AW CHESTERTON, a young man with bold vision and business drive, launched Chesterton & Company on the Boston waterfront in 1884. As a purveyor of steamboat and engineers’ supplies, AW recognized the opportunity to expand offerings and provide a wider array of products, making it easier for customers to get needed supplies quickly and easily. This attention to product excellence and customer support has been the focus of A.W. Chesterton Company ever since.
Chesterton’s early years were focused on growth. In 1905 the company acquired Ingall’s Boiler Cleaners and Scrapers. With this purchase, the company also acquired a countrywide sales network, making Chesterton a national distributor.
By the late 1920s, Chesterton had the manufacturing capability to supply its own brand of high quality mechanical packing and continued to offer a wide array of additional plant maintenance supplies to its customers.
Chesterton weathered The Great Depression, and the company passed on to the next generation. Dev and Tom Chesterton concentrated on helping the customer save time and money, and on helping him run his plant more effectively—a focus that the company maintains to this day.
By the late 1940s, Chesterton began marketing products in Canada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Mexico. By the 1950s Chesterton was a truly global retailer with a sales presence around the world.
The 1960s and 70s were a time of substantial growth. The company expanded their product offerings by developing specialty lubricants, cleaners, and thread sealants to support the various needs of maintenance shops.
The company leadership passed on to Dick McDermott. Under Dick’s care, the company developed the Chesterton Specialist, an expert in specifying, selling and applying Chesterton products. The focus of customer support was expanded into seminars and training. Chesterton Specialists and Training continue to support the customer to this day.
During this time, Chesterton received industry recognition for many innovative products. Some of these award winning products include: Super-Graphite Packing, the 770 Mechanical Seal, the 880 Mechanical Seal, the 241 off-the-shelf Cartridge Mounted Double Mechanical Seal. The company also introduced the SuperCup® Hydraulic Seal and the Self Aligning Stationary™ for mechanical seals.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Chesterton continued to produce new products. Its innovative split seals helped mechanical seals become company’s largest selling product line. Chesterton also introduced the award winning System One Pump, creating an industry standard for high reliability.
In 1989 Dick McDermott retired and Jim Chesterton, grandson of AW Chesterton, became president. Jim focused the company on sales growth and improving operational capabilities. In 1992, Chesterton became the first seal manufacturer to achieve ISO 9001 registration for quality systems, and in 1996, the first in its industry to be registered to ISO 14001 in its Ireland Plant.
The economic climate of the 90s saw Chesterton streamlining. The company sold the System One Pump division, and closed down several manufacturing sites. At this time the company also began ARC (Advanced Reinforced Composite) product line.
Company leadership passed to Dick Hoyle in 2002. Under Dick’s leadership, Chesterton restructured under the five main business units that it has today: ARC, Mechanical Packing, Hydraulic Seals, Mechanical Seals and Technical Products.
In 2009, Brian O’Donnell became the 7th president of Chesterton. Chesterton continues to provide innovative products, bundled with the service and knowledge required by its customers. It has become more performance oriented, and remains dedicated to quality and excellence. As the company moves forward through its second century, Chesterton continues to be the company its founder envisioned.