Innovation and Diversification
In the early 1900s, the Company advanced designs for crushing and grinding, blending and mixing, and related materials-handling equipment. A venture into the automotive field began in 1904 when T.J. Sturtevant designed an automatic transmission. Together with the Sturtevant designed internal combustion engine, automatic lubrication, vacuum brakes, and a body manufactured by another firm, the Sturtevant Automatic Automobile, the world’s first automatic, was marketed for upwards of six thousand dollars.
Other diversifications included a bale pulper for the paper industry and stainless steel control valves for industrial purposes.
In 1920, the Company took over the Newaygo Screen Company. In re-designing those products, Sturtevant was able to add a vibratory screener to its line, so that the Company could now supply complete fertilizer plants, wholly engineered by Sturtevant.