Before Northeast Controls
While fighting a disastrous fire in Marshalltown, Iowa, a young water works engineer was forced to manually adjust and hand-throttle the city's steam-driven pumps for 24 consecutive hours and throughout the night to help extinguish the blaze. That engineer was William Fisher, and the year was 1876. Exhausted from that experience, he decided there must be a better way to maintain constant water pressure as downstream conditions changed during times of heavy use. And there was a better way - thanks to this young engineer's inventive mind - it was called the Type 1 Constant Pressure Pump Governor.
Joining with a town machinist, Fisher pooled $600 to buy a manufacturing building and the first pump governors were in production in 1880. In order to keep the company afloat, Fisher also repaired machines and sold bicycles and Kodak cameras. In fact, William Fisher was an exclusive sales representative for Eastman Kodak cameras and supplies in 1898. The company scraped together $30,000 by 1888 and was incorporated as the Fisher Governor Company. Fisher spread the word of his new invention through his membership in the power plant engineering association and, soon enough, word of mouth kicked in. Company sales reached $44,000 by 1905. Only two years later, Fisher's invention was laboring away in power plants throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
As demand for the product increased, so did the need for variations of the pump. A vertical-type reducing valve became the first of a series of controls that were added to the Type 1. Not long afterward, lever valves, exhaust relief valves, back pressure valves, and steam trap valves were added. The first sales representative agency for the Fisher Governor Company was established in 1913, and Jasper Fisher (William’s son) traveled the U.S. himself as the company launched its first nationwide advertising campaign. As World War I unfolded, the demand for Fisher's products in various industries rose dramatically, particularly in the petroleum industry. The company soon employed 60 workers. By the end of World War I, Fisher was on solid financial ground and had also developed new technologies and products.
Fisher enjoyed substantial profits from the growth in the steel, petroleum, power, and gas industries in the early 1920s. The company's automated valves were indispensable in each of these burgeoning industries, and Fisher grew with them. Although the company had enjoyed growth spurts earlier in its history, nothing in its past matched the surge of growth experienced by the company during World War II. The appetite for the company's automatic control valve equipment was huge, as valves were used in the production of ships, planes, tanks, and guns. Fisher also supplied valves that were used in the manufacturing of life-saving drugs, as well as valves used in oil refineries, gas production, and chemical and synthetic rubber manufacturing. Despite a shortage of materials and men, the company built new plants and machines and operated 24 hours a day to meet demand.
By the late 1950s, Fisher's expansion was swift. The company moved into a new office building designed to house its research, engineering, sales, and administrative departments. Process industries, like so many other industries at that time, were being revolutionized by electronics. Fisher, which was determined to flow with the changes, established electronic design and assembly departments. Assemblers acquired a new technical language and tool skills in these departments, and soon they were generating such new products as electronic level controllers and transducers. This emphasis on new products and technologies remained throughout the 1960s. Overseas growth continued at the same time. Fisher entered into a new licensing agreement to manufacture in Japan in 1960. The following year, Fisher opened a temporary factory in Monterrey, Mexico, until a permanent plant was opened near Mexico City in 1965. In order to be closer to its LP-gas customers, the gas regulator division of Fisher moved to Texas that same year. Manufacturing capacity continued to grow in 1967, when Fisher enlarged two more plants and opened a new eight-acre facility in Marshalltown, Iowa, birthplace of the founder's inspiration.
Northeast Controls’ - beginning and now
Northeast Controls was originally established by Daniel Dinzik. Previously, Dan had worked as an aspiring sales engineer for Control Associates, the sales representative for the Fisher Governor Company in New York city that was first established in 1933 as King & Shepherd, and later named the Malcolm W. Black Company. In 1966, the company name was changed to Control Associates, and in 1967 it sold the Upstate NY territory to Dan. Dan soon set up a sales and operations office in the Albany, NY, area and incorporated Northeast Controls on August 14th, 1967, as the exclusive representative for the Fisher Governor Company in Eastern NY, Western MA, and Southern VT.
A few years later, in 1969, Fisher merged with Monsanto Company, the country’s fourth largest chemical company at the time. As a result, in addition to valves, Fisher also began manufacturing a line of electronic instrumentation that Monsanto had developed. Fisher’s name, to reflect its own diversification, was changed to Fisher Controls Company. Electronic instrumentation was a key Fisher theme during the 1970’s, as the line of analog instrumentation developed by Monsanto for process control was the precursor to the PROVOX distributed control system (DCS) which Fisher introduced in 1980.
Northeast Controls’ representation of Fisher Controls, its strong reputation for process control expertise, and local customer service support in Upstate New York contributed to the company’s continued growth and success throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1985, Dan Dinzik retired and Michael J. Peters purchased control of Northeast Controls. Prior to coming to Northeast Controls, Mike had spent several years working for Fisher Controls in various roles in their Power Group, as well as in Systems sales. In 1987, Northeast Controls acquired the territorial responsibility of Process Management Inc. of Buffalo, New York, extending our company’s geographic coverage to include all of Western New York State.
In 1992, Monsanto, which had decided to focus its core operations on agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food ingredients, sold Fisher to Emerson Electric Company. Emerson produced electrical, electronic and other products for consumer, commercial and industrial markets. The purchase made Emerson the largest provider of process control equipment. Emerson orchestrated the blending of Fisher's strengths with those of Rosemount Incorporated, a much younger company with innovative products used in the aeronautics and space industries, as well as control and instrumentation product lines and temperature and pressure transmitters.
The Fisher-Rosemount family of companies dominated the global market of process management in the early 1990s, offering the widest line of process automation products, including process management systems, control valves, regulators, transmitters, and analyzers. The combined company had operations--including sales, service and manufacturing--in more than 80 countries and served a range of process industries in such diverse areas as chemical processing, plastics, glass, refining, oil and gas production, natural gas distribution, power, pulp and paper, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and metals and mining. In 2001, the Fisher-Rosemount name was changed to Emerson Process Management, and subsequently to Emerson Automation Solutions.
In January 2008, David J. Rizzo purchased Northeast Controls and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Under David’s leadership, the company continues to grow and expand its customer base with strategic investments made in the areas of sales, engineering and field services, capital investments in buildings and operations infrastructure, additional industry-leading product lines, on-site and depot repair capabilities, as well as locally-held inventory in excess of $5M to help support our customers’ delivery needs.