is thriving. As we celebrate our history throughout 2015, we look confidently towards the next 75 years!