In 1927, a former school teacher named Joe Eshelman, Sr. formed the J. W. Eshelman Company, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative agency headquartered in Birmingham, AL. The new firm focused on selling primarily combustion controls, boilers, and control valves to the process and electric utilities industries. As the Company prospered during the 1930s and 40s, business growth led Mr. Eshelman to come to represent The Calgon Company, which helped them expand into the water treatment market with a well-respected name.
In the 1950s, the primary focus of the Company was industrial – control valves, boilers, combustion controls, and water treatment chemicals and services for electric utilities. During the late 60s and even more so during the 70s, the company sought new directions as the electric utility industry began cutting back on the construction and expansion of power plants. The implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972, which called for new methods in water treatment, initiated a genesis of an emerging industry that filled the gap left by those electric utility cutbacks, and the Company adapted its historically-industrial focus towards helping to fill those needs. Several of our long-term affiliations are the result of those efforts.
In 1992, the decision was made to change the Company’s name from J. W. Eshelman Company, Inc. to its current title: The Eshelman Company, Inc. Later, having outgrown its original location in downtown Homewood, AL, in 1998 the company relocated to a new 5200 square foot office and warehouse space in the Bessemer Cutoff area. With this relocation came the desire for extended representation in the Southeast, leading to the establishment of our Nashville office in 2000.