Bernhard and Company - manufacturer of Bernhard Grinders, the world's finest blade sharpening systems for turf cutting machines - is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first grinder patent.
Brainchild of English engineer and Bernhard and Company forefather John Atterton, the submission illustrates the first "spin" grinder for lawn mower cylinders that also sharpens bottom blades while still mounted to bed bars.
His specification for an "Apparatus for Grinding the Cylinder Blades and Bottom Blades of Lawnmowers and similar Machines" was accepted in 1889. Thereafter, he established Atterton & Ellis, Ltd. in Haverhill, England.
The company successfully manufactured lawn mower grinding machines for nearly a century before Stephen Bernhard purchased a controlling interest in the 1980s and rebranded it as Bernhard and Company.
"Atterton's main shaft, grindstone mounting, drive and guidance principles are used in our Express Dual models to this day," says Stephen Bernhard, executive chairman of Bernhard and Company. "It's a testament to his genius that the technology and underlying philosophy of operational simplicity remains a Bernhard calling card in 2014."
The world was a very different place in 1889. Significant events included founding of the Coca-Cola Company (as Pemberton Medicine Company), opening of the Eiffel Tower (to criticism of its aesthetics), release of the first issue of The Wall Street Journal (cover price: 2¢), and opening of The Savoy Hotel in London.
Specific to Bernhard and Company, Atterton & Ellis was casting parts in its onsite foundry in 1889; today, the state-of-the-art Bernhard factory uses parts cut with lasers.
Furthermore, belts and steam powered the 19th century grinders, and precision of the grind was completely dependent on the skills of the operator.
Fast-forward to 2014 and models incorporate chemical elements like silicon and space age polymers. They also benefit from the latest microprocessor-automated control systems and operator aids to make the grind optimally sharp.
Amid all of these changes, Bernhard's singular focus on making the world's best grinders has stood the test of time.
"Our reputation for the highest quality is hard-earned and has deep roots in the golf industry," adds Bernhard. "We're intensely proud of our unmatched heritage; it is the bedrock for everything we do."
To mark the quasquicentennial milestone, Bernhard will host several anniversary-themed events throughout the year. There will be more information to come via the company newsletter, website and social media platforms.
Bernhard grinders benefit public, private and resort golf courses by producing a surgically-sharp, scythe-like, non-contact cut for consistent, healthy and pristine turf.
All are manufactured in a modern,purpose-built facility that opened in 2012. The unrivaled precision of Bernhard's skilled engineers allows it to offer an industry-best 10-year warranty on products like the heralded Express Dual and Anglemaster grinders.
Re-investing in the agronomic trade is also a core tenet of the company. Bernhard annually hosts more than 100 webinars and traveling seminars about turf management, maintenance and sustainability trends and best practices for course superintendents, machine technicians, owners, general managers and others.