Delivered to More Aggregate, Mining & Mineral Processing Professionals Worldwide than any other E-Publication

169 years of Innovation and Change

James Craig McLanahan’s family left Ireland and came to the United States in the early 1700’s. He moved from Baltimore, MD to Hollidaysburg, PA in the early 1830’s, where he bought minority ownership of an existing foundry operation that produced castings used in various farm implements in the central Pennsylvania area. In 1848 he bought majority ownership.

In those early years, James Craig McLanahan and later his son James King took on partners as they tried to increase the foundry business and ward off financial ruin following several devastating fires that completely destroyed their foundry. Each time they would construct a larger and more modern facility.

James King, and his brother Samuel, were true early pioneers, often building equipment for their own needs, or designing machines such as the first practical steam fire engine in 1855 and in 1866, the first retort coke oven built in this country.

Samuel Calvin McLanahan was a genius inventor and is credited with broadening McLanahan’s focus from a foundry operation to include the manufacture of process equipment. Around 1890, this third generation McLanahan conceived an idea to wash clay from the rock in his Florida phosphate deposits. Inside a long box, he mounted wooden logs and attached cast-iron paddles to them. On January 27, 1891, he secured a patent for his new machine and called it the Log Washer. Soon after he realized the need for a simple crusher that could handle wet, sticky feed while reducing pieces too large for his Log Washers. In 1894 he invented the Single Roll Crusher by using a split frame design with a crushing roll, breaking material against a solid crushing plate.

As the eastern mining industry grew and the success and durability of McLanahan equipment became apparent, businessmen from the nearby sand & gravel pits adopted the McLanahan Log Washer to clean clay from their deposits. Innovation and diversification have been keys to the longevity of McLanahan Corporation and soon customers began to ask for additional heavy-duty equipment.

In 1893, McLanahan built the first two “Bradford Breakers”, originally designed and patented by Hezekiah Bradford of Reading, PA, eventually leading to a full range of Rotary equipment including Rotary Scrubbers and Trommel Screens. From the 1920’s to the 1970’s saw continued growth and addition of new product lines including Sand Classifying Tanks, Screw Washers and Pug Mill Mixers.

In the early 1980’s several customers asked McLanahan Corporation to build stationary Feeder-Breakers with custom packages and designs. McLanahan pioneered many of the design features now commonplace on Feeder-Breakers including direct drives (no shear pins) and magnetic couplings. In the early 1990’s they began to offer custom built Crawler Mounted Feeder-Beakers with sophisticated electrical and communication packages, powerful crawlers and integrated belt-tail pulley systems – another innovation by McLanahan.

The mid-1990’s saw the evolution of the Double Roll Crusher with the development of the DDC-Sizer. McLanahan Corporation has been manufacturing this low profile, compact crusher with adjustable roll centers for over 50 years, having first introduced them to the brick and clay industry to handle wet, sticky feeds. McLanahan then developed a hydraulically driven DDC-Sizer that completely eliminates shock loads on the drives for hard rock / refuse applications.

Licensing agreements have also allowed them to expand product lines with internationally recognized companies. In 2000 McLanahan Corporation signed an agreement to build and service KHD Humboldt Wedag’s (Koln, Germany) Jigs and Flotation Cells to the North, Central and South American markets. Since the 1980’s they have also had an agreement with Fredrik Mogensen AB of Sweden to sell multi-deck vibratory screens to North, Central and South America.

Expanding even further, in 1998 they purchased HSS Sampling Systems, suppliers of Bulk Material Sampling Systems including conventional, cross belt and truck auger sampling systems. In 2001 they acquired the equipment division of Linatex Americas and formed LPT Group, Inc. This added product lines such as Dewatering Screens, Cyclones, Pumps, Thickeners and Belt Presses.

A highlight of the combination of processing technologies is a crushed stone plant built outside Dallas, TX that utilizes 46 pieces of McLanahan, LPT and HSS equipment. Working with the customer and engineering firm for over 2 years in a partnership, allowed the customer to integrate ground-breaking technology that will be highlighted in publications for years to come.

Last year McLanahan took a bold new step and set up an their own sales and engineering office in Australia to better serve the Australian coal market and gain access into the China coal market and other countries of the Pacific Rim. The equipment design and manufacture will be done in Australia with assistance provided from the engineering department in Hollidaysburg. A highlight of this new venture was the development and participation of a revolutionary mining plan in Australia that uses a mobile Feeder-Breaker to replace shovels and haul trucks. Material is pushed into the unit with dozers and the Feeder-Breaker performs primary reduction and metering onto the conveyor belt.

McLanahan Corporation is poised to remain a leader in the manufacture of processing equipment and systems well into the future. Their customer base has grown from a small geographic area of central Pennsylvania to now reach around the world. The company is in the unique position of being able to manufacture many of their products from the ground up. Each step along the way required McLanahan to change with the times by installing the latest engineering CAD systems (including recently installed +20 seats of 3D modeling) and four Electrical Engineers with PLC software programming skills. With an on-site foundry and complete machining, fabrication, assembly, and electrical departments, they can do just about everything in-house to ensure the highest quality and customer satisfaction.

Going back to the beginning, Samuel Calvin McLanahan’s ideas and visions were so successful that unknowingly, he set the company on a new course and thanks to the hundreds of dedicated employees who followed over the years, continually updating, modernizing and expanding his designs and ideas, McLanahan Corporation now offers a wide range of equipment and systems to process raw and synthetic materials. Customers have grown to appreciate McLanahan’s heavy duty equipment and outstanding customer service and support. Today the Foundry is recognized by Modern Casting Magazine as the oldest family-owned foundry in the United States and they were recently ranked by Family Business Magazine as the 44th oldest family-owned business in the country.