FMC Company History Timeline

(102 Jobs)
1883

Founded in 1883 as the Bean Spray Pump Company in Los Gatos, California by chemist John Bean.

1884

The roots of FMC Corporation lie in the Bean Spray Pump Company established in California in 1884 when John Bean invented a high-pressure spray pump that delivered a continuous spray of insecticide.

1888

Bean, not a businessman by nature, passed the management of the company over to his sonin-law, David Christian Crummey, in 1888.

1904

In the meantime, Bean Spray Pump Company was incorporated on May 20, 1904.

1909

In 1909 the firm established a midwestern factory in Berea, Ohio, but this facility was replaced five years later by a more modern plant located in Lansing, Michigan.

1920

Another prosperous local firm in the 1920’s was Frank L. Burrell’s cannery.

1928

In September 1928 the company was taken public with a listing on the San Francisco Exchange under the new name John Bean Manufacturing Company.

Also in late 1928, control of the company passed on to David Crummey’s son, John David Crummey.

The two merged in 1928 to form the John Bean Manufacturing Company, which changed its name to the Food Machinery Corporation the next year.

In 1928, Bean Spray Pump purchased two companies: the Anderson-Barngrover Co. and Sprague-Sells Co.

1929

In 1929, following these acquisitions, John Bean Manufacturing changed its name to Food Machinery Corporation, reflecting the focus on food production equipment.

1933

In 1933, therefore, the firm began to expand by purchasing the Peerless Pump Company, whose inexpensive pumps were in high demand during these lean years.

1940

Alongside this chemical expansion, Food Machinery’s equipment division prospered in the 1940’s due to the Second World War.

1943

In 1943 the company made its first foray into the chemical market by acquiring the Niagara Sprayer & Chemical Company, a strong independent manufacturer of insecticides and fungicides.

In 1943 the company made its first foray into the chemical market by acquiring the Niagara Sprayer and Chemical Company, a strong independent manufacture/of insecticides and fungicides.

In 1943, the company made its first foray into the chemical market by acquiring the Niagara Sprayer and Chemical Company, a strong independent manufacturer of insecticides and fungicides.

1946

In 1946, FMC bought Bolens Lawn and Garden Equipment.

1948

At this time the company changed its name to Food Machinery Corporation, and began using the initials FMC. In 1948, the company name changed again, to Food Machinery & Chemical Corporation.

1950

A drop in earnings occurred the year after the Westvaco acquisition, but by 1950 the company was back on its prosperous track.

1961

In 1961, Food Machinery & Chemical Corporation was changed to simply FMC.

In 1961, the United States Navy's Bureau of Ships issued bids for a high performance amphibious ship-to-shore cargo carrier capable of moving over water at 35 knots (approx.

This company traces its origins to the Food Machinery Corp., a California maker of agricultural and industrial pumps that was itself a successor to the John Bean Spray Pump Co., founded in 1904. Its name became FMC in 1961, when it had over $400 million in annual sales and employed nearly 19,000 people nationwide.

1963

Their trend toward diversification continued, most notably with the purchase of the American Viscose Corporation in 1963, despite opposition from the antitrust division of the Justice Department.

1966

Davies’s vigor, vision, and talent for profitable purchases provided a strong center for the company’s rather loose management through 1966.

Davies' vigor, vision, and talent for profitable purchases provided a strong center for the company's rather loose management through 1966.

1967

In 1967 FMC’s financial growth came to an abrupt halt.

What is certain is that, in 1967, FMC’s financial growth came to an abrupt halt.

In 1967, FMC’s financial growth came to an abrupt halt.

In 1967, FMC's financial growth came to an abrupt halt.

1968

In 1968, with Pope as its leader, FMC did show a brief resumption of its upward growth trend.

FMC’s profits fell to $39 million from their 1968 level of $75 million.

FMC's profits fell to $39 million from their 1968 level of $75 million.

1970

In 1970 the company was the second largest producer of the chemicals, which caused premature aging of natural water sites.

In 1970, the company was the second largest producer of the chemicals, which caused premature aging of natural water sites.

1972

Among other moves, Malott also relocated the company headquarters from San Jose to Chicago in 1972 and shifted the base for FMC’s chemical operations from New York City to Philadelphia two years later.

In 1972, soon after it purchased the Link-Belt Corp. of Chicago, FMC moved its headquarters from San Jose to the Windy City.

1976

Chief among these sales and closings was the 1976 sale of the fiber division.

The profitability of Malott’s policies was almost immediately apparent; by the spring of 1976, with a personnel increase of only 1,000 workers, Malott raised sales from $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion.

