TUALATIN, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--R.M. Wade & Co. is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the company’s 1865 founding. Originally located in Salem, the company was first named Smith and Wade. Shortly after founding, R.M. Wade became the sole owner, changing the company name to R.M. Wade & Co. To commemorate the company’s anniversary and rich history, www.rmwade150.com has been created for people to explore the history of the company and agricultural equipment used in the Pacific Northwest.
R.M. Wade & Co. has been operated by Wade family descendants since its inception. As such, it is one of the oldest Oregon private companies owned by the original family. It is now in its fifth generation of Wade family management.
R.M. Wade & Co. owns Wade Rain Irrigation Systems and a real estate investment company. Located in Tualatin, Wade Rain employs 120 people worldwide. The company owns 15 distribution warehouses in Mexico, and subsidiaries in Peru and most recently in Tanzania.
R.M. Wade & Co. began as an agricultural equipment distributor bringing farm equipment by rail from manufacturers in the Midwest to sell to Oregon, Washington and Idaho farm equipment dealers. The company developed a reputation for innovation through introducing new agricultural products to the Northwest prior to 1915. These included the McCormick reaper, Oliver plow, Lightning Hay press (baler), and one of the very first tractors, the Heider Tractor. Later, the company introduced the Ford Ferguson tractor which revolutionized farming by making the tractor and implement operate as one unit.
From a base of agriculture, R.M. Wade developed Wade Manufacturing, which produced the Wade Drag Saw for logging. The Wade Drag Saw was the predecessor of the modern chain saw. The company became one of the largest manufacturers of drag saws in the world.
In 1936, the company introduced Wade Rain irrigation equipment and systems. Strength of innovation in irrigation equipment has resulted in significant international growth for the company. The majority of current sales are through the export of sprinkler and drip irrigation equipment. Wade Rain also has a division, Ore-Max, which provides environmentally superior drip leaching systems for mining.
In recognition of the 150th anniversary, the company has created a historical website at www.rmwade150.com which contains historical pictures, catalogs, videos, and stories about the company, products and people. Divided into 30-year time segments, the website follows the historical progression of agriculture in the Pacific Northwest.