About us

History of Universal

The Universal Milking Machine Company was organized in 1916 in Columbus, Ohio. Four men pooled $800.00 to make the start. Three of these men came from the Empire Milking Machine Company and the fourth was a watchmaker with an idea. His name was J.A. Schmitt and their new company produced the first low-vacuum milkers.

In 1924 Universal desired a better location in the heart of the dairy country, so they decided to move to Waukesha, Wisconsin. In 1933 Universal purchased the Strauss Electric Company and began an intensive program of modernizing all phases of its operation to meet the demands of America's dairy farmers who were switching to milking machinery during this period.

In 1943, universal was purchased by National Cooperatives, Inc., Chicago, Illinois and became a division of a farmer-owned cooperative.

In 1944 due to the increase sale of milking equipment, it was necessary to expand facilities for manufacturing. Universal opened a manufacturing plant in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Albert Lea was selected because of the excellent railroad and road access, ample labor supply and location in the center of a rich farming district, centrally located to distribution. In 1951 a new manufacturing pant was built in Albert Lea. This facility was used for manufacturing until 1985 when it was then moved to Goshen, Indiana.

In 1989 the Milking Machine Division was purchased by Alfa Laval Agri Inc. (now DeLaval Inc.) and relocated to Kansas City, Missouri.


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