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History of Nuttall Gear

Company History

Nuttall Gear RD Nuttall Bust

In 1887, Mr. R.D. Nuttall founded Nuttall Gear in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with one gear cutter, five men, and a combined capital of $500. Over the next 41 years, Nuttall Gear continued to grow and made numerous contributions to the gear industry. It was Nuttall that made one of the most significant contributions to the field of gear engineering: single helical gears.

Nuttall Gear Building Retro

Nuttall Gear also developed flexible gearing for transportation applications; a pioneering Mr. Nuttall designed and manufactured the first integral gearmotor and developed force fed lubrication for large industrial enclosed gear drives.

In 1916, it was R.D. Nuttall that initiated discussions with other gear manufacturers to implement gearing standards. This bold step led to the organization that the world now knows as AGMA.

Nuttall Gear Westinghouse Logo Retro

In 1928, Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased Nuttall Gear from Mr. Nuttall and was now known as Westinghouse Gearing Division. Through the commitment to engineering and innovation, Westinghouse developed the modern form of the gearmotor which is used by gear manufacturers the world over to this very day.

Through Westinghouse, many custom engineered units were designed to meet the demands of the day. Out of these custom reducers, many standard product lines emerged and became standards in the gearing industry:

  • Moduline concentric shaft reducers
  • Gearmotors
  • TDS parallel, right angle and hollow shaft reducers
  • SU/SD high speed units
  • A wide array of vertical units
In 1960, to meet customer demand, Westinghouse moved to a larger, more modern facility in Buffalo, New York. This was home to Westinghouse Gearing division, where we continued to prosper for the next 23 years.

Nuttal Gear Logo Retro

February 1983 signified another step forward in Nuttall's history. We, once again, became a privately owned corporation, owned and managed by former key employees of Westinghouse Gearing Division. Nuttall Gear Corporation moved to its current location in Niagara Falls, New York, where we continued our development.

In addition to expanding our product lines and offerings, we became the company that people would come to with their unique and unprecedented design requirements. Over the years, we have built almost as many custom designed units as we have standard catalog units.

Nuttall Logo 1997

1997 was another big year in Nuttall’s history. In May, Nuttall was purchased by Colfax and became a part of a billion dollar power transmission organization. During this same year, Nuttall Gear acquired Delroyd Worm Gear, now allowing us to offer a wide variety of worm gear reducers, combination of worm-helical reducers, and worm and worm gear open gearing.

Nuttall Gear Logo

In 2004, Nuttall Gear became part of Altra Industrial Motion Inc. In doing so, Nuttall Gear became an integral member of a company that consists of many of the industry’s leading power transmission component manufacturers including Warner Electric, Boston Gear, Formsprag Clutch, Stieber Clutch, Ameridrives Couplings, and Wichita Clutch.

During our 120 plus years in the gearing industry, our ownership has changed but our commitment to our customers has never wavered. As always we remain dedicated to providing the historical services and quality you have come to expect.

Historical Photos

Nuttall Gear Speed Reducers Retro
Speed Reducers- photo taken at Nuttall Works.
Nuttall Gear Test Floor Retro
Test floor used for testing large Gearmotors, Speed Reducers and other Special units.
Nuttall Gear Lapping Gears Retro
Lapping gears and pinions on correct center distance to burnish tooth bearing before assembly on case.