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Gardner Denver Inc., with corporate headquarters in Quincy, Illinois, was founded in 1859 as the Gardner Governor Company by Robert Gardner. The company was launched with the development of the first effective speed controls for steam engines. These controls—known as steam engine governors—were later recognized in 1883 as the best built of their kind in America with sales of more than 150,000 units in the United States and Canada combined by the start of the 1900s. Gardner continued the expansion of his company by producing pumps to feed water into boilers. These pumps were then adapted for use in the process of drilling oil and natural gas.

The turn of the century would witness a high demand for oil in America which required equipment to obtain it from underground. Gardner Denver met this need with its drilling pumps, or mud pumps. As cars became infused into American culture, Gardner Denver met yet another need with the development and manufacturing of high speed vertical air compressors sold to gas stations to serve the automobile market.

Gardner Denver, Inc. Company History

In 1927, the Gardner Governor Company merged with the Denver Rock Drill Company resulting in the company’s present day name of Gardner Denver and earning it the status of one of the top manufacturers of rock drilling equipment for the mining industry worldwide. This union also led the company to its development of portable air compressors targeted for use in the construction industry.

By 1943, Gardner Denver was enjoying the success of its technological advances and went public with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Subsequent years leading up to the 21st century would be witness to Gardner Denver’s ever-evolving growth through a series of strategic acquisitions.

Today, Gardner Denver enjoys a reputation as a global leader of engineered products, including industrial compressors, blowers, pumps, loading arms, and fuel systems. With offices located in 36 countries, Gardner Denver serves customers in dozens of markets with 40 manufacturing plants in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific.

Products Manufactured by Gardner Denver, Inc. that Contained Asbestos

Asbestos packing and gaskets were commonly included as components in industrial equipment, such as pumps and air compressors, due to the anti-corrosive and heat resistant properties that asbestos provided.

Among the products produced by Gardner Denver, Inc. that may have contained asbestos are:

  • Gardner Denver 6″ x 8″ FD FXX Mud Pump (contained braided asbestos packing)
  • Air Compressors (may have contained asbestos gaskets)

Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

Gardner Denver’s pumps and air compressors are supplied to its customers for use in a wide variety of industries, including, but not limited to, industrial manufacturing, transportation, energy, mining, and construction. Within these industries, individuals employed in various occupations may be at risk for exposure to asbestos by parts contained in Gardner Denver products. Some of the occupations that may have been affected by Gardner Denver products include boilermakers, construction workers, drill press operators, industrial engineers, industrial plant workers, machinists, millwrights, oil refinery workers, pipefitters, shipyard workers, and steamfitters.

It has been documented that approximately 27,500,000 individuals may have experienced potential exposure to asbestos as a result of their occupation or the industry in which they were employed from the years 1940-1979. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) showed that approximately 43,000 Americans died from either asbestosis or mesothelioma between the years of 1979 and 2001. It is believed that this number could be as much as doubled due to misdiagnoses of these diseases and the absence of federal tracking methods for mesothelioma during the duration of the time analyzed.

With the alarming rates of exposure and exposure-related mortalities cited above, it is important to be educated on the types of lung diseases that result from asbestos exposure, the symptoms that may present with such disease, and what course of treatment will result in the most favorable outcome once a diagnosis has been made.

Recent News

Gardner Denver is currently named as a co-defendant in numerous lawsuits in which the plaintiffs allege their suffering of a personal injury is a result of exposure to asbestos from Gardner Denver products.

As of December 31, 2010, Gardner Denver’s revenues were $1.9 billion, an increase from $1.8 billion for the twelve-month period ending 2009. Of these revenues, 66% are from overseas sales. This seven percent increase was attributed to on-going improvements in the demand for petroleum products, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, and aftermarket parts and services.

Written By

Tara Strand Senior Content Writer

Tara Strand specializes in researching and writing about asbestos, raising awareness and advocating for a ban.

Full Bio Editorial Guidelines
Reviewed By

Jennifer Lucarelli Legal Advisor and Contributor

Jennifer Lucarelli is a partner at the law firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, specializing in asbestos litigation.

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