DRAMM Celebrating 75 Years of Design and Manufacturing of Quality Watering Tools

Arett Outlook March 2016

Dramm Corporation has been a leader in watering tools and accessories for 75 years. Imagine it all started with a man named John G. Dramm and his invention that revolutionized the way greenhouses; nurseries and gardeners water their plants.

In 1941, John G. Dramm produced cut flowers for his florist shop in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Johnny, as everyone knew him, always had a passion and a gift for invention. In order to water greenhouse crops quickly, Johnny saw the need for a nozzle to apply very large quantities of water in a soft stream. Thus, he designed the 400 Water Breaker, which applied water with no damage to plants. This nozzle is the standard of commercial growers worldwide.

The company developed from a “basement operation” to a 70,000 sq. ft. facility, employing over 50 people.

News quickly spread about this innovative watering tool and requests for the new nozzle were received. Johnny continued to work in his floral shop during the day and constructed the 400 Water Breaker® orders at night. As the business began expanding, tragedy struck. John G. Dramm passed away suddenly in 1951 at age 47. He was survived by his wife, Perdita, and two sons ages 12 and 18.

His family had no Social Security benefits and now struggled to keep the business going. Subcontracting the parts and assembly, Perdita packed the orders, attended to all of the paperwork and, using her lunch hours while she worked as a school librarian, drove to the post office and mailed out the shipments. Taking no salary from the Dramm Company, Perdita used the modest profits to put her two sons through college.

After the two boys went to college they continued the tradition of contributing to the growth of the family business. By the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, John Peter, the older son, started working out of his own basement. He eventually rented a small factory and gave it the name Dramm Manufacturing Company. Like his father, he had a natural interest and talent for invention. He evolved into a self-taught engineer, designing specialized equipment for Dramm products.

In 1967, younger brother Kurt William, the born salesman of the family, purchased The Dramm Company from his mother, Perdita. Although there were two companies, being a close family, they operated as one entity. In 1978, at an early age of 45, John P. Dramm passed away and the two companies became one under the name Dramm Corporation.

While the original products were designed for the professionals working in greenhouses and nurseries, requests from the public were building. The avid home gardener wanted to use the same watering tools the “pros” were using. And the “pros” were all using Dramm.

The company continued to grow in the retail industry by expanding into a full line of Rain Wands, sprinklers, and watering tools accessories. In the 1990’s, Dramm Corporation revolutionized watering tools by introducing color into the full line of Rain Wands, sprinklers, and watering tools with six rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and berry. Now gardeners could choose a color to fit each individual’s personality and it would not get lost in the lawn. Since then, competitors have often copied but have never matched the complete style, color, and quality of Dramm’s products.

In July of 2013, Kurt and Marlene Dramm announced the completed ownership transfer to the their son Hans Dramm and daughter Heidi Dramm Becker. Hans Dramm is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Heidi Dramm Becker is Executive Vice President and appears in many of Dramm’s TV commercials and lifestyle photos.

Family involvement has been an integral part of the growth and success of the company and is still a vital ingredient today. Hans Dramm’s daughter and Heidi Dramm Becker’s children also appear in TV commercials and lifestyle photos. Kurt Becker, son-in-law, is the Executive Vice President and the Director or Commercial Sales and Marketing. Kurt Dramm is still active with the company as the Chairman Emeritus.

Today, Dramm continues to provide quality, durable, and professional watering tools, accessories, and natural fertilizers to nurseries, greenhouses, and avid gardeners nationwide. Dramm strives to produce products that save time and energy while providing quality products that will last a lifetime.

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