John Blue Company History
An American Icon in Agricultural Pumps Since 1886
Blue and his father established a business on their land in Laurinburg NC, repairing cotton gin parts and working on farm tools. The business grew and a shop and foundry were built across the street so his inventions could be mass produced and sold to other cotton farmers. It operated for many years and still stands as the Museum of
Agriculture and History.
John Blue Jr. was born, the youngest of 3. Over the years, he developed a very sharp business mind and set out to make implements available to all farmers while continuing to lower his cost of production. John Blue Jr. obtained patents for all of his inventions, including the Guano Distributor in 1937, and ensured that patents protected all of his improvements.
10 years after John Sr.’s death, a fire destroyed the North Carolina foundry. Seeking a more convenient source of iron and coal, John Blue Jr. moved the company to a large foundry in Huntsville AL on Bob Wallace Avenue. Here, the company poured its own castings, and had its own welding and machine shops.
John Blue Company was an economic powerhouse in Huntsville, employing 700 to 800 at its peak. John Blue made pumps for agricultural and industrial operations, fertilizer spreaders, sprayers, cotton wagons, and metering devices for Anhydrous Ammonia. During 1974-76 John Blue also produced 200 Blue G-1000 tractors.
Ownership transitioned back into private hands, a division of Burnley Corporation. It marketed its products through branch Service Centers and a network of Authorized Sales & Service Dealers across the US and Canada. It purchased a building on Slaughter Rd. in Madison AL to house the “Rex” tank company.
Major changes in the ag economy led the company to refine its product offering and focus on pumps, flow dividers, manifolds and accessories for applying liquid chemicals and fertilizers. The Bob Wallace location was liquidated at auction and many were laid off. The remaining business moved to Slaughter Rd.