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Tri-Rotor 1932 rotary piston pump patent Tri-Rotor’s original 1932 pump patent

Tri-Rotor 1947 rotary piston pump trademark Tri-Rotor’s 1947 trademark

Leo Nick Nikora private airplane Tri-Rotor Customer Service Tri-Rotor’s Leo “Nick” Nikora flying to service a key customer
Tri-Rotor Pump has had a long and interesting history.  Please see below for highlights by year:
  • 1930  Charles Waite of Somerville, MA files two patent applications for a new concept of a rotary pump
  • 1932  Waite is granted U. S. Patent No. 1,867,198 for a rotary pump with a “particular view of smoothness of operation” having a rotor, a piston reciprocating in the rotor, and an eccentric positioning means for the piston (the shuttle).  Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company of Stamford, Connecticut, obtains the rights on Waite’s patent and forms the “Tri-Rotor” Pump Division.  Waite joins Yale & Towne as an employee.
  • 1935  Charles Waite is granted U. S. Patent No. 2,018,692, the second of the two original patents, this time for a rotary pump “with a particular view to obtaining adjustment or automatic control of flow under varying conditions.”   Waite is also granted U. S. Patent No. 2,018,693 the same year for a fuel dispensing apparatus invention using the Tri-Rotor technology.
  • 1941  Robert Potter receives U.S. Patent No. 2,247,922 for operating a large volume pump with a relatively small motor.
  • 1947  Yale & Towne registers “Tri-Rotor” as a trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark office
  • 1956  Paint color changed from Battleship Gray to Tri-Rotor Orange
  • 1958  Yale & Towne sells the pump division to Leo “Nick” Nikora, a successful businessman, who moves the operation to Torrington, Connecticut.  Leo holds an open house later that year to introduce the company and its sales force to local industrial and civic leaders in the city.
  • 1961  Tri-Rotor begins to globalize under Leo’s leadership, establishing distribution in Japan with Tominaga and Co. Ltd., an important partner to this day
  • 1965  Tri-Rotor obtains a Japanese trademark
  • 1968  Tri-Rotor and Tominaga open a plant in Tokyo to manufacture pumps for Southeast Asia regional customers
  • 1976  Leo’s youngest son, Henry “Hank” Nikora, joins his father at Tri-Rotor and quickly becomes the technical resource for customers
  • 1992  Tri-Rotor releases its latest product – the 20CP “Catalog Pump”
  • 2001  Hank Nikora acquires the shares of the company from his father.  He remains very active in the business today.
  • 2017  Tri-Rotor celebrates its 85th year of continuous operation
We’d love to hear about your experience using our pump!