Measurement engineers since 1836, Elster American Meter celebrates 175 years of commitment to innovation and quality in the Natural Gas Industry

Cleveland, OH, December 7, 2010

Elster announces that its business unit Elster American Meter, a leader in manufacturing and supplying gas measurement and control products for the natural gas and propane industries, will be celebrating its 175th anniversary during the calendar year of 2011.

In 2011 Elster American Meter embarks on 175 years of continuous commitment and innovation to the Natural Gas Industry, symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning. The planned commemoration will span one year and is dedicated to the memory of Samuel Downs and the tradition of the Natural Gas Industry. Elster American Meter will be recalling the achievements of Samuel Downs and the knowledge and experience that inspired the natural gas industry. 

"From my perspective, it is fascinating to be part of a company so rich in history but simultaneously committed to technology and innovation. We are a 175-year-old company, but in many ways, we are a new company. We have recently become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange as ELT.  The world is very different now. We have come from cast iron and prepaid meters to aluminium meters using technology that is revolutionizing the gas industry as we know it.  We have evolved into a technology company through EnergyAxis, AMI and Smart Grid.” stated Roy Sutterfield, President of Elster Gas North America. 

The company was founded in May of 1836 by Samuel Downs when he began manufacturing meter parts and eventually complete meters. By the time the Civil War began in 1861, Downs was in bruising competition with two other meter manufacturers, Gratz & Co. and Code, Hopper –both located in Philadelphia. As the war brought a prolonged slowdown in gas expansion, Downs took in a partner named Richard Merrifield. This new firm of Downs & Merrifield finally merged in 1863 with its two arch rivals to form American Meter with Samuel Downs as president. In 1896, six companies approached American Meter and eventually merged with it, beginning to function under its name American Meter Company on January 1, 1896. They were John J. Griffin & Co; Hem & McIlhenny; D. McDonald & Co; Goodwin Gas Stove & Meter Co.; Maryland Meter Co. & Metric Metal.

"We have brought new products to the marketplace benefiting our customers and challenging our competitors," Kevin Warner, Vice President of Elster Gas North America commented. “Throughout Elster American Meter’s colorful history, the company has adapted successfully to deliver continual improvements in product design, distribution systems, and manufacturing methods. In spite of the many changes, Elster American Meter has never strayed from its commitment to quality. The concern for producing the finest meters possible in 1836 remains evident today, epitomized in the iconic AC-250 Residential Diaphragm Meter”

In 2005 Ruhrgas Industries was acquired by funds advised by CVC Capital Partners. Through this transition the Elster Group was formed and the business unit Elster Gas North America was created. Each of the divisions under American Meter Company were re-branded as Elster American Meter, Elster Perfection, Elster Canadian Meter, Elster Instromet, Elster Meter Services and Elster Amco de Mexico.  The Group’s aim is to help its customers increase their productivity and efficiency through its portfolio of measurement and distribution products for the gas industry.  Under the current management team, Elster American Meter is continuing its175 year tradition of technical innovation through its hallmark of the brands, long-term product reliability and performance, lowest total cost of ownership and installation, and outstanding technical training, field support and customer service. The company, which employs about 1100 people, is comprised of seven operating divisions, and has over a dozen product lines shipped globally.

- Ends.
For further information contact:

Deborah Sill, Elster Gas North America, 440-415-1667,

About Elster
Elster is one of the world’s largest electricity, gas and water measurement and control providers. Our offerings include distribution monitoring and control, advanced smart metering, demand response, networking and software solutions, and numerous related communications and services – key components for enabling consumer choice, operational efficiency and conservation. Our products and solutions are widely used by utilities in the traditional and emerging Smart Grid markets. 

Elster has one of the most extensive installed revenue measurement bases in the world, with more than 200 million metering modules deployed over the course of the last 10 years. It sells its products and services in more than 130 countries across electricity, gas, water and multi-utility applications for residential, commercial and industrial, and transmission and distribution applications.

For more information about Elster, please visit