From Florist to Manufacturer
Dramm Corporation has been a leader in watering tools and accessories for 80 years. 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 would construct 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 is wife, Perdita, with 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 mail 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, which was to produce 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.
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.
In 1978 at an early age of 45, John P. Dramm passed away and the two companies became one under the name Dramm Corporation.
The company continued to grow in the retail industry by expanding into a full line of Rain Wands, sprinklers and watering tool accessories. In the 1990’s Dramm Corporation revolutionized watering tools by introducing color into the full line of Rain Wands, sprinklers and watering tools in six rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and berry. Now gardeners can choose a color to fit each individual’s personality and will 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 completed the planned ownership transfer to 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, helps with corporate relations, 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 appear in Dramm’s TV commercials and lifestyle photos. Several grandkids help at trade shows and in the factory from time to time. Kurt Becker, son-in-law, is the Executive Vice President and the Director of 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 is currently constructing a brand new 98,000 sq. ft. facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The company employs 95 people and will soon be hiring more.
Dramm strives to produce products that save time and energy while providing quality products that will last a lifetime.