Emerson Electric

    Emerson Electric Co. history, profile and corporate video

     Emerson Electric Co. manufactures and develops process controls systems, valves and analytical instruments. It delivers products and services to the industrial, commercial and consumer markets. The company operates through five segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies and Tools and Storage. The Process Management segment provides measurement, control, monitoring, engineering and diagnostic capabilities for automated industrial processes producing items such as oil, natural gas and petrochemicals; food and beverages; pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals; and municipal water supplies. The Industrial Automation segment provides integrated manufacturing solutions. Its products include motors, power generating alternators, power transmission solutions, fluid controls and materials joining equipment. The Network Power segment designs, manufactures, installs and maintains products providing ‘grid to chip’ electric power conditioning, power reliability and environmental control for telecommunications networks, data centers and other critical applications, and also provides data center infrastructure management solutions. Its products include uninterruptible power systems, embedded power supplies, embedded computing systems, precision cooling, inbound power systems, integrated data center monitoring, and control devices and software. The Climate Technologies segment provides products and services for all areas of the climate control industry which include residential heating and cooling, commercial air conditioning, and commercial and industrial refrigeration. It also provides services that digitally control and remotely monitor refrigeration units in grocery stores and other food distribution outlets. The Tools and Storage segment provides products and services for professionals and homeowners, home and commercial storage systems and appliance solutions. Its products include water jetters, wet-dry vacuums, commercial vacuums, rolling storage boxes, truck work boxes, bolt cutters, and van and truck ladder racks. This segment also provides freestanding, fixed and mobile storage products for residential, commercial, health care and food service applications. It also provides storage and display shelving, stock-picking and kitting carts, cabinets, totes, bins, workstations, and merchandising and inventory storage racks for commercial customers. This segment also provides food service equipment which include polymer and wire storage systems, busing carts, pan and tray racks, transport carts and workstations. Emerson Electric was founded on September 24, 1890 and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO.

    “Emerson Electric History

    Emerson was founded in 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri, as a manufacturer of electric motors and fans. Over the past 100-plus years, Emerson has grown from a regional manufacturer into a global technology solutions powerhouse.
    Two Scotland-born brothers, Charles and Alexander Meston, see a tremendous business opportunity in developing a reliable electric motor.  With the financial backing of John Wesley Emerson, a former Union army officer, judge and lawyer, they establish The Emerson Electric Manufacturing Company in St. Louis, Missouri.1892
    The fledgling company builds its business around AC motors and manufactures the first electric fans to be sold in North America.  Under new president Herbert L. Parker, Emerson develops a reputation for quality products. Net sales total nearly $60,000.1897 
    The Emerson ceiling fan is introduced, making high-rise buildings livable. Ceiling fans soon become half the company’s business.1899
    Emerson introduces the Parker scalloped blade design, moving air more quietly and efficiently.1903
    A design breakthrough upgrades Emerson Motors to a more useful ½ horsepower, which are then used to power countless time and effort-saving devices, such as washing machines and sewing machines.1904
    At the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Emerson displays its product line in the dazzling Palace of Electricity as the nationwide demand for electricity continues to soar.1919
    By the end of World War I, Emerson’s annual sales approach $3 million dollars.1920
    Under the leadership of Thomas Meston, the company expands into a new, eight-story factory building in St. Louis.1922
    Herbert I. Finch becomes president during the ‘Roaring Twenties’ of general prosperity.  But by the end of his tenure, the company loses almost two-thirds of sales as the effects of the Great Depression deepen.1933
    Joseph Newman, 35, is named president and sets out to stabilize the company’s balance sheet. He moves the company to mass production of motors and adds a variety of fan lines to appeal to a broad range of consumers.1938
    With fan sales stagnating, Stuart Symington takes over as president and wins a contract to build arc welders, thereby opening the door to sales at Sears.1939
    Emerson begins construction of a new plant in St. Louis to build hermetic motors, but World War II intervenes and the plant is shifted to the production of shell casings.1940
    Emerson’s metal working capabilities are called on by the U.S. Army Ordinance Department. During the next five years, the company produces more than 10 million brass shell casings.Much of Emerson’s dramatic growth in World War II results from government contracts to build airplane gun turrets, including the “Model 127” mounted in the nose of the B-24 bomber.1945
    With the end of the war, Symington is asked by President Truman to head the War Surplus Property Board. He accepts and resigns from Emerson.Oscar Schmitt is elected president and leads Emerson back to commercial production.  Despite the introduction of the bench saw and more defense business, sales lag and Emerson faces another critical transition point.1953
    Upon the sudden death of Oscar Schmitt, William Snead assumes the presidency of Emerson until new, long-term management can be secured.1954
    W.R. “Buck” Persons is recruited as president.  Led by Person’s focus on research and development and creating foreign markets, Emerson is reborn.  He retools and decentralizes Emerson’s manufacturing base and begins a continuing process of diversification.Over the next 15 years, Persons targets high-growth markets and diversifies the company’s business portfolio, acquiring 36 companies during his tenure, including White-Rodgers, Therm-O-Disc, U.S. Electrical Motors, Ridge Tool, and InSinkErator.Persons institutes a strong corporate focus on cost reductions, quality improvements and formal planning.Under Person’s leadership, the company grows from 2 plants, 4,000 employees and $56 million in 1954 to become an emerging global company with 82 plants, 31,000 employees and $800 million in sales in 1973.

