Potter announces the acquisition of the company by leading global investment firm KKR from prior …
Throughout 2023, Potter is proudly celebrating its 125th anniversary of exceptional service in the life safety industry. This remarkable achievement is a testament to Potter's unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation, which has been ingrained in the company's culture since its inception.
From its humble beginnings as a small family business in 1898, Potter has emerged as a global leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of life safety solutions. Through its dedication to quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction, Potter has earned a reputation as a trusted partner worldwide.
Throughout its illustrious history, Potter has always been at the forefront of innovation, constantly striving to identify and leverage new opportunities to protect, secure, and monitor the people and property that matter most. With a wide range of cutting-edge products and services, including fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler monitoring, and corrosion solutions, Potter has helped countless customers achieve peace of mind and ensure the safety of their most valuable assets.
Turn back the clock to the year 1898. History from a bygone era fills the mind with such images as horse-drawn carriages, the Spanish-American War, Mark Twain, and the Industrial Revolution.
Tremendous growth in the United States fueled an economy that brought increasing numbers of people into the cities and away from farms and rural areas. Exploding urban populations gave rise to the increasing need for protection against the twin threats of fire and crime. New technologies of the time included automatic fire sprinklers and electrically activated fire and security systems and communications. In a small workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, a young inventor saw some interesting opportunities…
In 1898 Charles E. Potter began developing products that sent electronically coded signals to a central monitoring station. This allowed fire and police officials to be instantly dispatched to any fire or security emergency. In a time when human initiative was the most valuable industrial commodity, Charles Potter was able to combine state-of-the-art equipment with dedicated men to provide St. Louis with the best night watchmen service in the metropolitan area. His pioneering ingenuity helped lead Potter to be a world renowned manufacturer of life safety equipment.
Using custom designed products for specific applications and monitoring their status with the latest in telecommunications equipment, Potter was able to provide his subscribers with the finest alarm and night watchman's service in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
From the beginning of the company's founding until Mr. Potter's death in 1948, Potter Electric Signal Co. broadened its line of products and services and became a pioneer in the fire and security industries.
While the central station business continued to grow, Potter also expanded its line of products. It developed a complete line of sprinkler supervisory devices, security switches for intrusion protection, central station receiving equipment, vault and safe protection systems and fire control panels.
As manufacturing output increased, it became necessary for the company to expand. In 1970, land was acquired and a new facility was built in west St. Louis County.
In 1982, Potter sold its central station and downtown location to Wells Fargo Alarm Services. It was now free to concentrate solely on the manufacture and distribution of sprinkler monitoring products and security peripherals.
With aging fire sprinkler systems, the issue of corrosion became more prominent. By the nineties, Potter began investing in solutions to combat this new threat. With a full suite of testing, treatment, and monitoring solutions, Potter continues to protect the systems that protect you.
During the aughts, Potter broke into several new markets with strategic acquisitions. In 2004, Potter acquired Amseco which brought with it a full portfolio of security peripherals. In 2008, Potter acquired Elmdene International to further its global reach and bolster its fire and security markets. Also in 2008, investments were made to bring an experienced engineering team to focus on all new fire alarm systems designed and manufactured by Potter.
Looking to increase its systems portfolio and be able to bring the same innovation, quality, and service to new markets, Potter acquired several new businesses starting in the mid 2010s. In 2015, EVAX, CPG, and Harrington were acquired together to bolster Potter's fire alarm system business. Looking to break into the emergency wireless communications market, TowerIQ was acquired in 2020. Most recently, Valcom—with its wide array of mass notification solutions—was added to compliment Potter's commitment to life safety.
Potter is currently at the forefront of fire and life safety systems, offering state-of-the-art technology for efficient threat detection and response. Our integration of sensors, alarms, and monitoring systems provides real-time data and quick responses to potential dangers. Looking ahead, we are ready to leverage technological advancements to make our systems even more interconnected and intelligent. Through our unwavering commitment to innovation and our customers, Potter remains dedicated to shaping the future of fire and life safety, prioritizing the safeguarding of lives and properties.
Potter has been operating in St. Louis, Missouri, USA since its inception. We started in a small building in downtown St. Louis City and later expanded to larger facilities in west St. Louis County. With a strong commitment to American manufacturing, our headquarters and production facility have remained in St. Louis for 125 years.
We take pride in being a leader in the fire and life safety products industry while being one of the few to providing quality jobs for Americans. Part of this leadership comes from our ability to assemble and ship most of our products from the same location, ensuring reliable quality assurance while contributing to the local economy. As an American manufacturer, we prioritize high safety standards for our workers, quick shipping turnaround, and direct quality control oversight. We are proud to be a trusted choice for reliable, American-made products.
Pine Street, St. Louis, MO
1898 - 1971
Craig Road, St. Louis, MO
1971 - 2008
Riverport / Park 370 Place, St. Louis, MO
2008 - Present
While we celebrate the past, we look forward to the future. Potter may not look the same as it did 125 years ago, but at its heart, we hold onto that inventor's spirit with a vision for life safety.
We strive to be at the forefront of innovation and technology and will continue to find better outcomes in all that endanger life and property. Below is a look at some of our latest developments. We will continue to find ways to serve the life safety industry for the next 125 years and beyond.
Potter's integrated voice systems bring a new level of software sophistication to an already world…Learn more
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The VSR-AT is an electronic vane type waterflow switch for use on wet sprinkler systems which may be…Learn more