Nordberg Manufacturing Company

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Nordberg Manufacturing Company was a manufacturer of steam engines, large diesel engines, pumps, hoists and compressors for the mining and quarry industries located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1]


Nordberg's distinctive design of diesel pancake engine, used for pumping

The company was founded by Bruno V. Nordberg and Jacob Elias Friend in 1886 in Milwaukee. Nordberg had previously been working at steam engine and sawmill maker E. P. Allis & Co.[2] Friend became the company's president,[3] and later his son, Robert E. Friend, was president and chief executive officer.[4]

By 1926, they were manufacturing diesel engines, steam engines (poppet-uniflow Corliss), air compressors, gas compressors, mine hoists (steam, air, and electric) and blowing engines.[5]

In 1944, they designed and built the largest diesel engine that has ever been built in the United States. It was built for a Victory ship built for the United States Maritime Commission.[6][7]

In 1946, they bought the Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Company which was formed in 1911 by Adolphus Busch of Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Busch had acquired the first American rights to the diesel engine in 1898.[8]

Nordberg was acquired by Rex ChainBelt Inc (formerly Chain Belt Company) in 1970, and was to become a division of Rex.[9] By that time, Nordberg had been manufacturing mineral and rock crushing equipment, screens, grinding mills, and hoists, heavy duty diesel and gas turbines, railroad maintenance machinery, hydraulic valves presses and other components.[10]