Smith Precision Products
1299 Lawrence Drive
Newbury Park, CA 91320

Phone: (805) 498-6616
Fax: (805) 499-2867
1837

Charles Jeremiah (C.J.) Smith becomes an indentured apprentice at sixteen years of age for the world’s most preeminent engineering firm Maudslay, Sons and Field of Lambeth, England.

1847

C.J. Smith becomes U.S. Citizen and opens first machine shop near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1874

Charles Jeremiah Smith starts a manufacturing business in Milwaukee and by the end of the century, C.J. Smith and Sons claimed to be the largest bicycle parts manufacturer in the world.

1886

Alonzo F. Smith, one of C.J.’s sons, patents an interactive spelling board for children and organizes the Instructive Toy Co. in Milwaukee, followed by 3 more patents.

1904

A.O. Smith, another of C.J.’s sons, starts the A.O. Smith Company and later hires Reuben Stanley Smith, Alonzo’s son and grandson to C.J. Smith.

1906

R. Stanley Smith and his father Alonzo build their first truck.

1909

Stanley files his first patent for an electric hammer. His patent activity continues through 1921.

1914

Smith-Milwaukee motor truck.

The Smith Motor Wheel.

1915

Patent for one of the first metallic automobile wheels and Smith Motor Wheel gala.

1918

Arc welding apparatus, electric arc welding apparatus, coated electrode for arc welding.

1919

Magnetic feeding device for blanking presses, process for curved bars, self anchoring rivet.

1920

Electric arc welding machine, machine for pickling plates & blanks, electromagnetic device for rivets.

1921

Patent 1,397,020 issued on November 15, 1921 for “Mechanical Marvel”, capable of making 10,000 automobile frames per day; inventor of record–Reuben Stanley Smith.

1923

Stanley moves to Los Angeles, California, after 51 patents are issued.

1931

R. Stanley Smith founds the Smith Meter Company in Los Angeles; files patent for piston meter; assigns the patent to the Badger Meter Company.

1934

Stan files a 50-page, 47-claim patent for the Smith meter and a second in 1937. Develops the first meter specifically designed for Butane/Propane, the BU-40.

1937

The Smith Meter Company is sold to the A.O. Smith Corporation.

1938

Stanley starts Smith Precision Products Company with design of the 4X pump.

1939

Smith Precision Products Company supplies the first pump designed specifically for Butane/Propane.

1945

Lawrence Wesley Smith, Stan’s son, armed with a degree in engineering from Cal Tech, begins his career with Smith Precision Products Company and proceeds to redesign the company’s pump line.

1948

Reuben Stanley Smith passes away after 61 patents are issued between 1909 and 1945.

For a list of Reuben’s patents, click here.

For a list of Reuben’s articles, click here.

1948

Lawrence files a patent for the first mechanical seal used in a liquefied gas pump.

1952

Lawrence develops a line of fertilizer injectors.

1955

Working with the Underwriters Laboratories, the first Standard for liquefied gas pumps is published and Smith Lists the first LP-GAS pump with U.L.

1962

Smith designs a line of pumps for direct transmission drive and expands product line for other liquefied gases. Company relocates from the old Mission Street in South Pasadena to Newbury Park, California.

1965

Smith designs a line of flexible drive couplings and Y-type strainers.

1966

Smith designs pump options for severe duty conditions.

1967

Lawrence files a patent for a loading/unloading valve.

1976

Walter William Smith, one of Lawrence’s sons, begins his career with Smith Precision Products Company, joining his two brothers, Ralph and Warren. Like his father Lawrence, he is also educated in engineering.

1977

Lawrence Wesley Smith retires.

1979

Mechanical Marvel (see 1921) is designated a National Historic Landmark by the ASME.

1981

Walter designs line of differential type bypass relief valves and other products follow.

1983

D-series small capacity cylinder filling pumps are developed.

1985

Smith acquires the Fert-O-Ject Corporation.

1986

Walter becomes President of Smith Precision Products Company.

1987

Development of the Superseal mechanical shaft seal assembly and MCAT-series truck pumps is complete.

1989

Development of the R-1 fertilizer injector is complete.

