EDCO Blog

EDCO History Decades Series: Our new home (The 1970s)

An EDCO Walk-Behind Saw from the 1970s

As we at Equipment Development Company- EDCO celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2019, we look back at each decade that created this longevity and set the foundation for where we are today and where we want to be going forward.

Our Beginning (1959 and the 1960s)

Our New Home (The 1970s)

In the year of 1970, Ed Harding and Leo Swan purchased the EDCO division and it officially became a separate entity from Rental Tools & Equipment.

As EDCO continued to serve more and more of the rental industry, it became clear that a new building was necessary to support our growth. In 1976, our co-founders and the relatively small collection of employees relocated the operation from Silver Spring, Maryland, approximately 40 miles north-west to Frederick, Maryland.

A page from a 1970s EDCO catalog. Advertised with this dual-disc grinder were grinding stones, grinder tooling as obsolete as the graphic design on the page

At both the Silver Spring location and the new building, which EDCO leased from Frederick Electronics, new designs and innovations were implemented on the machines that were created in 1959 and throughout the 1960s.

One example of the commitment to improving machines came on the dual-disc grinder during the 1970s. During this time, health officials began to understand the hazards of silica dust. Silica is a microscopic dust hidden inside visible concrete and masonry dust clouds. Long-term exposure causes silicosis and other respiratory diseases. In response to this health alert, EDCO added dust shrouds with vacuum hook-ups to products. Adding vacuum capabilities kept workers safe and drastically reduced jobsite cleaning times, making jobs faster.

Before moving to the new location, the team at EDCO developed an industrial floor surfacer and paint remover, which was officially added to the product line in 1975. After moving to Frederick, EDCO released the single-disc concrete grinder in 1977, a portable masonry saw in 1978, and a self-propelled concrete saw in 1978 that was made to meet long-distance cutting applications.

Our first building in Frederick, picture taken circa 1980s after the building was doubled in size in 1979

Three years after moving to the Frederick location, EDCO’s sustained growth necessitated an expansion of the building. In 1979, the leased building was doubled in size to accommodate our growing company.

It was also in this decade that EDCO received national recognition as Leo Swan, one of our co-founders, received the American Rental Association (ARA) Special Service Award, which is annually awarded to suppliers who have made outstanding contributions to the rental industry.

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