HISTORY OF LeFIELL
LeFiell Company was originally incorporated in 1910 as John’s Hanger Company, manufacturing parlour door hangers in San Francisco, California. In 1917 it was acquired by Mr. A. E. LeFiell and given its present name, LeFiell Company. As the city of San Francisco grew, the demand for food and food processing machinery grew with it. LeFiell’s expertise in parlour door hangers was seen to be adaptable to the local meat industry’s overhead rail system needs; and the company was eventually approached by San Francisco grocers and butchers to manufacture meat storage rail systems. Until then, this equipment had to be purchased in Chicago and shipped by train over 2000 miles. Thus LeFiell was introduced to and entered the meat industry.
As California and the U.S. West grew, LeFiell continued to grow with it, supplying the burgeoning meat industry. In the late 1920s LeFiell began to establish its dominance in the industry when it designed and patented the first prefabricated overhead rail switches. This innovation, solving a major material handling problem for butchers, brought national attention to LeFiell Company. By the 1930s LeFiell had introduced and was manufacturing an entire product line of slaughterhouse machinery for customers throughout the United States.
During WWII LeFiell Company was called upon by the U.S. Navy to provide shipboard meat storage equipment and portable slaughterhouses. Further developing LeFiell’s expertise, in the 1950s LeFiell relocated to a larger facility in San Francisco’s “Butcher Town.” Here LeFiell provided customized engineering, equipment, and installation services to companies such as Swift, Armour, Hormel as well as independent meat packers.
In 1961, LeFiell was acquired by the Schmidt family who owned and operated the Cincinnati Butcher’s Supply Company. Thus LeFiell became part of the industry’s largerst manufacturer of machinery and equipment; and, was now being managed the Schmidt family which had been manufacturing meat packing equipment since 1886.
By the 1970s LeFiell had come to be one of the most respected manufacturers in the meat industry, providing equipment and engineering expertise throughout the United States and Worldwide.
Today, LeFiell is a company with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and tradition. Not only do we continue to update our product line with state-of-the-art equipment like our new SST Switch, we have expanded our scope of services with the LeFiell Project Management Group to include complete rendering systems, wastewater treatment systems, and, of course, complete plant design and construction.
LeFiell’s continuing excellence is evident from its recently being named Supplier of the Year in 1999 by the National Meat Association and also being presented with the American Meat Institute’s Innovative Product ribbon in 1998.
When LeFiell first began manufacturing equipment for the meat industry, it was less than a decade before it introduced its first revolutionary product–the first all-steel gear operated and automatic overhead track switches. In the 1940s LeFiell introduced the industry’s first hydralic equipment–hog dehairers, head splitters, and elevating platforms. In the 1950s LeFiell developed new technology for hide stripping. In the 1960s and 1970s LeFiell again revolutionized the industry with its development of the Walking Beam and Automatic Positive Shackle Positioner. In 1978 LeFiell introduced the industry to electrical stimulation with the Lectro-Tender™. In 1998, LeFiell was awarded the American Meat Institute’s Innovative Product Ribbon for it’s new overhead rail system components, Easy-Glide™ Double Trolley, Saf-T-Guard™ Switch, SST Switch, and Stainless Steel Pressed Hanger.
With extensive experience in systems engineering and an intimate knowledge of the meat industry, LeFiell is unequaled as a source of complete, custom-designed systems. Our extensive experience in the design, manufacture, and installation of automated systems can help you maximize efficiency of operations, product flow, and ultimately your bottom line. From knocking pen to chill room to boxed product, we can help you upgrade a single operational area or your entire plant. In addition to improving existing facilities, we are uniquely qualified to assist you in the design and construction of an entirely new plant.
LeFiell’s position as a leader in the industry can be attributed to our talented, professional staff. Many members of our staff, including senior management, have been with LeFiell for 20 to 30 years or more. Our intimate knowledge of the industry means optimum results for you and your plant. Whether you need a custom-designed system, or a standard product, you can count on dependable, responsive service from LeFiell.
The rugged environment of the meat industry demands equally rugged equipment. LeFiell products are precision-engineered and manufactured under strict quality control measures to insure durability and reliability under even the most demanding conditions. For over 100 years meat packing plants throughout North America and the world have been the proving grounds for LeFiell.