Fisher, Freissle, Sidney, Tyler inducted into P&Q Hall of Fame

By |  February 12, 2019
The 2019 Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame class. Pictured left to right: Tommy Fisher, who accepted on behalf of his father, Fisher Industries' Gene Fisher; Polydeck's Manfred Freissle; McLanahan Corp.'s George Sidney and Niklas Haver, who accepted on behalf of W.S. Tyler/Haver & Boecker's Washington Samuel Tyler. Photo by Allison Barwacz

The 2019 Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame class. Pictured left to right: Tommy Fisher, who accepted on behalf of his father, Fisher Industries’ Gene Fisher; Polydeck’s Manfred Freissle; McLanahan Corp.’s George Sidney; and Niklas Haver, who accepted on behalf of W.S. Tyler/Haver & Boecker’s Washington Samuel Tyler. Photo by Allison Barwacz

Four aggregate industry pioneers, including Fisher Industries’ Gene Fisher, Polydeck’s Manfred Freissle, McLanahan Corp.’s George Sidney and W.S. Tyler/Haver & Boecker’s Washington Samuel Tyler, were inducted into the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame Feb. 11.

The induction ceremony – which was the seventh rendition of the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame festivities – took place prior to the 2019 AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo in Indianapolis.

Gene Fisher

Tommy Fisher, current president of Fisher Industries, accepted the honor on behalf of his late father, Gene Fisher.

Gene established Fisher Sand & Gravel in 1952. Throughout his career, he designed and manufactured much of his own equipment. Gene even patented his own classification system – the Fisher air separator – to remove fine particulates from manufactured sand using air instead of water.

Gene Fisher of Fisher Industries


By 1967, Gene launched General Steel & Supply Co., an equipment support team to Fisher Sand & Gravel.

Gene died in 2013, but the company, now run by Tommy, continues to serve the aggregate industry with two metal fabrication facilities, including a 100,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and a fully stocked parts department.

“In the end, dad loved work,” Tommy says. “I always did want to be a rock star, but I so much enjoy being a rock crusher. Our lives would never be the same without the hard work of dad, how he started it all.”

Manfred Freissle

Manfred Freissle, a co-founder of Polydeck Screen Corp. who played a key role in revolutionizing the screening industry, joins Fisher in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame.

Manfred Freissle


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.

Freissle’s years of experience and expertise at Screenex proved critical to the guidance of Polydeck, which was established in 1978. His involvement in Polydeck continues today, as the company has grown to more than 250 employees.

George Sidney

George Sidney began his career with McLanahan Corp. in 1973.

McLanahan's George Sidney


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.

Sidney retired at the end of 2018 but still remains an active part of McLanahan’s board and industry trade associations.

“Do something you love,” Sidney says. “Because if you’re happy – I don’t care what your status is in life – you’re successful. I want to congratulate the other award winners. I’m honored to be among you, your history.”

Washington Samuel Tyler

Niklas Haver, the chairman at Major, accepted the Hall of Fame honor on behalf of Washington Samuel Tyler. Tyler’s legacy began more than a century ago when he founded Cleveland Wire Works, a company that was renamed W.S. Tyler in 1872.

Washington Samuel Tyler


Throughout his career, Tyler became a pioneer in the manufacturing of steel wire for a 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. 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. Tyler died in 1917, but his legacy lives on throughout a number of products, including the company’s signature vibrating screen, the Tyler F-Class.

A lasting legacy

The members of the 2018 class join 28 inductees who are already 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.

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

Bob 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.
Donald M. James, Vulcan Materials Co.
Charles W. Ireland, 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 at

Allison Kral

About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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