    Charles F. (Chuck) Knight succeeds Persons as CEO and builds on the solid foundation laid by his predecessor.  Knight defines a new corporate strategy focused on new product and technology development, acquisitions and joint ventures, and international growth.

    Over the next 20 years, Emerson continues to expand through cornerstone acquisitions such as Rosemount (process control instruments) in 1976, Copeland (compressors for air conditioning and refrigeration systems) in 1986, Liebert (uninterruptible power and precision cooling systems) in 1987, and Fisher Controls (process control valves and regulators) in 1992.1984
    Under Knight’s leadership, Emerson develops its best-cost producer strategy to meet the challenge of low-cost offshore competition.  In the 1980s, Emerson moves into the international arena, investing abroad to meet customers’ needs in expanding markets.

    The Emerson Motor Technology Center is established to support engineering and innovation in advanced motor design.  It was the first of several advanced technology centers the company opens to support new product development.

    Knight oversees a series of acquisitions totaling $2.5 billion to strengthen the company’s position in providing reliable backup power for the rapidly expanding telecommunications industry and build-out of infrastructure to support Internet Protocol-based communications.

    When Charles F. Knight retires as CEO in 2000, Emerson sales during his tenure had rose more than 16-fold, to over $15 billion in 2000.  The company had also achieved an unprecedented record of 43 consecutive years of earnings growth and 44 years of consistent dividend growth.

    David Farr elected CEO in 2000, succeeding Knight who retains chairman title.

    The company shortens its name to “Emerson” and launches a new brand strategy with a new corporate logo to reflect technology leadership and commitment to cross-divisional collaboration.  The company posts annual sales of $15.5 billion.

    Emerson makes two key moves in the fast-growing Asian markets, purchasing Avansys, China’s leading network power provider, and forming Emerson Network Power India Private Ltd.

    Emerson launches its first corporate advertising campaign with tagline “Emerson. Consider It Solved.”

    Farr named chairman of Emerson’s board of directors, upon the retirement of Chuck Knight.

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    Emerson acquires Marconi’s outside plant and power systems business.

    Emerson named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Business Ethics magazine.

    The company posts sales of $15.6 billion.

    Emerson sales reach $17.1 billion, an 11 percent increase over the prior year.

    Emerson airs its first-ever TV commercials to spotlight the company’s global capabilities.

    The company acquires Germany-based Knürr AG and Florida-based Artesyn Technologies further strengthening the capabilities of its network power business.

    Company sales reach $20.1 billion, and dividends increased for the 50th consecutive year.

    Emerson strengthens its network power and its storage solutions businesses with the acquisition of, respectively, Motorola’s embedded communications computing business and Lionville Systems, a leading manufacturer of point-of-care carts for healthcare facilities.

    Sales surpass $22 billion for the year, a new record.  Emerson’s international sales total 52 percent, surpassing U.S. sales for the first time in the company’s history.”

    *Information from and

    **Video published on YouTube by “emerson



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