Chartered in 1902 as a repair shop and parts supply house for local sawmills, Lufkin Foundry & Machine Company was begun by J.H. Kurth, Frank Kavanaugh, Sr., Frank Kavanaugh, Jr., Eli Wiener and Simon Henderson. Later, under the leadership of W.C. Trout, the company ventured into the oil industry and manufactured the first enclosed geared pumping unit. In 1926, Trout patented a counterbalanced crank that improved the pumping unit and made a name for the company worldwide. In 1939 the company added industrial gears and truck trailers to its product lines.