2019 Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame inductees revealed

By |  November 5, 2018

Pit & Quarry is proud to announce the 2019 Hall of Fame class, which includes Gene Fisher (Fisher Industries), Manfred Freissle (Polydeck Screen Corp.), George Sidney (McLanahan Corp.) and Washington Samuel Tyler (W.S. Tyler / Haver & Boecker Canada).

The 2019 inductees will be honored in Indianapolis at a black-tie dinner and induction ceremony Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. The event will be held in conjunction with AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo. Tickets to the induction ceremony can be purchased here.

The 2019 class will join 28 others who were previously enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame. Like their Hall of Fame predecessors, the 2019 class will be represented in the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum in Leadville, Colorado.

Detailed below in alphabetical order, the inductees were selected by a group of their peers from a pool of nominees submitted by industry experts and you, our readers.

Gene Fisher, Fisher Industries

Gene Fisher of Fisher Industries


Raised on a farm in North Dakota, Fisher established Fisher Sand & Gravel in 1952 – and it wasn’t long before his company expanded beyond the state’s borders.

Proactively planning ahead for the challenges that come with business expansion, Fisher used his ingenuity to design and manufacture his own equipment while anticipating impending water shortages.

To curtail water issues, Fisher patented his own classification system – the Fisher air separator – to remove fine particulates from manufactured sand using air instead of water. Fisher’s air separators have served aggregate producers well in the decades that followed, allowing them to save on water and fuel costs.

By 1967, Fisher launched General Steel & Supply Co., an equipment support team to Fisher Sand & Gravel. The company still serves the aggregate industry today with two metal fabrication facilities, including a 100,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and a fully stocked parts department. Fisher Sand & Gravel, meanwhile, is a top sand and gravel producer in the United States.

Manfred Freissle, Polydeck

Manfred Freissle


Freissle, a co-founder of Polydeck Screen Corp., played a key role in revolutionizing the screening industry.

Freissle originally co-founded South Africa-based Screenex, the parent company of Polydeck, and sought to improve traditional wire cloth and synthetic screen mats with a focus on improved safety and durability. In 1972, Freissle patented Polydex, the first modular synthetic screen panel. He holds more than a dozen U.S. and worldwide patents in screening technology.

Freissle’s years of experience and expertise at Screenex proved critical to the guidance of Polydeck, which was established in 1978. Freissle played a critical role in all facets of the company, from product design and manufacturing to sales and support.

Freissle’s involvement in Polydeck continues today, as the company has grown to more than 250 employees. His influence on screening technology has provided a number of benefits to aggregate producers everywhere.

George Sidney, McLanahan Corp.

McLanahan's George Sidney


A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Sidney began his career with McLanahan Corp. in 1973.

Sidney served in a variety of roles in his 45-plus years at the company, including design engineer, sales engineer, western region sales manager, director of engineering, vice president and executive vice president. He was named president and COO in 2004.

In addition to his contributions to McLanahan, Sidney has regularly been involved with a number of industry associations, including the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the Society of Mining & Metallurgical Engineers, the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute and the Wyoming Mining Association. He is a ROCKPAC trustee who serves on the Altoona Blair County Development Corp. board of directors and the Penn State Alumni board of directors.

Sidney will remain an active part of McLanahan’s board and other industry trade associations following his retirement at the end of 2018.

Washington Samuel Tyler, W.S. Tyler / Haver & Boecker Canada

Washington Samuel Tyler


Born in Cleveland in 1835, Washington Samuel Tyler was the founder of Cleveland Wire Works, a company that was renamed W.S. Tyler in 1872.

Tyler’s company expanded from 11 employees to 30 within its first year of business, becoming a pioneer in the manufacturing of steel wire for a wide range of specialty and standard products. In 1878, W.S. Tyler introduced the first fully mechanical weaving looms, as well as wire crimped in stages, improving durability in screen decks. By 1910, W.S. Tyler introduced the standard screen scale table with geometrically graded apertures, leading to customer testing, particle analysis and the development of the Tyler Standard sieve series.

In the years that followed, W.S. Tyler introduced the Ro-Tap sieve shaker, hook strips for screen tensioning and a fully mechanical vibrating screen.

In 1998, W.S. Tyler was purchased by Haver & Boecker, which today provides screening, washing and pelletizing solutions across the aggregate industry.

Other members of the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame include:

Robert G. Bartlett, National Stone Association
Glen Barton, Caterpillar
Eli Whitney Blake, Blake Rock Crusher Co.
J. Don Brock, Astec Industries Inc.
Emil Deister, Deister Machine Co.
Paul Detwiler Jr., New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co.
Paul Detwiler III, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co.
Richard J. Feltes, Feltes Sand & Gravel Co.
Bernie Grove, National Stone Association
LeRoy Hagenbuch, Philippi-Hagenbuch
Howard Hall, Iowa Manufacturing/Cedarapids Inc.
Charles W. Ireland, Vulcan Materials Co.
Donald M. James, Vulcan Materials Co.
Chuck Lien, Pete Lien & Sons
Charles Luck Jr., Luck Stone
Charles S. Luck III, Luck Stone
Samuel Calvin McLanahan, McLanahan Corp.
Paul C. Mellott Jr., Mellott Co.
Bruno Nordberg, Nordberg Manufacturing Co.
C. Howard “Ward” Nye, Martin Marietta
Ralph Rogers, Rogers Group
William J. Sandbrook, U.S. Concrete
Neil Schmidgall, Superior Industries
Kim Snyder, Eastern Industries Inc.
Franklin E. Squires, Superior Industries
Arthur Taggart, Columbia and Yale Universities
Mark Towe, Oldcastle Inc.
Stephen P. Zelnak Jr., Martin Marietta Materials Inc.

Learn more about the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame and its members at www.pitandquarryhalloffame.com.

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