In addition, in the two years prior to 1976, FMC put $400 million into high growth areas, such as petroleum equipment and specialty chemicals.

The profitability of Malott’s policies was almost immediately apparent; by the spring of 1976, with a personnel increase of only 1,000 workers, Malott raised sales from $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion, a much-needed $1 billion increase.

The profitability of Malott's policies was almost immediately apparent; by the spring of 1976, with a personnel increase of only 1,000 workers, Malott raised sales from $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion, a much-needed $1 billion increase.

1977

In 1977 Malott began to decentralize the administrative control of the company in order to facilitate faster growth.

In 1977, Malott began to decentralize the administrative control of the company in order to facilitate faster growth.

1980

Despite such conflicts, FMC continued its growth and expansion during the 1980’s.

1984

Plans for new acquisitions were announced in 1984, and, the following year, FMC acquired Lithium Corporation of America, the world’s leader in the mining and production of lithium products.

Plans for new acquisitions were announced in 1984, and, the following year, FMC’s stock standing was upgraded to “attractive” by an analyst specializing in chemicals firms, who had for a decade seen the field as only a fair risk.

Plans for new acquisitions were announced in 1984, and, the following year, FMC's stock standing was upgraded to "attractive" by an analyst specializing in chemicals firms, who had for a decade seen the field as only a fair risk.

1985

Also in 1985, FMC’s stock standing was upgraded to “attractive” by an analyst specializing in chemicals firms, who had for a decade seen the field as only a fair risk.

1986

At the same time, FMC became embroiled in the insider trading scandal of 1986, when investor Ivan Boesky used illegally gained information about FMC’s restructuring to turn a profit of $975,000.

In 1986, however, the picture began to change.

At the same time, FMC became embroiled in the insider trading scandal of 1986, when investor Ivan Boesky used illegally gained information about FMC's restructuring to turn a profit of $975,000.

In 1986, the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company was formed as a joint venture between FMC Corporation and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

1989

In 1989 the company acquired Meridian Gold Company from Burlington Resources Inc. through an exchange of stock.

In 1989, the company acquired Meridian Gold from Burlington Resources through an exchange of stock.

1990

FMC's expansion into production of aerial ladders failed: the FMC Fire Apparatus division was shut down in 1990.

1991

Malott retired in 1991 at the age of 65, turning over a business he regarded as “dull” to FMC President Robert Burr.

1993

FMC Gold’s primary mine “played out” in 1993, and in spite of the precious metal’s strong performance that year, the subsidiary ran in the red, losing $50 million on operations.

FMC’s remaining machinery business contributed 23 percent of revenues but just two percent of operating income in 1993.

FMC Gold's primary mine "played out" in 1993, and in spite of the precious metal's strong performance that year, the subsidiary ran in the red, losing $50 million on operations.

FMC's remaining machinery business contributed 23 percent of revenues but just two percent of operating income in 1993.

1994

Early in 1994, FMC created United Defense, L.P., a joint venture with Harsco Corporation’s Combat Systems, to control its defense unit.

1996

Another company purchased in 1996 was the Italian firm Sandei SRL, the world’s leading maker of small-scale tomato harvesters.

In 1996 FMC Gold was reincorporated in Canada as Meridian Gold, Inc., and FMC Corporation then disposed of its shares in this firm through a secondary stock offering.

1997

Difficulty swallowing all of these acquisitions dented profitability and led to a stock price swoon, but by the summer of 1997 FMC appeared back on track, and its stock shot back up.

1998

In April 1998 a jury returned a verdict against FMC, which then faced a penalty of as much as $375 million.

2000

Long criticized for its status as a conglomerate, FMC in late 2000 announced plans to split itself into two public companies by spinning off the machinery side of its business.

FMC Technologies was incorporated in 2000 when FMC Corporation divested its machinery businesses.

2004

By 2004 long-term debt had been cut from $1.2 billion to $893 million.

2006

Taking restructuring charges out of the equation, FMC in 2006 enjoyed its best year since the spinoff of the machinery operations.

2007

The two sides reached a settlement in April 2007 whereby FMC agreed to pay Solutia $22.5 million.

2008

JBT Corporation was incorporated in 2008 when FMC Technologies divested its non-energy businesses.

2014

A Bean sprayer was on display at the Forbes Mill museum in Los Gatos until its closure in 2014.

2021

"FMC Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/fmc-corporation

"FMC Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 15, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/fmc-corporation-0

"FMC Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 15, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/fmc-corporation-1

"FMC Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/fmc-corporation-1

Founded
1883
Company Founded
Headquarters
Philadelphia, PA
Company Headquarter
Founders
John Bean
Company Founders

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