1990

Patent for first swivel specifically designed for Propane is filed. First U.L. Listed swivel for LP-GAS.

1991

Full-Circle, Inc. is founded and within ten years is manufacturing over 40 swivel models.

1995

Patent for hose-end swivel is filed. Product receives award from Design News Magazine as one of twenty “Best Designed Products.“

1998

Full-Circle opens new facility in Yucca Valley, California.

2000

Lawrence Wesley Smith
passes away.

More about Lawrence Wesley Smith click here.

For a list of Lawrence’s articles, click here.

2002

Smith Precision Products Company becomes compliant with European Directives and certified to ISO9001.

2007

Ralph Stanley Smith retires.

2008

GC-1LZ pump is introduced to the U.S. market.

2012

4th generation Smith family members now employed at Smith Precision Products Company, Russell Smith, Denise Smith, and C.J. Smith.

A Truly Amazing Legacy-The Smith Family

All too often, stories are written about company accomplishments. But the following tells a story of a truly amazing machinery design and metal working legacy that has thrived for over 135 years.

In 1843, a young man made his passage from England to America at twenty-three years old. Somewhere near the mouth of the St. Lawrence, he jumped off the ship to save a young woman that fell overboard. Luckily they both survived and were married shortly afterward. His name was Charles Jeremiah Smith and her name was Mercy Johnson.

To make a very long story short, in 1874, Charles started a company with two of his four sons, and called it C.J. Smith and Sons. By the end of the century, C.J. Smith and Sons was the largest bicycle parts manufacturer in the world. As C.J. was building his bicycle parts business with his two youngest sons, his oldest son, Alonzo, was actively inventing and manufacturing instructive toys. In 1886, Alonzo patented a spelling board game that became one of the most sought after and used spelling tools for children over the next several decades, and was exclusively sold through Selchow and Righter Co. in New York. Alonzo went on to patent and manufacture three additional products, including a cardinal number board to compliment his spelling board.

At about this time, C.J. called on one of his other sons, the architect Arthur, to design a new manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. Arthur, who liked to be called A.O., decided to stay after the building was constructed. The bicycle manufacturing business was sold and A.O. started a new venture to manufacture automobile frames. The new company was called the A.O. Smith Corporation and began operations in 1904.

Shortly thereafter, Arthur hired Reuben Stanley Smith, his brother Alonzo’s son, who showed much engineering promise.

Reuben immediately rolled-up his sleeves and poured out designs. Between 1914 and 1923, Reuben was the inventor of record for countless designs (see Reuben’s Accomplishments), and a striking 46 patents total were filed in his name during the 9 years he worked at the A.O. Smith Corporation. These busy years culminated in Patent #1,397,020, issued on November 15, 1921, for an assemblage of machines later dubbed the “Mechanical Marvel” because it could crank-out 10,000 automobile frames per day. In 1979, the Mechanical Marvel was declared a National Historic Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In the early 1920’s, Reuben left the A.O. Smith Corporation and moved to California where the bulk of his family lived. He settled in the Los Angeles area and in 1931, started his first company: the Smith Meter Company.

During the depths of the Depression, Reuben continued in his engineering and design work for the A.O. Smith Corporation and refined his meter. He also designed a piston meter for the Badger Meter Company and assigned the patent rights to Badger. Reuben’s design work on meters ended in a 50-page, 47 claim patent for what is known today as the Smith Meter. He was struggling, however, because the banks would not lend money to new companies and he could not finance materials purchases for his meters. In 1937, Reuben sold the Smith Meter Company to the A.O. Smith Corporation. The following year, Reuben started Smith Precision Products Company, now known to the industry as Smith Pumps. The company sold its first Butane/Propane pump in 1939 and by 1942, offered a line of bulk plant pumps and truck pumps. Reuben is credited with supplying the first pump to handle Propane that was specifically designed for this service.

The company struggled again in the war years due to materials rationing for the war effort. Thus, the company designed and manufactured products for the government, which included gear motors and high pressure aircraft fuel pumps. Reuben also designed and patented an aerosol filling machine for Freon and insecticide transfer used by the troops in the South Pacific for mosquito control.

