Roy J. Carver, Sr. started Carver Pump Company in 1937 in Matherville, Illinois, with his brother, Ralph and only $100 capital. His idea was to use the finest, most durable materials possible and make the pumps by a pattern of his own design. He had the parts cast, then completed the machine work and assembled the finished product himself. The first pump manufactured by the Carver Pump Company was made on a workbench in his brother Ralph’s shed. Roy, Sr. would make a pump at night and go out during the day to sell it. The profit from the sale of the first pump went towards building the second.
In 1939 Roy purchased Ralph’s part of the partnership. Convinced that another world war was coming, Roy visited Washington D.C. to demonstrate the benefits of his pump company to the military. Soon after, a pump order for $140,000 came from the British Purchasing Mission, who learned of Roy’s work through their American ally. In 2014 that order would have been worth over $2.3 million.
When the United States entered World War II in 1941, pumps were needed for sea-going vessels. Based on the quality pumps provided during WWI the military knew where they needed to find what they needed for their ships. Roy was told to get all the available manufacturing space he could find because he would be supplying pumps to the American military. On January 4, 1942, Carver Pump Company moved to an old sauerkraut factory, at 1056 Hershey Avenue in Muscatine.
The company grew from military sales, since many of the original pumps were sold to the United States Navy.
Carver Pump Company remained on Hershey Avenue for 37 years and in 1976 the manufacturing portion was moved to 2415 Park Avenue, where manufacturing continues today. In 1982, a new office facility was built next to the manufacturing plant.
The plant and offices occupy a 10 acre site with one hundred twenty thousand square feet of manufacturing and office space.
Roy J. Carver, Sr. died in June 1981 and Carver Pump Company became part of the Carver Estate until purchased by Roy J. Carver, Jr. in 1989.
Roy J. Carver, Jr. carries on his father’s company with the same dedication to excellence that made it a soaring success. With that success, the Carver family of companies has grown to include Delta P Carver located in Ormond Beach Florida, specializing in water booster systems. Harrington Signal Inc. located in Moline, Illinois, specializing in fire alarm equipment and Evax Systems located in Bradford, Connecticut, specializing in emergency and industrial mass notification systems.