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In 1968, John Geberth, Jr. started a business in his Clifton, New Jersey garage to create tools, dies and other instruments for area manufacturers. The son of a machinist, he was proud to carry on his father’s legacy. His faith in himself and his commitment to excellence in the craft inspired him to name his new business Titan Tool.
Soon thereafter, Geberth’s company became increasingly geared toward the manufacture of accessories and equipment for paint sprayers, which more and more painting contractors were using because they were a speedy and reliable way to paint large areas.
A tireless and creative man, Geberth strived to develop new and more efficient ways to make better and more durable parts for the paint sprayer industry. The U.S. government awarded him patents for several of his creations, among these a specially designed adjustable spray tip made from carbide steel that was stronger, more versatile and lasted far longer than any other comparable spray tip in the world at that time.
Geberth presented his patented adjustable tip to several major equipment manufacturers – all of whom expressed no interest in marketing the new product. Undaunted by their apathy, Geberth went into business for himself and before long Titan Tool became a by-word among painting contractors for the best spray tips and accessories in the world.
Among Titan’s customers for the long-lasting spray tips was a German company named WAGNER, a manufacturer of paint sprayers and equipment for both contractors and homeowners, that was rapidly expanding its own product line and marketing operations throughout the U.S. Even the insightful John Geberth never imagined what awaited Titan Tool when it would cross paths once more with WAGNER at the turn of the 20th century.
Inspired and encouraged by the success of his business, Geberth worked even harder to ensure that Titan Tool remained on the cutting edge of new product development. In 1981 Titan developed the LX-80 airless spray gun – a tool so elegantly effective and efficient that its essential design has remained unchanged in over 20 years.
Five years later Titan shook the foundation of the paint sprayer industry when, in 1986, it introduced the Titan 440 electric airless paint sprayer – the first sprayer of its kind available to contractors for under $1,000. It was much smaller than most airless sprayers and highly portable. Competitive manufacturers derided the new sprayer as “a toy” and predicted that no serious professional would ever purchase one. Twenty years later the Titan 440 continues to haunt competitors as the best selling contractor sprayer in the U.S.
The Titan 440 also revolutionized the sprayer rental trade. Prior to this, the industry had been struggling with large, complex diaphragm sprayers that required a great deal of power to operate and technical experience to service. In one fell swoop the Titan 440 changed the dynamic of the rental trade and it wasn’t long before Titan established its RentSpray division and created a line of sprayers specially designed for the rental trade. The best industry representatives were hired and trained to work exclusively with the rental segment of the sprayer market.
Twenty three years after it was founded in a Clifton garage, Titan Tool had become a major manufacturer, with a sizable facility in northern New Jersey and a line of paint sprayers, equipment and accessories that was the envy of every competitor. The Titan brand name could be seen in every major paint store and equipment supplier nationwide.
In 1991, John Geberth decided to retire from the business and sold Titan Tool to a partnership group which sold it shortly thereafter to a holding company in 1994. A year later, the holding company acquired Speeflo, a Houston, Texas manufacturer of gas, electric and air-powered paint sprayers founded by a man named Gus Levy.