A train of General American Pfaudler Tank Cars, used by Mars, Inc. to haul candy filler
The roots of The Pfaudler Company are traced to the brewery industry. In the late 19th century, a young machinist named Casper Pfaudler searched for a way to speed up the fermentation process by the application of vacuum. This required a suitable sanitary container. After much experimentation with materials such as wood, stone, and terra cotta, the solution was glass-lined steel and in 1884 the Pfaudler Vacuum Fermentation Process Company was organized. Although the vacuum process proved unsatisfactory for the fermentation of beer, the by-product of this process, glass-lined steel equipment, was used for handling, storing, and transportation of beer and became the basis for a new industry. To keep pace with increasing orders, in 1903 a plant was constructed in Rochester, NY and named the Pfaudler Company. This is Pfaudler's present location, including many of the original buildings.
After the passage of the U.S. Pure Food & Drug laws in 1906, sanitary, easy to clean equipment was needed for food and dairy products. Glass-lined steel was ideal for these purposes. In the 1920's the chemical processing industry began to grow in the U.S. and a corrosion resistant material was needed. Pfaudler's scientists modified the brewery glass formulation to provide the increased acid resistance needed for chemical process and storage vessels. Also, at this time, Pfaudler pioneered ways to fabricate and weld a new material, stainless steel, which found uses within the food and dairy industries. In fact, during World War II Pfaudler's stainless steel tanks were supplied for research and development of the atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project.
Documents ca. 1930
But this was not Pfaudler's most important contribution to World War II. The Japanese had effectively closed off the supply of natural rubber to the U.S. Obviously rubber was a critical material needed for our war efforts. Many leading U.S. chemical companies quickly pooled their talents and developed the co-polymerization of styrene and butadiene into synthetic rubber. Now large, one-piece, high pressure vessels were required to process this new material. Pfaudler scientists and engineers quickly met this difficult task and many glass-lined polymerization reactors were designed and fabricated by Pfaudler to meet this most critical demand.
Also in the 1940's, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries began to rely more and more on Pfaudler equipment. Sulfa drugs, antibiotics, synthetic vitamins, insulin and vaccines were produced in our reactors. In the 1950's Pfaudler led the development in the fabrication and welding of reactive metals such as tantalum, zirconium, and niobium.
Now many years later the chemical and pharmaceutical industries still rely on the outstanding characteristics of Pfaudler equipment:
Documents ca. 1930