In 1945, Reuben’s son, Lawrence, joined the company after a stint in the Navy and graduating from Cal Tech. Sadly and unexpectedly, Reuben passed away in 1948. Some of Reuben’s last work involved the first technical articles published that centered on the pumping of LP-GAS. These were a series of articles published in Butane Propane News between 1945 and 1947. Between 1934 and 1948, Reuben filed 10 more patents, adding to the 51 already granted.

Lawrence designed and patented the first mechanical seal used in a liquefied gas pump in 1948. He then redesigned the company’s line of pumps and sharpened his father’s design to better handle the nature of liquefied gases. By 1953, the company was selling a line of six pumps that could transfer between 20-100 GPM. After working with the Underwriters Laboratories, U.L. published the first Standard for LP-GAS pumps in 1955. The company was the first to List a pump for LP-GAS with U.L. in 1955 and the entire pump line followed. Lawrence also developed a complete line of fertilizer injectors during the 1950’s from a design his father Reuben came up with just before he passed away. Armed with an outstanding engineering education from a university that invested in Lawrence’s talent, he authored many technical articles on the properties of Propane and wrote one of the definitive booklets on the pumping of LP-GAS called Booklet A.

By the mid 1960s, Lawrence added more pump models, including small capacity pumps, truck pumps, and severe duty service options. This was also a time in which the Company was becoming involved with markets in other countries and supplying pumps for a wide variety of liquefied gases.

In the early 1970s, a line of flexible drive couplings and Y-type strainers were added. Lawrence also designed a canned pump motor combination used to circulate liquid Carbon Dioxide, which was quite a revolutionary idea at that time. By 1976, two of Lawrence’s three sons were working for the company. In 1977, Lawrence’s third and youngest son, Walter Smith, joined the firm.

Walter was also educated in mechanical engineering. By 1981, he designed a line of bypass relief valves, dubbed the WW-series. In 1983, Walter designed a new cost-effective pump, culminating in the D-series line. That was followed in 1989 with the 3-inch flange-mount truck pump, the MCAT-series, and the all plastic fertilizer injector, the R-1.

In 1991, following a series of remarkable conversations at a tradeshow, Walter designed a hose-end swivel on hotel room stationery. Within ten days after the show, a crude prototype was developed and tested. In 1992, Walter started a new company, Full-Circle Inc., believing that this new and unique design would have some promise. Full-Circle was the first to List a swivel with the Underwriters Laboratories for LP-GAS service. This occurred thirty six years after Lawrence Listed the first pump with U.L. for LP-GAS service, and fifty two years after his grandfather, Reuben, sold the first pump specifically designed for LP-GAS service in 1939. The design was patented in 1992 and the company rapidly expanded. Another patent was granted in 1995 and by 1998, the company had more than forty models to its name and moved into its new premises in Yucca Valley, California.

Lawrence Smith, Reuben’s son, passed away in 2000.

In 2002, both Smith Precision Products Company and Full-Circle (a separate operating entity) were certified to ISO 9001. Shortly thereafter both companies became compliant with the European Directives. The models MC-1044Q and GC-1LZ were developed for the overseas autogas markets. After operating in Europe for approximately eight years, the company began offering the GC-1LZ pump to the U.S market in 2009.

By the middle of 2012, three members of the fourth generation Smith family were employed at Smith Precision Products Company. C.J. Smith is their great, great, great grandfather.

No doubt there is something in those genes. For more than 135 years, C.J., Alonzo, Reuben, Lawrence, and Walter, have designed and manufactured products, some of which have made remarkably significant contributions to the automobile, meter, pump, and liquefied gas transfer markets.

Smith Pumps: Exceptional quality

Specializing in liquefied gas transfer, our product line incorporates small, medium, and large capacity positive displacement pump models in several porting configurations, for intermittent or continuous duty service. Read More

The Smith Precision Products Company

Smith Precision Products Company was started in 1938 by Reuben Stanley Smith. As a remarkable American inventor, Reuben focused on quality and provided innovative designs that would stand the test of time.
Read More

President’s Message

We are very proud of the fact that no other company has been designing and manufacturing similar products for as long as we have. This long-term commitment has allowed us to provide products that we believe will exceed your expectations. Read More