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Little Wonder, Mantis & Classen
Divisions of Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc.

While the name “Schiller-Pfeiffer” may not ring a bell with gardeners and commercial landscapers, the brands of products Schiller-Pfeiffer manufactures (Little Wonder, Mantis and Classen) certainly do. Schiller-Pfeiffer entered into manufacturing with the Little Wonder hedge trimmer in 1935. Based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the single unit manufacturer developed the industry’s first electric-powered hedge trimmer in 1940 and the first gasoline-powered hedge trimmer in 1955. With market-leadership of hedge trimmers in hand, Schiller- Pfeiffer relocated to a larger manufacturing facility in Southampton, PA (a nearby suburb of Philadelphia) and have grown the Little Wonder Brand to include commercial walk-behind blowers, powered edgers, debris vacuums and truck loaders.

Schiller-Pfeiffer’s longstanding success in the power equipment industry is not solely attributed to its successful Little Wonder brand of commercial products. In the late 70’s, the company created a small hand-held tiller/cultivator that weighed a modest 20-pounds. The tiller was originally marketed as a Little Wonder product and sold through commercial dealerships nationwide. Confident that the product could become just as endearing to the gardener and residential user, the tiller was marketed under the new brand name of Mantis and offered through mailorder to gardeners in the early 80’s. Gardeners embraced the little tiller and the mini-tiller market was born. With nearly 2-million units sold worldwide to date, the Mantis Tiller/Cultivator is easily the most recognizable mini-tiller in the world. The versatile unit became more than just a tiller/cultivator. Attachments were added to aerate, dethatch, plow, trim hedges, clean cracks and crevices, and much more – making the product a versatile gardening and landscaping tool.

Schiller-Pfeiffer has continued to grow through acquisitions as well. Recent acquisitions include the BedShaper line of self-propelled power edgers in 2003, the entire line of Classen Manufacturing turf equipment in 2004, and most recently Germantown Tooling & Machine Works in January of 2005. The acquisition of Classen products has broadened the company’s market appeal. Catapulting the company into the grounds maintenance industry with a dedicated turf care equipment line of equipment with a brand already well known in the industry. Classen equipment includes a complete line of commercial aerators, turf rake dethatchers, sod cutters and seeders. Model types include walk-behind, self-propelled, split-drive, tow-behinds, and most recently a ride-on aerator.

Product development remains a key focus for all three brands. Look for the new Mantis E System (electric-powered landscaping tools), SwiftSplit by Mantis (electric-powered 5-ton hydraulic log splitter), and Little Wonder Self-Propelled High Performance Vacuum (with hydrostatic drive) in the fall 2005.