| Water product manufacturer expands century-old operation in Indiana
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Water product manufacturer expands century-old operation in Indiana

Ford Meter Box campus in Wabash, IndianaManufacturing parts for the water sector is highly competitive, so it is noteworthy when a company demonstrates the ability to adapt to the industry’s changing needs for more than a century.

Ford Meter Box, a fourth-generation manufacturing company founded in 1898 in Wabash, Indiana, recently announced plans to expand and modernize its existing foundry operations and increase production capacity with a new 300,000-square-foot foundry also in Wabash.

“Many of the products we manufacture start with our customers,” said Todd Hodson, Ford Meter Box marketing manager. “Today, a customer’s request for a new product begins with an inquiry through our customer service department. The request is reviewed and processed by customer service, engineering and a product manager to determine marketability and design, with the ultimate goal to become a new product.”

Todd HodsonFord Meter Box was founded by Edwin H. Ford, a superintendent of waterworks in Hartford City, Indiana. At the time, the city was dealing with water shortages caused by excessive and unmetered water usage. Meters were only located inside structures because Indiana winters were thought to be too cold for outside meters. Ford designed an in-ground housing to protect meters from the harsh climate. 

The company joined AWWA in 1908. In 1916, it received its first patent for an innovative water meter test bench. In the 1950s, Ford Meter Box introduced a compression coupling to connect service line piping without flaring and threading the pipe, and in the 1960s it developed a ball valve for use in the water sector.

An additional element to Ford Meter Box’s staying power is the dedication of its more than 700 employees. 

“People come to work here, and they stay,” said Hodson, whose father and grandfather also worked for Ford Meter Box. “It is nice to work for a family company that cares about the community, company and its employees.”