The First 50 Years
After successfully operating a growing pottery machinery business in Louisville, Ohio, the Bonnot family, led by patriarch Charles Bonnot, moved to nearby Canton in 1891. They joined forces with the influential Harter family to form a new corporation late that same year. The Bonnots provided the manufacturing expertise and the Harter group offered the land, buildings and financial resources for the new "Bonnot Company."
Charles Bonnot and his sons August, Louis and John saw the emerging opportunities offered by the clay fields in eastern Ohio. As a result, brick and tile-forming machines became the focus of activity for the new enterprise and remained so for many years.
The Bonnots were quick to react to the developments of the time. The company was one of the first to manufacture cement production machinery with other significant efforts following shortly. In 1914, they invented a machine for pulverizing coal, which led to business contracts from all over America, as well as Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and Japan. In 1928, the Bonnots developed equipment for removing defects from steel billets. The system replaced costly and dangerous hand chiseling. As the steel industry grew, so did The Bonnot Company.
Machinery for processing clay products, however, remained the mainstay of the company. In 1932, Bonnot engineers found a way to remove air from clay with a new vacuum extrusion machine, which spurred an instant demand from clay product manufacturers.
As they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1941, The Bonnot Company had a firm foundation in the production of machinery for pulverizing, crushing, extruding and vacuity operations for many industries worldwide.
The Second 50 Years
The development of new applications for extrusion technology that began in the late 30s was growing rapidly. Chemical manufacturers and food processors became major customers. With the international nature of these industries, Bonnot extruding machines found a worldwide market.
By 1980, exports accounted for up to 40 percent of new machine sales. Bonnot machines were known for their innovative technology, rugged design and experienced broad market acceptance.
As in earlier years, Bonnot held to the belief that the aggressive pursuit of new equipment processes was the best guarantee for success in the years ahead. The company focused on applications below the interest of mass producers but beyond the capabilities of smaller competitors. Even greater focus went to assisting customers in developing techniques for new products in niche markets such as breakfast cereals, chewing gum, dog food, adhesives and catalytic converters.
The Modern Era
These past 20+ years we, like many companies, have had to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment; not only with technological advancements but also with an increased understanding of how we impact the environment in which we live. The Bonnot Company has answered this call by developing products for recycling such as coal, spent grains, tires and plastic, along with literally hundreds of materials that only a few years ago were sent to landfills.