This year, Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group is celebrating 175 years of manufacturing industrial instrumentation.
Originally founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1836 by James Foster, Jr., the company (now located in Asheville, NC) developed the first thermometer made in America in 1852. The Foster Cup (seen below) came about as a response to the introduction of kerosene.
When kerosene entered the market in the 1850s, this led to the decline of candle use—and brought with it a host of dangers, as its volatility caused many deaths. The need to improve kerosene safety led Foster, Jr. to develop the “Foster Automatic Oil Tester,” a closed cup design instrument known for being the first thermometer manufactured in the United States. As the most accurate instrument available, the Foster Cup became the standard for inspection of oil and petroleum products in Ohio, Michigan, and other states.
Palmer Wahl lays claim to other industry firsts, including the first red reading mercury thermometer (1929), the first and only NIST traceable miniature temperature recording labels (1960), FM approved portable digital infrared technology (1967), portable digital platinum RTD meters with interchangeable probes (1977), replaceable element bimetal thermometers (1993), and the self-checking digital platinum RTD meter (2006).
In 2008, the patent pending Wahl DST600 digital thermometer, designed to replace mercury-in-glass thermometers with accuracy and reliability, was recognized as a breakthrough product. ISO 9001:2008 certified, Palmer Wahl has been owned and operated by the Santangelo family since 1971. The company’s industrial temperature and pressure instrumentation is used by industry around the world, including the Space Program, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser Busch, and the US Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Second generation company President Stephen Santangelo said, “We thank our customers who have relied on us to provide accurate and reliable products over the years.”