Layne & Bowler Pump Company opened a branch in Twin Falls in 1956, since then lots has changed. Layne Pumps Inc. is now locally owned and operated. A brief history follows.
Brief History of Layne & Bowler and the Eventual purchase by the Pentair group
Depending on which part of the country you're in the name "Layne & Bowler" can refer to two different pump companies. East of the Rockies, most know Layne & Bowler Verti-Line that was based in Los Angeles, CA. How did these companies combine into Layne / Verti-Line that we know today?
It begins with a gentleman by the name of M.E. Layne, who drilled his first water well in 1882. He soon found himself operating a very successful well drilling business in the Midwest. Word spread, and Layne was lured to Houston, TX in 1902 to help oil drilling operations. The same year, Layne designed and built his first turbine pump with the help of O.P. Woodburn, who worked for Layne as a developing engineer.
Layne's next door neighbor happened to be P.D. Bowler, a sales manager for a wholesale hardware company. In 1904, Layne, Bowler, and Woodburn teamed up to form Layne & Bowler. Their business would be to manufacture vertical turbine pumps and well screens. Layne & Bowler was incorporated in Houston, TX in 1907.
In 1908, Bowler moved to Los Angeles, CA, to organize a partnership and open a factory for the set coast trade line. Layne & Bowler Company of California was incorporated in 1910, and became Layne & Bowler Corporation in 1912.
Back in Houston, the combined well drilling and manufacturing operation grew large enough that Layne decided to build a new facility. Memphis, TN was chosen for the location and construction began in 1913. Layne & Bowler headquarters and primary manufacturing relocated to Memphis in 1914.
In 1916, Layne moved west to Los Angeles to buy out Bowler and take control of Layne & Bowler Corporation. Laynes's sons would operate the Memphis and Houston plants.
Layne's wide spread drilling operation broke away in 1922 and reorganized as a series of subsidiaries / sales outlets for factory products as well as drilling contractors. These operations are now owned by Layne Christensen and are known in local regions as Layne Atlantic, Layne Western, Layne Texas, Layne Northern, and so on.
M.E. Layne sold his Memphis stock in 1923, thus making Memphis and Los Angeles operations truly separate competitors. Also that year several Layne employees from the Los Angeles plant left to start their own pump company, know as Peerless Pump.
In 1925, Layne divided his empire among his wife and three remaining sons. The Houston company reincorporated into a charitable foundation operated for the benefit of Mrs. Layne and the Layne family. The Los Angeles facility operated as a charitable foundation until 1948, when it sold to several of its chairmen.
The Layne & Bowler Corporation moved their Los Angeles facility to a new plant in City of Commerce, CA in 1951. Then in 1954, the name changed to Layne & Bowler Pump Company. During the mid-1950's, "Verti-Line" was added and the California operation became known as Layne & Bowler Verti-Line. Manufacturing moved again in 1964, this time to a new facility in City of Industry, CA.
1961 is a significant year in that by a court trial, it was determined that Layne & Bowler, Inc. (Memphis) and Layne & Bowler Pump Company (California) were and had been true competitors since 1923 (when M.E. Layne sold his Memphis stock.)
Back in Memphis, not much had changed for Layne & Bowler, Inc. until 1962, when it purchased Western Pump Company. Wel-Line was then introduced to serve the agricultural market, and combined the best features of Layne and Western.
Changes in ownership are inevitable, and both Memphis and California operations were no exception. In 1969, the Singer Company purchased Layne & Bowler, Inc. Verti-Line was bought by General Signal (who also owned Aurora Pump) on January 1, 1972. In 1975, Singer sold Layne & Bowler, Inc. to the Marley Company. Then on March 18, 1986, Marley bought Verti-Line from General Signal. All Verti-Line manufacturing was move to Memphis, so both Layne & Bowler lines could be built under one roof. General Signal went after vertical turbines again, and on November 19, 1993 purchased Layne & Bowler from Marley, ironically re-acquiring Verti-Line! Production was moved to the Aurora Pump factory in North Aurora, IL, and consequently marked the closing of the Memphis facility after 79 years of operation.
As production settled in at Aurora, General Signal sold their entire Pump Group to Pentair in 1997, which included Layne and Verti-Line. Turbine production was moved once more, this time to Kansas City, KS. Eventually all major vertical turbine production for Pentair would be located under one roof in Kansas City.
At the turn of the 21st century, it was decided to combine Layne and Verti-Line into one line and logo you see today. With over 100 years of experience and hydraulic designs from Memphis, California, and Kansas City operations, the Pentair Group offers the most complete hydraulic coverage of vertical turbine pumps available. - Taken from: "History 101 Layne & Bowler & Verti-Line". Laynews, Volume 2 Issue #5, September / October 2007.