Schaeffer Manufacturing Company was founded in 1839 by Nicholas Schaeffer, a German-born, soap and candle maker. Schaeffer Manufacturing Company is the oldest lubricants manufacturer in America and is known today for their premium quality of oils. And although Schaeffer is known today for their PCMO lubricants, Schaeffer Manufacturing mainly sold axle greases in their early days in the mid-1800s.
We were actually very impressed to learn that wagon wheels of many travelers to the California gold fields were greased with Schaeffer axle grease! It was this application that catapulted the company as a full-fledged lubricant manufacturer and marketer.
Schaeffer also found itself as an important part of history in the mid-19th century; it had become the main supplier of lubricants for the steam engines and steam cylinders that were so instrumental in steamboat-traded goods and imports in the 1800s.
Finally, with the rise of industrial plants in America in the late-1800s, Schaeffer was there to keep this new industry running. By this time, Schaeffer had their original line of lubricants for sale: Red Engine Oil, made of animal fats, was used by steamboats that piled the Mississippi , Missouri, and Ohio Rivers, and Black Beauty, a grease that lubricated the wheels of buggies and wagon trains rolling west.
Perhaps the most impressive part of this company’s rich history is the fact that through World War 1, the Roaring ‘20’s, the Great Depression, and World War 2, Schaeffer Manufacturing Company still managed to thrive.
“Don’t let our 170 years fool you—we are a very progressive company,” says John Schaeffer Shields. The company offers a line of semi-synthetic oils that gives customers the benefits of a synthetic at a price just above conventional products. Schaeffer also provides additives, oil analysis, in-house seminars, and offers a partnership, not just products, to their customers.