Martin Engineering was founded in 1944 by Edwin F. Peterson, a foundry pattern maker in a small Illinois town. The initial idea for the company’s inception came as he watched co-workers struggle to overcome sand blockages on the foundry's mold-making machines by pounding on the hoppers with hammers. He was troubled by the safety risks, equipment damage and loss of productivity that resulted. Those concerns prompted him to design the Vibrolator® Industrial Vibrator, which uses the rotation of a single steel ball in a hardened steel raceway, propelled by compressed air. Patented in 1949, it was the first of the innovative products introduced by Martin Engineering to solve problems in bulk materials handling, and remains today as one of the world's most accepted vibrators to facilitate the movement of bulk solids. From its beginning, the firm has been a family-owned, privately-held company.