If you've ever bought a loaf of bread, a mattress or fertilizer for your garden, you've likely benefited from the ingenuity of Bud Wisecarver. For almost 80 years, Bud's life has been ruled by two main themes: Motion and innovation. Many businesses from a variety of industries have benefited from his company's products, which have been designed with one question in mind: How can this industry work more efficiently?
The following timeline outlines Bud's history of innovating products that help businesses run more smoothly — from manufacturing screw machine parts to patenting linear motion products.
In fall of 1950, Bud started W.R. Wisecarver & Company to manufacture truck accessories. While there, he was approached by windows, blinds and drapery manufacturer Levelor to rebuild their plant up to modern standards. The project took three years to complete. Efficiency had doubled, the linear footage produced considerably increased and the plant was running 24 hours a day with the same number of employees originally running six hours a day. And Bud was out of a job.
Bud began manufacturing screw machine parts and this endeavor attracted a new client, bread tray salesman Ray Bishop. Ray asked Bud to help him design an improved product to secure bread trays during transport. The result was Saf-T-Sta, a cargo bar that streamlined loading and unloading delivery trucks. He later built a specialized bread tray for Ray known as the Flo-Carri.
- 1962: A patent is issued for Saf-T-Sta. Later that year, Bud moves W.R. Wisecarver & Company from Cowell, Calif. to the nearby city of Pittsburg.
- 1967: Bud and Ray merge their companies — and Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation is born.
- 1968: Bishop-Wisecarver buys property in Pittsburg, where the company has stayed ever since. Out of frustration with current technologies, Bud begins toying with Vee wheels. He designs DualVee® guide wheels while watching an Oakland Raiders football game. They remain the company's signature product. Bud also designs and builds the Radius Machine for box spring manufacturers the same year.
- 1969: Bishop-Wisecarver build the office building in Pittsburg and buys up the Madewell® Manufacturing Company, a producer of insecticide sprayers.
- 1972: A patent is issued for DualVee®. Bud also designs and produces the Dari Tray, a product that makes it easier to transport dairy products.
- 1977 and 1978: Bishop-Wisecarver manufactures the Saf-T-Sta Strap Master and Saf-T-Sta Flap Master, respectively.
- 1979: Bishop-Wisecarver outgrows its original facility and constructs its first manufacturing building on the Martin Way property.
- 1981: Bishop-Wisecarver introduces another addition to the Saf-T-Sta line, the Saf-T-Sta Pallet Puller
- 1984: The company embarks on a business relationship with HepcoMotion, a European company specializing in linear motion technology
- 1985: Bishop-Wisecarver begins manufacturing the Saf-T-Sta Econo line
- 1987: The Thrif-T-Lok, a more economical version of Saf-T-Sta, is introduced
- 1989: The company builds its second manufacturing building
- 1993: The Saf-T-Sta Snap Lock, a product designed to prevent theft of the Saf-T-Sta, is introduced
- 1994: The company manufactures LoPro® linear motion systems, pre-engineered units consisting of an antifriction slide way, based on DualVee® Motion Technology
- 1997: Bud Wisecarver designs a specialized trailer hitch (not yet marketed)
- 1998: Bud Wisecarver designs a folding electric handicap scooter (not yet marketed)
- 2000: Company loses a manufacturing building to a freeway-widening project. New building is created. Project lasts three-and-a-half years.
- 2001: UtiliTrak® is introduced.
- 2005: QuickTrak® and MinVee® are introduced
- 2006: DualVee® patent pending integral wheels are introduced, as are MadeWell crown rollers and U profile — the patent pending Food and Beverage Wheel, a DualVee® style guide designed for applications subject to harsh washdown environments, is introduced.
- 2007: Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan is appointed to National Association of Manufacturing Board of Directors.
- 2008: Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan joins the California Manufacturers and Technology Association Board of Directors
- 2009: A patent is awarded to Bishop-Wisecarver for the new DualVee® Washdown Wheel
- 2010: Bishop-Wisecarver earns a Bay Area Green Business Certification
- 2011: Company launches first consumer-based product — the UTCSK Camera Slider Kit, created for marketers who perform in-house video product
- 2011: Bishop-Wisecarver earns a woman-owned certification as a WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprise
- 2012: Introduced the MadeWell® Radial Wheel.
- 2012: Pamela Kan appointed Chair of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association Board of Directors.
- 2013: The Bishop-Wisecarver Group and its family of companies is publicly introduced: Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation, Black Diamond Manufacturing, and WRW Engineering
- 2014: Introduced the Dualvee® Vacuum Wheels
- 2015: The Bishop-Wisecarver Group Expands Product Offering with Acquisition of Specialty Motions, Inc. Linear Actuator Product Lines.
- 2017: Introduced SMLA SlickStick v2
- 2017: Introduced SMLA ECO60 v2
- 2017: Expands Product Offering with DualVee® Food/Pharma Wheels with H1 Grease
- 2018: Expands Product Offering with UtiliTrak® VeeCrown Wheel Plate
- 2019: Expands Product Offering with LoPro® v6 Belt/Chan Drive/Idler End Enhancements
- 2019: Expands Product Offering with LoPro® Sensor Targets: Travel Sensor Flags and Targets