Paul O. Abbe Marks Its 100th Year in the Process Equipment Industry

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A Glimpse Forward and a Peek Back in Time Highlight Centennial Celebration

"Were not only still alive—we’re thriving", muses the company’s chief engineer, Ernie Jones. "We’re looking forward to seeing what the next hundred years have to offer.”

Paul O. Abbe is ringing in 2011 in style by marking an impressive milestone in its longstanding contribution to the process equipment industry. One hundred years ago this year, Paul O. Abbe was founded in Little Falls, NJ. Since then the company has grown into a leading greater Chicago area-based provider of engineered solutions that are tailored to meet all of the industry’s drying, blending, mixing and grinding process requirements.

In 1911, when Paul O. Abbe first opened the doors of its brick one-story factory building, the process equipment business was a mere fragment of the industrial powerhouse it’s become. Back then, process equipment providers focused mainly on the mining industry, with ball mills being their main manufacturing product. A picture dating from the 1920s shows founder Paul Abbe standing in front of his office space with a sign reading “Ball & Pebble Mills and Mixers” hanging between two of its windows behind him. Back then, according to the newsletter of The Little Falls Historical Society, “the only equipment was used for the pulverizing and mixing of products such as minerals, chemicals, drugs, enamels, etc.”

A recent chance discovery of Paul O. Abbe’s early ledgers showed that one of the process equipment provider’s customers was the American Bronze Powder Manufacturing Company. Established in 1876, this client “manufactured bronze powder, which was used in such applications as paint and wallpaper decorations with the finest grade reserved for printing ink.” Paul O. Abbe sold American Bronze Dufour cloth, “a type of cloth with grit gauze qualities” that was first manufactured in 1860. The cloth was presumably used by American Bronze to “sift out the finest grade of the bronze powder.”

What a difference a century makes. Today, Paul O. Abbe has evolved into a state-of-the art facility that now manufactures mixers, blenders and dryers for the ceramics and paint industries, among others. And yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. One hundred years later, the company is still recognized for the same reliable design and rugged construction it has been providing for generations. It also continues to supply the mining industry with ball mills.

“It’s hard to imagine, but Paul O. Abbe has been around since the automobile was still in its infancy in America,” muses the company’s chief engineer, Ernie Jones. “Back then, people were still traveling by train. Much of the technology that was considered cutting-edge in 1911 is now obsolete, but we’re not only still alive—we’re thriving. We’re looking forward to seeing what the next hundred years have to offer.”

Paul O. Abbe is in good company when it comes to other businesses that are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. They include Chevrolet, Esso, Fila, Mars Inc., Mobile, Quest Corporation and Whirlpool.

For more information on Paul O. Abbe’s historic 100-year celebration, contact Ernie Jones at (630) 350-2200. To see all the 21st century process equipment solutions the company provides, visit Paul O. Abbe online at

Paul O. Abbe
735 E. Green Street                    
Bensenville, IL 60106       
(630) 350-2200    

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